First mobile app for green chemistry fosters sustainable manufacturing of medicines

Jan 30, 2013
First mobile app for green chemistry fosters sustainable manufacturing of medicines

Mention mobile applications, or mobile apps, and people think of games, email, news, weather, productivity and other software for Apple, Android and other smart phones and tablet computers. But an app with broader impact—the first mobile application to foster wider use of the environmentally friendly and sustainable principles of green chemistry—is the topic of a report in the American Chemical Society's new journal, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Sean Ekins, Alex M. Clark and Antony Williams point out that the companies that manufacture medicines, electronics components and hundreds of other consumer products have a commitment to work in a sustainable fashion without damaging the environment. That's the heart of "green chemistry," often defined as "the utilization of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products."

Their article describes a guide on doing so for solvents, key ingredients in processes for making medicines. Some traditional processes generate 25-100 times more waste than the chemical they are making (e.g., pharmaceuticals). The solvents guide was developed by the ACS Institute's Pharmaceutical Roundtable, a group of 14 pharmaceutical companies. The Green Solvents mobile app version of the guide for Apple devices covers 60 different solvents and is available online at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/green-solvents/id446670983?mt=8, and the Lab Solvents app for Android devices is available online at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mmi.android.labsolvents.

Explore further: Rooting out horse-meat fraud in the wake of a recent food scandal

More information: "Incorporating Green Chemistry Concepts into Mobile Chemistry Applications and Their Potential Uses", ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2013, 1 (1), pp 8–13. DOI: 10.1021/sc3000509

Abstract
Green Chemistry related information is generally proprietary, and papers on the topic are commonly behind pay walls that limit their accessibility. Several new mobile applications (apps) have been recently released for the Apple iOS platform, which incorporate green chemistry concepts. Because of the large number of people who now own a mobile device across all demographics, this population represents a highly novel way to communicate green chemistry, which has not previously been appreciated. We have made the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) Pharmaceutical Roundtable Solvent Selection Guide more accessible and have increased its visibility by creating a free mobile app for the Apple iOS platform called Green Solvents. We have also used this content for molecular similarity calculations using additional solvents to predict potential environmental and health categories, which could help in solvent selection. This approach predicted the correct waste or health class for over 60% of solvents when the Tanimoto similarity was >0.5. Additional mobile apps that incorporate green chemistry content or concepts are also described including Open Drug Discovery Teams and Yield101. Making green chemistry information freely available or at very low cost via such apps is a paradigm shift that could be exploited by content providers and scientists to expose their green chemistry ideas to a larger audience.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug companies moving toward green goals

May 31, 2012

Many pharmaceutical companies in a new survey are making progress in embracing the guiding principles of green chemistry, which seek to minimize the use of potentially hazardous substances in producing medications, reduce ...

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

Jun 16, 2011

Yahoo! has begun helping people navigate the sea of applications available for Apple iPhones or mobile gadgets powered by Google-backed Android software.

Recommended for you

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

Sep 19, 2014

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

Sep 19, 2014

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

Smartgels are thicker than water

Sep 19, 2014

Transforming substances from liquids into gels plays an important role across many industries, including cosmetics, medicine, and energy. But the transformation process, called gelation, where manufacturers ...

Separation of para and ortho water

Sep 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Not all water is equal—at least not at the molecular level. There are two versions of the water molecule, para and ortho water, in which the spin states of the hydrogen nuclei are different. ...

User comments : 0