Chemists make breakthrough in carbon capture

Scientists from the University of York have developed an innovative new green method of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power stations, chemical and other large scale manufacturing plants.

What nanotechnology can learn from green chemistry

The intersection of nanotechnology and green chemistry presents an excellent opportunity to ensure that both fields can learn from each other, argues John C. Warner in Green Chemistry and Letters.

Nanotech discovery may green chemical manufacturing

A new nanotech catalyst developed by McGill University Chemists Chao-Jun Li, Audrey Moores and their colleagues offers industry an opportunity to reduce the use of expensive and toxic heavy metals. Catalysts are substances ...

Solar rays could replace petroleum fuels, research shows

( -- Alternative fuel sources for cars may have a glowing future as a Kansas State University graduate student is working to replace petroleum fuels with ones made from sunlight.

Feather fibers fluff up hydrogen storage capacity

Scientists in Delaware say they have developed a new hydrogen storage method -- carbonized chicken feather fibers -- that can hold vast amounts of hydrogen, a promising but difficult to corral fuel source, and do it at a ...

Orange peels could be made into biodegradable plastic

Plastic waste is one of the worst forms of trash because it takes so long to degrade, thus overflowing our landfills and polluting our oceans and waterways. But what if we could make plastic from a recycled, natural, biodegradable ...

Two catalysts are better than one

Much like two children in the back seat of a car, it can be challenging to get two catalysts to cooperate for the greater good. Now Northwestern University chemists have gotten two catalysts to work together on the same task ...

Cash register receipts a new BPA concern

If you read environmental news on a regular basis then you know that consumers are in an uproar about the revelation that SIGG water bottles contain bisphenol-A (BPA), despite the company's previous BPA-free advertisements. ...

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Green chemistry

Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is a chemical philosophy encouraging the design of products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. Whereas environmental chemistry is the chemistry of the natural environment, and of pollutant chemicals in nature, green chemistry seeks to reduce and prevent pollution at its source. In 1990 the Pollution Prevention Act was passed in the United States. This act helped create a modus operandi for dealing with pollution in an original and innovative way. It aims to avoid problems before they happen.

As a chemical philosophy, green chemistry applies to organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and even physical chemistry. While green chemistry seems to focus on industrial applications, it does apply to any chemistry choice. Click chemistry is often cited as a style of chemical synthesis that is consistent with the goals of green chemistry. The focus is on minimizing the hazard and maximizing the efficiency of any chemical choice. It is distinct from environmental chemistry which focuses on chemical phenomena in the environment.

In 2005 Ryoji Noyori identified three key developments in green chemistry: use of supercritical carbon dioxide as green solvent, aqueous hydrogen peroxide for clean oxidations and the use of hydrogen in asymmetric synthesis. Examples of applied green chemistry are supercritical water oxidation, on water reactions and dry media reactions.

Bioengineering is also seen as a promising technique for achieving green chemistry goals. A number of important process chemicals can be synthesized in engineered organisms, such as shikimate, a Tamiflu precursor which is fermented by Roche in bacteria.

There is some debate as to whether green chemistry includes a consideration of economics, but by definition, if green chemistry is not applied, it cannot accomplish the reduction in the "use or generation of hazardous substances."

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