Table 4.3 Principles of Green Programs
Computational and Other
Design chemical syntheses
and select processes to
prevent waste, leaving no
waste to treat or clean up.
Use a water-based process instead of
an organic solvent-based process.
Bioinformatics and data mining can provide
candidate syntheses and processes.
Design products to be fully
effective, yet have little or
Use microstructures, instead of toxic
pigments, to give color to products.
Microstructures bend, reflect, and
absorb light in ways that allow for a
full range of colors.
Systems biology and “omics” technologies
(i.e., genomics, proteomics,
metabanonics) can support predictions of
cumulative risk from products used in
Design syntheses to use and
generate substances with
little or no toxicity to
humans and the
Select chemical synthesis with toxicity
of the reagents in mind upfront. If a
reagent ordinarily required in the
synthesis is acutely or chronically
toxic, find another reagent or new
reaction with less toxic reagents.
Computational chemistry can help predict
unintended product formation and
reaction rates of optional reactions.
Use raw materials and
feedstocks that are
renewable rather than
those that deplete
feedstocks are often made
from agricultural products
or are the wastes of other
feedstocks are made from
fossil fuels (petroleum,
natural gas, or coal) or that
must be extracted by
Construction materials can be from
renewable and depleting sources.
Linoleum flooring, for example, is
highly durable, can be maintained
with non-toxic cleaning products,
and is manufactured from renewable
resources amenable to being
recycled. Upon demolition or
re-flooring, the linoleum can be
Systems biology, informatics, and “omics”
technologies can provide insights into
the possible chemical reactions and
toxicity of the compounds produced
when switching from depleting to
Minimize waste by using
Catalysts are used in small
amounts and can carry out
a single reaction many
times. They are preferable
to stoichiometric reagents,
which are used in excess
and work only once.
The Brookhaven National Laboratory
recently reported that it has found a
“green catalyst” that works by
removing one stage of the reaction,
eliminating the need to use solvents in
the process by which many organic
compounds are synthesized. The
catalyst dissolves into the reactants.
Also, the catalyst has the unique
ability of being easily removed and
recycled because, at the end of the
reaction, the catalyst precipitates out
of products as a solid material,
allowing it to be separated from the
products without using additional
chemical solvents. a
Computation chemistry can help to
compare rates of chemical reactions
using various catalysts. Quantitative
structural activity relationships can help
to predict possible adverse effects of
chemicals before they are manufactured.