Green Chemistry Definition

Sustainable and green chemistry in very simple terms is just a different way of thinking about how chemistry and chemical engineering can be done. Over the years different principles have been proposed that can be used when thinking about the design, development and implementation of chemical products and processes. These principles enable scientists and engineers to protect and benefit the economy, people and the planet by finding creative and innovative ways to reduce waste, conserve energy, and discover replacements for hazardous substances.

It’s important to note that the scope of these of green chemistry and engineering principles go beyond concerns over hazards from chemical toxicity and include energy conservation, waste reduction, and life cycle considerations such as the use of more sustainable or renewable feedstocks and designing for end of life or the final disposition of the product.

Green chemistry can also be defined through the use of metrics. While a unified set of metrics has not been established, many ways to quantify greener processes and products have been proposed. These metrics include ones for  mass, energy, hazardous substance reduction or elimination, and life cycle environmental impacts. 

Learn more about the principles of green chemistry and engineering.