Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions

Our Sustainable Future: First mobile app green chemistry fosters sustainable manufacturing of medicines

May 13, 2013

Scientists have proposed first mobile app
to promote wider use of environmentally
friendly and sustainable principles of
green chemistry.

high-resolution image

Credit: American Chemical Society

Summary

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.

Mention mobile applications, or mobile apps, and people think of games, email, news, weather and other software for smart phones and tablets. But today’s episode describes the first mobile application to foster wider use of the environmentally friendly and sustainable principles of green chemistry. It is the topic of a report in ACS’ new journal, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc., points 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.

Here’s Ekins, who is with Collaborations in Chemistry and is the lead author:

“This is the heart of green chemistry, sometimes defined as using a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of various hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products.”

His team’s 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, such as with pharmaceuticals.

“The solvents guide was developed by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute’s Pharmaceutical Roundtable, which is a group of 14 pharmaceutical companies. We developed the Green Solvents mobile app version initially for Apple devices. This covers 60 different solvents and later on, we developed the Lab Solvents version for Android, which covers over 100 solvents. Both the Apple and Android versions of these mobile apps are free and available now.”

Smart Chemists/Innovative Thinking

Smart chemists. Innovative thinking. That’s the key to solving global challenges of the 21st Century. Please check out more of our full-length podcasts on wide-ranging issues facing chemistry and science, such as promoting public health, developing new fuels and confronting climate change, at www.acs.org/GlobalChallenges. Today’s podcast was written by Michael Bernstein. I’m Katie Cottingham at the American Chemical Society in Washington.

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Sean Ekins, Ph.D.
Collaborations In Chemistry
Fuquay-Varina, N.C.