American Chemical Society podcast: Green chemistry mobile app

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2013 — The latest episode in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes the first mobile application to foster wider use of the environmentally friendly and sustainable principles of green chemistry.

Based on a report by Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc., and colleagues in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, the new podcast is available without charge at iTunes and from

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 could help more people use green chemistry principles.

Ekins 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. That’s the heart of “green chemistry.” It is 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.”

The podcast describes a guide on doing so for solvents, which are key ingredients in making medicines. Some traditional processes generate 25-100 times more waste than the chemical they are making in the first place.

That’s why the ACS Green Chemistry Institute’s Pharmaceutical Roundtable, a group of 14 pharmaceutical companies, developed the app. The Green Solvents mobile app version of the guide for Apple devices covers 60 different solvents and is available online at, and the Lab Solvents app for Android devices is available online at

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions is a series of podcasts describing some of the 21st century’s most daunting problems, and how cutting-edge research in chemistry matters in the quest for solutions. Global Challenges is the centerpiece in an alliance on sustainability between ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Global Challenges is a sweeping panorama of global challenges that includes dilemmas such as providing a hungry and thirsty world with ample supplies of safe food and clean water, developing alternatives to petroleum to fuel society, preserving the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for our children and improving human health.

For more entertaining, informative science videos and podcasts from the ACS Office of Public Affairs, view Prized Science, Spellbound, Science Elements and Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions.

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