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Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network Working Group. Lin Kaatz Chary, Ph.D., MPH. Green Chemistry Workshop GLRPPR April 9, 208. What is the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network?.

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great lakes green chemistry network working group

Great Lakes Green Chemistry NetworkWorking Group

Lin Kaatz Chary, Ph.D., MPH

Green Chemistry Workshop


April 9, 208

what is the great lakes green chemistry network
What is the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network?

Mission: To create a partnership between academia, industry, government and NGOs to promote green chemistry practice in the binational Great Lakes region.

  • Workshop at 2006 State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference
  • Website:
  • Monthly Phone Seminars on topics of interest to green chemistry
  • In April: Green Chemistry and Nanotechnology

definition of green chemistry
Definition of Green Chemistry

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances based on the

principlesof green chemistry


principles of green chemistry
Principles of Green Chemistry

1. Prevent waste. Design chemical synthesis to prevent waste, leaving no waste to treat or clean up

2. Design safer chemicals and products. Design chemical products to be fully effective, yet have little or no toxicity.

3. Design less hazardous chemical synthesis. Design synthesis to use and generate substances with little or no toxicity to humans or the environment.

principles of green chemistry1
Principles of Green Chemistry

4. Use renewable feedstocks. Use raw materials and feedstocks that are renewable rather than depleting. Renewable feedstocks are often made from agricultural products or are wastes of other processes; depleting feedstocks are made from fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas or coal) or are. Increase energy efficiency. Run chemical reactions at ambient temperature and pressure whenever possible

principles of green chemistry2
Principles of Green Chemistry

5. Use catalysts, not stoichiometric reagents. Minimize wastes by using catalytic reactions. 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.

6. Avoid chemical derivatives. Avoid using blocking or protecting groups or any temporary modifications if possible. Derivatives use additional reagents and generate waste.

principles of green chemistry3
Principles of Green Chemistry

7. Maximize atom efficiency. Design syntheses so that the final product contains the maximum proportion of starting materials. There should be few, if any, wasted atoms.

8. Use safer solvents and reaction conditions. Avoid using solvents, separation agents, or other auxiliary chemicals. If these chemicals are necessary, use innocuous chemicals.

principles of green chemistry4
Principles of Green Chemistry

9. Increase energy efficiency. Run chemical reactions at ambient temperature and pressure whenever possible.

10.Design chemical processes and products to degrade after use. Design chemical products to break down to innocuous substances after use so they do not accumulate in the environment.

principles of green chemistry5
Principles of Green Chemistry

11.Analyze in real time to prevent pollution. Include in-process real-time monitoring and control during syntheses to minimize or eliminate the formation of byproducts.

12. Minimize the potential for accidents. Design chemicals and their forms (solid, liquid, or gas) to minimize the potential for chemical accidents including explosions, fires and releases to the environment.

principles of green chemistry6
Principles of Green Chemistry

Ref.: Poliakoff, M, Fitzpatrick, M. J., Farren, T.R., and Anastas, P.T., “Green Chemistry Science and the Politics of Change”, Science, (2002), 297:807-810.

epa definition of green chemistry
EPA Definition of Green Chemistry

Green chemistry involves .... fundamental and innovative chemical methods that accomplish pollution prevention through source reduction and that have broad application in industry. For the purposes of the Program green chemistry is defined as “the use of chemistry for source reduction.”

Green chemistry involves a reduction in or elimination of the use or generation of hazardous materials, including feedstocks, reagents, solvents, products, and by-products from chemical processes.

organization for economic cooperation and development oecd
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

“Sustainable Chemistry”

Sustainable chemistry is the design, manufacture and use of efficient, effective, safe and more environmentally benign chemical products and process.

how are these three definitions different
How are these three definitions different?

They are different in subject matter and perspective.

The first focuses directly on hazardous substance reduction, while the OECD definition is broader in its goals and the U.S. EPA definition is directly linked to pollution prevention

Ref: Geiser, Ken, “Green and Sustainable Chemistry: Locating the Concept”, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, 2006 (personal communication)

how are green process engineering and green chemistry related
How are Green Process Engineeringand Green Chemistry Related?

Green chemistry addresses hazard reduction and elimination through process changes and material substitution.

"Green engineering" addresses

waste reduction and pollution prevention but may not necessarily include hazard reduction and elimination.

green chemistry and p2
Green Chemistry and P2

EXAMPLE: Improving plant performance and reducing releases are always the goal of P2.

IF, however, a plant is producing a chemical hazard for distributive technologies, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) , e.g,

  • phthalates or bisphenol-A
  • brominated diphenyl ethers
  • many others

P2 efforts, however advanced, are


green chemistry and p21
Green Chemistry and P2

The goal of green chemistry is to eliminate

the hazard from commerce, not only to

apply P2 to the engineering practices that

produce them.

green chemistry and p22
Green Chemistry and P2


Is it green chemistry when we replace water disinfection or chemicals breakdown in water that are usually focused on chlorination and that produce hazardous chlorinated byproducts with hydrogen peroxide?  

In this situation, the potential for the reduction or elimination of hazardous substances is immense.

green chemistry and p23
Green Chemistry and P2

So there are nuances and some very good green chemistry can be associated with what one might call end-of-pipe treatments — greening end of pipe treatments.

green chemistry and p24
Green Chemistry and P2

Example 2: The pharmaceutical industry is designing drugs to be more bioactive, more bioaccumulative, and more resistant to degradation.  

People are excreting these drugs which are getting past the activated sludge at the treatment plants and into the aquatic environment and even into drinking water.

green chemistry and p25
Green Chemistry and P2

Will the drug industry realistically be able to escape the hazards that pharmaceuticals in the environment represent for aquatic life forms and perhaps for human development through reingestion in drinking water?

green chemistry and p26
Green Chemistry and P2

A potent nonhazardous process for destroying trace pharmaceuticals in water would amount to

green chemistry

This is the work in which green chemists are currently engaged at places such as Carnegie Mellon Institute

the current situation
The Current Situation

The chemical industry is fundamentally built to inhibit innovation at the level of "big green chemistry"

Basic and commodity chemical industries are highly integrated and highly capitalized leading to little possibility of significant change,

  • new synthetic routes are difficult to institute
  • "cradle to cradle" throughputs not a priority

the current situation1
The Current Situation
  • P2 and green chemistry can advance alternatives to hazardous solvent use and waste reduction, etc. in the industry,
  • BUT real "big green chemistry" will require fundamental changes such as in the feedstocks themselves, not just the way they are handled and processed

applying p2 to chemical processes
Applying P2 to Chemical Processes

The key to applying P2 to chemical processes is to design out the inherent hazard in the chemical itself.  

It's not just about understanding the root causes of waste... or equipment engineering.

green chemistry and p27
Green Chemistry and P2

“Green Engineering” is good P2 but doesn't always attempt to embody green chemistry practices

The goal of green chemistry is to eliminate

the hazard from commerce.

green chemistry and p28
Green Chemistry and P2

All Green Chemistry is inherently

Pollution Prevention

but not all Green Process Engineering/

Pollution Prevention



this presentation would not have been possible without the input and contributions of the following
This presentation would not have been possible without the input and contributions of the following:
  • Terry Collins, Ph.D., Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ken Geiser, Ph.D.,Professor of Work Environment, Co-Director, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell,Lowell, MA
  • Beverly Thorpe, International Director, Clean Production Action, Montreal, Quebec

great lakes green chemistry network working group1
Great Lakes Green Chemistry NetworkWorking Group

Lin Kaatz Chary, PhD, MPH

Ad Hoc Coordinator

April 8, 2008