Green Chemistry: An environment friendly chemistry


Day in and day out we will be using many chemicals in our daily life. These chemicals, their manufacturing processes and the by-products are causing many problems to human beings as well as the environment. So a need has arisen to develop new chemicals and new processes in such a way that they will not have any unwanted effects on this universe. A concept of green chemistry has started with this outlook. This concept is discussed briefly in this write-up.

Introduction

The moment we get up in the morning till we go to bed in the night we all will be using many materials for various purposes. Tooth Paste for cleaning our teeth, Soap for washing our body, clothes for protection of our body, shoe shine for our shoe and so on and so forth.

All these substances are compounds of various chemical substances. These compounds are being manufactured for our use in chemical industry. These chemical industries are bringing many contributions for the comfort of the human beings for their happy living. But there is another side also to this coin.

These substances, the raw materials used for the process and the other products which are being formed in the process as by-products may be sometimes harmful and hazardous to us. These may spoil not only the health of human beings but also that of the environment. These activities are creating a lot of imbalance in nature and creating problems to the universe making the place unsuitable for the existence of the mankind.

So these days all are more concerned about these problems. This concern has made the Scientists concentrate on the new chemistry called "Environmentally Benign Chemistry" also known as "Green Chemistry".

The Beginning

This concept has been initiated in the year 1995 in the USA. This movement has been inaugurated by the then president of USA. Mr Bill Clinton. An agency called "Environment Protection Agency" is created to monitor these activities in the USA. Similarly, the moment has started in other countries also. In India Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Boards will be coordinating these activities.

The Continuation

To have a good progress in this line some guidelines were formed and keeping these guidelines the Chemists and Engineers will be working out the implementation of this Green Chemistry Concept.

  • The first point to be kept in mind in this process is Prevention. This will indicate that the process should be designed in such a way that the waste generated in the process of manufacturing should be as low as possible. This will help us in the creation of waste itself. Otherwise, the created waste is to be destroyed which may be again a concern for the environment and may be expensive also. So prevention is always better than cure.

  • The second point to be kept in mind is that the creation of safe processes. In this, all the raw materials used should be a part of the final product. It is better if the process can be carried out at normal room temperature and pressure. The final product should produce the intended effect only and should not have any unwanted effects on human beings or on the environment.

  • The third point is that the products should be designed in such a way that these products should disintegrate into products which are non-toxic after its use. They should not get accumulated in the system as such.

  • Another important point that the product should be safe and should not undergo any rapid changes so that there will not be any unwanted reactions which may cause accidents, explosions or release of toxic fumes.

  • The Benefits

    In 1996 an American Company called M/S Rohm and Hans developed a chemical known as Sea-Nine. It is an anti-fouling agent. Before this invention, the paints that were used for painting the bottom of the ship for preventing corrosion were very toxic and harmful to the marine environment. This Sea Nine is good antipollution paint which can be used for these ships. This will easily disintegrate and will never accumulate in the sea environment.

    Like this many new products and new processes are developed and now many green processes and green chemicals are in use.

    Conclusion

    Even though a lot of work is going on around the globe in this direction, still a long way is there to travel. The laboratory experiments and developments are to be implemented in the process industry. Otherwise, the universe will become a place not suitable for mankind. Really the green chemistry is the need of the hour.


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