Looking for ways to implement green chemistry practices in your courses or programs? Or, are you looking to build upon your own success and share your best practices? Sign on to the Green Chemistry Commitment, join one of our Working Groups, or learn about our Toxicology for Chemists program.
green chemistry in practice
Greener chemistry experiments in the college teaching lab can result in the reduction of human and environmental hazards. For example, by performing an oxidation reaction using a sodium molybdate catalyst activated by aqueous hydrogen peroxide instead of a traditional chromium compound in anhydrous diethyl ether, over 0.8 lb of chromium compound and 0.2 gallons of diethyl ether can be avoided per 100 students – eliminating the use of a carcinogen and highly flammable solvent.
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By implementing greener chemistry experiments, waste disposal and purchasing costs can be reduced. For example, by switching to a greener polymerization reaction of aspartic acid to create poly(aspartate), 3 liters of halogenated solvent waste can be avoided per 100 students, reducing waste disposal costs – and, purchasing costs can be dropped to close to $20 per 100 students (from $160 for the traditional approach), avoiding the use of hazardous reagents such as thionyl chloride.
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Green chemistry provides students with the skills to design and select green chemistry alternative chemical products and processes. These 21st century skills are essential in today’s society and in a growing industrial market for greener chemicals, which is projected to be a $100 billion market by 2020 (Pike Research).
View the presentation by Dr. John Warner
"We need to make green chemistry education a more generalized and broad component to the education of all chemists and scientists.”"
- William Tolman, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Chair, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Minnesota