Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

Green Chemistry

This project is no longer being funded or actively pursued.

Green Chemistry is the utilization of a set of principles that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products. Three Practical Principles of Green Chemistry are:

  1. Eliminate pollution at its source - The best way to deal with waste, hazardous or otherwise, is to avoid producing it in the first place.
  2. Utilize information on cutting-edge developments and technologies, research and political attitudes - The effective practice and promotion of Green Chemistry requires that you not only remain aware of the latest developments in your field of study or specialization, but that you also stay attuned to the knowledge and perspectives of non-chemists with regard to Green Chemistry. Policy makers, members of industry, consumers, educators and other scientists may all play important roles in society’s acceptance of the tenets of Green Chemistry and in the expansion of knowledge necessary to modify existing chemical processes.
  3. Adopt a long-term vision and incorporate it into components of green research - Humans all too often restrict their consideration of an issue to short-term, or relatively immediate, aspects and consequences. Examples of short-term considerations are the speed with which a product can be manufactured or the cost of a product’s manufacture. The practice of Green Chemistry, as with any behavior modification meant to promote sustainability, requires us to take a more long-term approach to our actions.

View the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry as stated by the American Chemical Society. These practices and philosophies are more specific than the broader Practical Principles listed above.

Combined, these practical Green Chemistry principles seek to reduce the hazards associated with products and processes that are integral to modern society.

How can WMRC help you?

WMRC staff has experience helping companies develop and implement processes that are more environmentally friendly and less wasteful. WMRC also hosts Green Chemistry workshops that provide teachers with information and activities that can be incorporated into the classroom.

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

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Champaign, IL 61820

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