What are Green Chemicals

Green chemicals are one that provides higher performance and functionality while being more environmentally benign throughout its entire life-cycle. This approach has been codified in the Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry that provide a framework for innovation and design.

Green chemistry means designing chemical products and processes that use and produce fewer or no polluting or hazardous materials. Green Chemistry places human and ecological health at the heart of product design and manufacturing.


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12 Principles Of Green Chemistry

  1. Prevention
    It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
  2. Atom Economy
    Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
  3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
    Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
  4. Designing Safer Chemicals
    Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.
  5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries
    The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
  6. Design for Energy Efficiency
    Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
  7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks
    A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
  8. Reduce Derivatives
    Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection / deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
  9. Catalysis
    Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents. Example: Synthetic reagents, organometallics and building blocks
  10. Design for Degradation
    Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
  11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention
    Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
  12. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention                                                                                            Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.

Benefits of Green Chemicals :

Human health:

Cleaner air:

Due to the use of Green Chemicals, there will be less discharge of hazardous chemicals to the air leading to less damage to the lungs or will not cause other side effects.

Cleaner water:

If we use Green Chemicals, it will lead to less release of hazardous chemical wastes to water leading to cleaner drinking and recreational water.

Increased safety for workers in the chemical industry:

If there is the use of Green Chemicals then it will lead to less use of toxic materials; less personal protective equipment required; less potential for accidents (e.g., fires or explosions)

Safer consumer products of all types:

It will lead to new, safer products in the market; some products (e.g., drugs) will be made with less waste; some products (i.e., pesticides, cleaning products) will be replacements for less safe products. The use of Eco-Friendly cleaning products is harmless to human health as well as for the environment.

Safer food:

It helps to eliminate constant toxic chemicals that can enter the food chain. Green Chemicals are safer pesticides that are toxic only to specific pests and degrade rapidly after use.


  • Many chemicals end up in the environment like in water or in the air by intentional release during use (e.g., pesticides) which are very catastrophic to the environment. Green chemicals either degrade to innocuous products or are recovered for further use.
  • Because of Green Chemicals, plants and animals suffer less harm from toxic chemicals in the environment.
  • Lower potential for global warming, ozone depletion, and smog formation.
  • It will lead to less chemical interruption of ecosystems.
  • It will cause less use of landfills, especially hazardous waste landfills.


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How Green Chemicals Are Beneficial For The Business And Economy:

  • Green chemistry gives your company a strategic advantage by enabling you to design and differentiate products and processes by environment and health criteria, and capture top and bottom line profits throughout the value chain.
  • If you use the principles of green chemistry in your business and apply clean and green technology, you could improve the efficiency of your business, reduce waste and produce safer chemicals for users as well as for the environment.
  • It could also help you acquiesce with existing and future legal requirements and a growing list of restricted substances and materials.
  • Marketing your improved environmentally safe performance can help you to raise your business’ profile and increase sales and customer attention.
  • Higher yields for chemical reactions, consuming small amounts of feedstock to obtain the same amount of product.
  • Green chemicals allow faster manufacturing of products, increasing plant capacity, and saving energy and water.
  • Reduced waste, eliminating costly remediation, hazardous waste disposal, and end-of-the-pipe treatments.
  • Better performance so that less product is needed to achieve the same function.
  • Reduced use of petroleum products, slowing their depletion and avoiding their hazards and price fluctuations.
  • Reduced manufacturing plant size or footprint through increased throughput.
  • Increased consumer sales by earning and displaying a safer-product label.
  • Improved competitiveness of chemical manufacturers and their customers

How to apply green chemistry principles

You should use a step-by-step approach to apply the principles of green chemistry. This will enable you to identify any issues and deal with them in a systematic way.

You should:

  • Review the 12 principles of green chemistry and develop an accurate plan for how you can use them in your business to grow it.
  • Estimate the chemicals you currently use and manufacture.
  • Analyze the potential opportunities from green chemistry.
  • Build up an approach for adopting green chemistry.
  • Congregate innovative ideas that could lead to creating products with lower environmental impacts.
  • Integrate green chemistry into your business, perhaps through a documented program within a wider environmental management system framework.
  • Implement regular reviews to monitor progress and ensure products and processes you implement lead to environmental improvements.


      By- Prajkta Watekar