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Introduction to Clean Technology and Catalysis James H. Clark


Green Chemistry and Clean Technology

Traditional chemical manufacturing is resource demanding and wasteful, and often involves the use of hazardous substances. Resources are used throughout the production and including the treatment of waste streams and emissions (Figure 1.1).

Green chemistry focuses on resource efficiency and on the design of chemical products and processes that are more environmentally benign. If green chemistry is used in a process, it should be made simpler, the inputs and outputs should be safer and more sustainable, the energy consumption should be reduced and costs should be reduced as yields increase, and so separations become simpler and less waste is generated [1]. Green chemistry moves the trend toward new, clean technologies such as flow reactors and microwave reactors, as well as clean synthesis. For instance, lower temperature, shorter reaction time, choice of an alternative route, increased yield, or using fewer washings at workup improve the ‘‘cleanness’’ of a reaction by saving energy and process time and reducing waste [2].

At present, there is more emphasis on the use of renewable feedstocks [3] and on the design of safer products including an increasing trend for recovering resources or ‘‘closed-loop manufacturing.’’ Green chemistry research and application now encompass the use of biomass as a source of organic carbon and the design of new greener products, for example, to replace the existing products that are unacceptable in the light of new legislation (e.g., REACH) or consumer perception.

Green chemistry can be seen as a tool by which sustainable development can be achieved: the application of green chemistry is relevant to social, environmental, and economic aspects.

To achieve sustainable development will require action by the international com- munity, national governments, commercial and noncommercial organizations, and individual action by citizens from a wide variety of disciplines. Acknowledgment of sustainable development has been taken forward into policy by many governments including most world powers notably in Europe [4], China [5], and the United States [6].

Heterogeneous Catalysts for Clean Technology: Spectroscopy, Design, and Monitoring, First Edition.

Edited by Karen Wilson and Adam F. Lee.

© 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Published 2014 by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


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