Principle #2 Atom Economy
What is Atom Economy
Atom Economy was developed by Barry Trost. It is based around the efficiency of chemical reactions to see how much of the reactants make up the final product and how much is gone to waste.
It tests the effect of the reaction, with high atom economies having little waste of reactants while low atom economies have high waste of reactants.
The aim of this is to improve the efficiency of chemical reactions in order to use fewer natural resources and minimize waste.
The need for better atom economy is on the rise. 97% of all processes that occur on earth require a chemical reaction. Of these reactions, a vast majority of the reactants go to waste, having a tremendous impact on the environment and essentially, on us.
Percent atom economy
Applications of atom economy- Production of Ibuprofen
in 1993, the chemical processing of Ibuprofen was reinvented in order to increase its atom economy and reduce waste. Chemists did this by adding a catalyst to the reaction, rather than excess reactants that end up as waste. This allows for the catalyst to be recycled and reused, making it more cost efficient.
By applying a catalyst, chemists have been able to decrease the number of stages within manufacturing and eliminate toxic solvents such as Carbon tetrachloride from the process.
The Final percent atom economy of Ibuprofen has increased from 40% to 80-99%, an outstanding improvement for the environment.
- 2014, "Atom economy" Viewed: 10/11/14 http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/greenchemistry/what-is-green-chemistry/principles/gc-principle-of-the-month-2.html
- 2014, "Atom economy" Viewed: 10/11/14 http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_aqa_pre_2011/chemcalc/chemcalc_higherrev5.shtml
- 2014, "Green chemistry- ibuprofen" Viewed: 10/11/14 http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/26-2-the-greening-of-science.aspx
- 2014, "Benefits of atom economy" Viewed: 10/11/14 http://www.greener-industry.org.uk/pages/atom/1atom_yield.htm