WHAT IS PREVENTION IN GREEN CHEMISTRY?
- The principle of Prevention is defined as the idea that it is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
- It is also better to design chemical processes to prevent waste than to treat waste or clean it up after it is formed.
- The ability of chemists to redesign chemical transformations to minimize the generation of hazardous waste is an important first step in pollution prevention.
- The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 set the stage for green chemistry: Its focus is the prevention of pollution at the source rather than the treatment of pollutants after they are formed.
BENEFITS OF PREVENTION
- goods needed by society are produced by methods that are not harmful to the environment
- these goods should be recyclable or biodegradable
- the processes used to manufacture the product should produce either no waste or waste that is recyclable or biodegradable
- fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources are replaced with renewable ones
- By preventing waste generation, we minimize hazards associated with waste storage, transportation and treatment.
- Prevention reduces long term damage to the environment
- prevents long-term deterioration of the planet
-prevents pollution at a molecular level
ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS BENEFITS
- The method of prevention within Green Chemistry is also far more profitable and cheaper for companies
- Prevention also has major long-term cost benefits to businesses
- greater efficiency leads to reduced costs and improved profits for businesses
- Making chemical products from feedstocks, reagents, and solvents that are less hazardous to human health and the environment
- BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS: (plastic bags)
Traditional plastics are not biodegradable because their long polymer molecules are too large and too tightly bonded together to be broken apart and assimilated by decomposer organisms.
However, plastics based on natural plant polymers derived from wheat or corn starch have molecules that are readily attacked and broken down by microbes.
Starch is a natural polymer. First, starch is harvested from corn, wheat or potatoes, then microorganisms transform it into lactic acid, a monomer. Finally, the lactic acid is chemically treated to cause the molecules of lactic acid to link up into long chains or polymers, which bond together to form a plastic called polylactide.
- negative aspect of this is that it is significantly more expensive (2 to 10 times more expensive than traditional plastic)
Acs.org, (2014). 12 Principles of Green Chemistry - American Chemical Society. [online] Available at: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/greenchemistry/what-is-green-chemistry/principles/12-principles-of-green-chemistry.html [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].
Chemistryexplained.com, (2014). Green Chemistry - Chemistry Encyclopedia - water, uses, examples, atom, Milestones, Importance to Industry. [online] Available at: http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Ge-Hy/Green-Chemistry.html [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].
Greenchem.uoregon.edu, (2014). Green Chemistry Glossary. [online] Available at: http://greenchem.uoregon.edu/Pages/GreenChemGlossary.php [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].
Chemistry Enhanced 1, Heinemann, 4th edition, Lukins, elvins, Lohmeyer, Ross, Sanders, Wilson, Pearson Australia Ltd, 2010, Australia
Www2.epa.gov, (2014). Basics of Green Chemistry. [online] Available at: http://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry/basics-green-chemistry [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014].
Sciencearchive.org.au, (2014). Making packaging greener – biodegradable plastics - Academy of Science. [online] Available at: http://www.sciencearchive.org.au/nova/061/061key.html [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014].