Thursday, December 3, 2009

Green Chemistry

Below are the "The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry." These principles list methods for not only preventing the initial problem of hazardous pollution, but also how to reduce the harmful effects of inevitable obsolescence. As E-Waste is currently documented as one of the more harmful contaminants of the natural environment, it becomes paramount that we relate these concepts to the disposal and prevention of high tech trash.

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.

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.


Apple's Successful Implementation of Green Chemistry: Scientific Disposal

Apple has a stringent policy in place to positively affect the global environment, exemplified by the following reductions in both water and recycling output.

By doing so, they are able to mitigate all potential damages by reducing potential harms to the environment. This is what all companies need to start doing, by conscious attention to inventory and tracking, as well as facilitating easier stoichiometric disposal.

Source: Apple, Inc.