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Green Chemistry, Applications

  1. Albert S. Matlack

Published Online: 19 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.greematl.a01

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Matlack, A. S. 2013. Green Chemistry, Applications. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 1–33.

Author Information

  1. University of Delaware

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2013


Environmental chemistry deals with contaminants from human activities that have found their way into soil, water, and air, how to detect them and how to remediate the problems. The purpose of green chemistry is to avoid these problems altogether. Green chemistry is based on the twelve principles set forth by Anastas and Warner. The twelve principles are listed and examples of developments keeping with the principles are discussed. Details are given for replacing toxic or detrimental chemicals and processes. Some of the chemicals and reactions in need of replacement are phosgene, HCN, formaldehyde, heavy metals, chlorine, oxidations, catalysts, acids and bases, separations, and solvents. Suggestions for alternatives are given. This article also extends the discussion to other areas in need of attention. Biocatalysis, eg, offers the possibility of making products without carrying out chemical reactions under rigorous conditions. Stereochemistry and the importance of optical isomers and resolution of racemic mixtures are discussed. Agrochemicals products such as pesticides, fertilizers, etc, can be toxic and cause environmental damage. Alternative methods can be found. Other topics include materials for a sustainable future, chemistry of longer wear, recycling, and energy and the environment.


  • Green chemistry;
  • Chemical alternatives;
  • Toxic chemicals;
  • Biocatalysis, Agriculture;
  • Recycling;
  • Twelve principles;
  • Stereochemistry;
  • Biodiversity;
  • Sustainability