The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry
Prioritize the prevention of waste rather than cleaning up and treating waste after it has been created. Plan ahead to minimize waste at every step.
Reduce waste at the molecular lever by maximizing the number of atoms from all reagents that that are incorporated into the final product. Use atom economy to evaluate reaction efficiency.
Design chemical reactions and synthetic routes to be as safe as possible. Consider the hazards of all substances handled during the reaction, including waste.
Minimize toxicity directly by molecular design. Predict and evaluate aspects such as physical properties, toxicity, and environmental fate throughout the design process.
Choose the safest solvent available for any given step. Minimize the total amount of solvents and auxiliary substances used as these make up a large percentage of the total waste created.
Choose the least energy-intensive chemical rout. Avoid heating and cooling, as well as pressurized and vacuum conditions (i.e. ambient temperature & pressure are optimal).
Use chemicals which are made from renewable (i.e. plant-based) sources, rather than other, equivalent chemicals originating from petrochemical sources.
Minimize the use of temporary derivatives such as protecting groups. Avoid derivatives to reduce reaction steps, resources required, and waste created.
Use catalytic instead of stoichiometric reagents in reactions. Choose catalysts to help increase selectivity, minimize, and reduce reaction times and energy demands.
Design chemicals that degrade and can be discarded easily. Ensure that both chemicals and their degradation products are not toxic, bio-accumulative, or environmentally persistent.
Monitor chemical reactions in real-time as they occur to prevent the formation and release of any potentially hazardous and polluting substances.
Choose and develop chemical and procedures that are safer and inherently minimize the risk of accident. Know the possible risks and assess them beforehand.