The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry*
- Prevention – It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
- Atom Economy – Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
- 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.
- Designing Safer Chemicals – Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use of Renewable Feedstocks – A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
- 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.
- Catalysis – Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*Anastas, P. T.; Warner, J. C.; Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press: New York, 1998, p.30.