Ιn a world of growing population and limited resources, the idea of sustainable development is the main priority for the future of the 21st century. Only research and innovation will enable the development of economic and social networks and procedures to satisfy the requirements for sustainability. Chemistry, as the science of matter and its transformations, plays a crucial role in the revolution of science to technology and is the bridge between physics and biological sciences. To lead the reactions and chemical processes to maximum efficiency we need awareness, creativity and foresight. The term “Green Chemistry” was coined for the efforts to this direction.
To promote innovative chemical technologies to reduce or eliminate the use or creation of hazardous substances regarding the design, the industrialization and the use of chemicals.
The idea of Green Chemistry developed during the 1990’s, at the same time with many citizens’ movements to protect the environment and scientists working in research and development of chemical industries and research centers. The term «Green Chemistry» was proposed and established by the Greek origin Paul Anastas, who is considered the father of Green Chemistry an important scientist, Professor at YALE University.
Efforts and practices for application
Given the enormous amounts of money spent on antiquated methods and the simultaneous use of time consuming synthetic steps with toxic cleaning solvents, various initiatives have been launched by chemical scientists with long-chemical work in chemical laboratories and industries. Some scientists in their articles had already highlighted these practices and now the awakening of the environmental movement as well as the idea of sustainability have started to prepare the necessary changes.
Institutes of Green Chemistry
During the last decade many Green Chemistry Institutes have been created in different countries (Japan, Italy, China, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, etc.).Some examples are the Canadian Green Chemistry Network, Centre for Green Chemistry (Australia), Green and Sustainable Chemistry Network (Japan).
Many Universities and Departments of Chemistry offer in recent years Undergraduate and Graduate courses in Green Chemistry. Here are some of them: Green Chemical Engineering Material Framework, University of Texas, Austin, USA. Green Chemistry for Process Engineering, University of Nottingham, England. Industrial and Applied Green Chemistry, University of York, England. Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Yale University, USA. Greener Education Materials for Chemists, University of Oregon, USA.