Sustainable chemistry

Since the beginning of the 1990’s, the environmental and health consciousness started to rise considerably. Limited petrochemical sources for human consumption, together with the large amounts of dangerous waste were the most important points in the overall growth of public awareness. Amongst other fields, this alertness also transferred to the chemical field and resulted in a more careful approach to chemical processes and products.

The principles of green chemistry, as established in 1998 by Anastas and Warner in “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice” (Oxford University Press, New York), represent the guidelines that are becoming a standard and not only a trend in the development of new synthetic routes. Health and environmental drives for changing approaches to chemical syntheses are interconnected with economical drives, the strongest ones being the increase in the prices of petrochemicals and the costs of waste disposal. An additional economical pressure emerges from the implementation of the REACH legislation. It is highly probable that a number of chemicals will be eliminated from the trade market because of toxicity considerations or of price increases which will both lead to inacceptable situations for the producers and/or consumers.

The TESS Sustainable Chemistry team is aiming at finding novel routes to known chemicals, aiming at the modification of existing routes and at synthesising novel molecules with useful applications in several selected fields.

With regards to the novel REACH legislation, we are assessing the existing biobased chemicals with currently existing applications and possible novel ones. The assessment is based on criteria that we established and, expressed in numbers, aiming to ease the estimation of the feasibility of biobased chemicals. The knowledge is systematized in a database with such biobased chemicals.

Bioblock database




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 December 2008 )