That momentum behind green chemistry in the 1990s has never waned, but it’s never exactly exploded either. Is that about to change?

When Paul Anastas coined the term “green chemistry” back in 1991, he was a 28-year-old staff scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he was thought of as a little eccentric. By 1995, he had convinced then president Bill Clinton to launch the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge, and in 1998, he and scientist John Warner co-authored a textbook on the subject that still stands as the field’s dominant primer.

In it, the two laid out 12 principles for the new field they were founding, including “prevention”, the idea that chemicals should be designed to avoid waste as much as possible from the outset; “safer chemicals”, which instructed that chemicals should be designed to be both effective and non-toxic; and “safer solvents and auxiliaries”, which indicated that auxiliary substances like solvents and separation agents should be avoided wherever possible and innocuous when used.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS