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Green Chemistry

Relying extensively on nonrenewable petroleum feedstocks, conventional industrial chemistry disseminates a cocktail of synthetic chemicals throughout the global environment, presenting substantial risks to humans and other organisms. In contrast, the emerging field of green chemistry develops chemicals to be benign. Rather than presuming to keep human and ecological exposures to chemicals within levels of toxicity deemed “acceptable,” practitioners of green or sustainable chemistry aim to make chemicals that are inherently safe.

Principles of green chemistry include: Design chemical products that have little or no toxicity and that break down to innocuous substances after use so that they do not accumulate in the environment; use renewable feedstocks, such as corn and soybeans; design syntheses so that the final product contains the maximum proportion of the starting materials, ...

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