Fundamentals, Representative Applications and Future Perspectives of Green Chemistry: A Short Review


Green chemistry is an eco-friendly and rapid emerging field of chemistry which offers a green alternative to conventional chemistry practices. It focuses on the reduction, recycling and removal of the use of toxic and hazardous chemicals through innovative alternative routes making desired products with minimum environment impact. Its growing importance is in exploitation of maximum possible resources in such a way that, there is minimum production of undesired chemical wastes. It is helpful to chemists and chemical engineers in research, development and production for improvement of more eco-friendly and efficient products which may also have significant financial benefits. The green chemistry movement is part of a larger movement that leads to sustainable development, sustainable economics and sustainable living practices. Sustainable chemistry is a scientific concept that seeks to improve the efficiency with which natural resources are used to meet human needs for chemical products and services. It encompasses the design, manufacture and use of efficient, effective, safe and more environmentally benign chemical products and processes. This has enormous potential to contribute in renewable energy technologies, synthesis of new molecules and development of pollution prevention technologies. The aim of this review is to raise awareness on the fundamental aspects, necessities and benefits of green chemistry.

Share and Cite:

Rana, K. and Rana, S. (2014) Fundamentals, Representative Applications and Future Perspectives of Green Chemistry: A Short Review. Open Access Library Journal, 1, 1-16. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1100748.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[6] Anastas, P.T. and Warner, J.C. (1998) Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[7] (a)
(b) Anastas, P.T. and Zimmerman, J.B. (Eds.) (2012) Innovations in Green Chemistry and Green Engineering. Springer, Berlin.
[8] Trost, B.M. (1995) Atom Economy—A Challenge for Organic Synthesis: Homogeneous Catalysis Leads the Way, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 34, 259. (The Concept of Atom Economy Was Developed by Prof. Trost of Stanford University, USA, in Recognition of Which He Received the US Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 1998.)
[9] Sato, K., Aoki, M. and Noyori, R.A. (1998) “Green” Route to Adipic Acid: Direct Oxidation of Cyclohexenes with 30 Percent Hydrogen Peroxide. Science, 281, 1646.
[11] Bardley, D., Dyson, P. and Welton, T. (2000) Room Temperature Ionic Liquids. Chemical Reviews, 9, 18.
[12] Romano, U. and Garbassi, F. (2000) The Environmental Issue. A Challenge for New Generation Polyolefins. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 72, 1383-1388.
[13] (a) Nicolas, N., Benvegnu, T. and Plusquellec, D. (2002) Surfactants from Renewable Resources. Actualite Chimique, 11-12, 70. (b) Alonso, D.M., Bond, J.Q. and Dumesic, J.A. (2010) Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels. Green Chemistry, 12, 1493-1513.
[14] Stashenko, E.E., Puertas, A.M., Salgar, W., Delgado, W. and Martinez, J.R. (2000) Solid-Phase Microextraction with On-Fiber Derivatization Applied to the Analysis of Volatile Carbonyl Compounds. Journal of Chromatography A, 886, 175-182.
[15] Acardi, A., Bianchi, G., Di Giuseppe, S. and Marinelli, F. (2003) Gold Catalysis in the Reaction of 1,3-Dicarbonyls with Nucleophiles. Green Chemistry, 5, 64.
[16] Scott, G. (2000) “Green” Polymers. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 68, 1-7.
[18] Workman Jr., J., Lavine, B., Chrisman, R. and Koch, M. (2011) Process Analytical Chemistry. Analytical Chemistry, 83, 4557-4578.
[19] Vanrolleghem, P.A. and Lee, D.S. (2003) On-Line Monitoring Equipment for Wastewater Treatment Processes: State of the Art. Water Science and Technology, 47, 1-34.
[20] Garrett, R.L. (1996) Pollution Prevention, Green Chemistry, and the Design of Safer Chemicals. In: DeVito, S.C. and Garrett, R.L., Eds., Designing Safer Chemicals: Green Chemistry for Pollution Prevention, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, Chapter 1, 2-15.
[21] DeVito, S.C. (1996) General Principles for the Design of Safer Chemicals: Toxicological Considerations for Chemists. In: DeVito, S.C. and Garrett, R.L., Eds., Designing Safer Chemicals: Green Chemistry for Pollution Prevention, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, Chapter 2, 16-59.
[22] Boethling, R.S. (1996) Designing Biodegradable Chemicals. In: DeVito, S.C. and Garrett, R.L., Eds., Designing Safer Chemicals: Green Chemistry for Pollution Prevention, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, Chapter 8, 156-171.
[23] Tundo, P. and Selva, M. (2002) The Chemistry of Dimethyl Carbonate. Accounts of Chemical Research, 35, 706-716.
[24] Tundo, P., Selva, M. and Memoli, S. (2000) Dimethylcarbonate as a Green Reagent. In: Anastas, P.T., Heine, L.G. and Williamson, T.C., Eds., Green Chemical Synthesses and Processes, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 87-99.
[25] Komiya, K., Fukuoka, S., Aminaka, M., Hasegawa, K., Hachiya, H., Okamoto, H., Watanabe, T., Yoneda, H., Fukawa, I. and Dozono, T. (1996) New Process for Producing Polycarbonate without Phosgene and Methylene Chloride. In: Anastas, P.T. and Williamson, T.C., Eds., Green Chemistry: Designing Chemistry for the Environment, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, Chapter 2, 20-32.
[26] PERP Programe-New Report Alert (2003) Nexant Inc.
[27] Abad, A., Concepción, P., Corma, A. and García, H. (2005) A Collaborative Effect between Gold and a Support Induces the Selective Oxidation of Alcohols. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 44, 4066-4069.
[28] Enache, D.I., Edwards, J.K., Landon, P., Solsona-Espriu, B., Carley, A.F., Herzing, A.A., Watanabe, M., Kiely, C.J., Knight, D.W. and Hutchings, G.J. (2006) Solvent-Free Oxidation of Primary Alcohols to Aldehydes Using Au-Pd/ TiO2 Catalysts. Science, 311, 362-365.
[29] Ahluwalia, V.K. and Kidwai, M. (2004) New Trends in Green Chemistry. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/ Anamaya Publishers, New Delhi.
[33] Thompson, G.D., Dutton, R. and Sparks, T.C. (2000) Spinosad A Case Study: An Example from a Natural Products Discovery Programme. Pest Management Science, 56, 696-702.
[34] Salgado, V.L. (1998) Studies on the Mode of Action of Spinosad: Insect Symptoms and Physiological Correlates. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 60, 91-102.
[35] Thompson, G.D., Michel, K.H., Yao, R.C., Mynderse, J.S., Mosburg, C.T., Worden, T.V., Chio, E.H., Sparks, T.C. and Hutchins, S.H. (1997) The Discovery of Saccharopolyspora spinosa and a New Class of Insect Control Products. Down to Earth, 52, 1-5.
[38] Samson, P.R., Bade, G.S. and Harris, W.J. (2010) Efficacy of BiocaneTM against Southern One-Year Canegrub, Antitrogus consanguineus. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technology, 32, 50-61.
[41] Songa, H. and Lee, S.Y. (2006) Production of Succinic Acid by Bacterial Fermentation. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 39, 352-361.
[42] Pereira, C.S.M., Silva, V.M.T.M. and Rodrigues, A.E. (2011) Ethyl Lactate as a Solvent: Properties, Applications and Production Processes—A Review. Green Chemistry, 13, 2658-2671.
[43] Devi, A., Singhal, A. and Gupta, R. (2013) A Review on Spent Pickling Liquor. International Journal of Environmental Science, 4, 284-295.
[45] Rojas, O.J., Stubenrauch, C., Lucia, L.A. and Habibi, Y. (2009) Interfacial Properties of Sugar Based Surfactants. In: Hayes, D.G., Kitamoto, D., Solaiman, D.K.Y. and Ashby, R.D., Eds., Bio-Based Surfactants and Detergents: Synthesis, Properties and Applications, AOCS Press, Urbana, 457-480.
[46] Scheirs, J. and Kaminsky, W. (2006) Feedstock Recycling and Pyrolysis of Waste Plastics: Converting Waste Plastics into Diesel and Other Fuels. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester.
[47] (2009) Converting Waste Plastics into a Resource: Compendium of Technologies. United Nations Environmental Programme, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, International Environmental Technology Centre, Osaka/ Shiga.
[48] Rubin, J.B., Davenhall, L.B., Taylor, C.M.V., Sivils, L.D., Pierce, T. and Tiefert, K. CO2-Based Supercritical Fluids as Replacements for Photoresist-Stripping Solvents.
[49] Hansen, K.B., Hsiao, Y., Xu, F., Rivera, N., Clausen, A., Kubryk, M., Krska, S., Rosner, T., Simmons, B., Balsells, J., Ikemoto, N., Sun, Y., Spindler, F., Malan, C., Grabowski, E.J.J. and Armstrong, J.D. (2009) Highly Efficient Asymmetric Synthesis of Sitagliptin. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131, 8798-8804.
[50] Xie, X. and Tang, Y. (2007) Efficient Synthesis of Simvastatin by Use of Whole-Cell Biocatalysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73, 2054-2060.
[57] Welton, T. (1999) Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids: Solvents for Synthesis and Catalysis. Chemical Review, 99, 2071-2083.
[58] Earle, M.J. and Seddon, K.R. (2000) Ionic Liquids: Green Solvents for the Future. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 72, 1391-1398.
[59] (a) Laus, G., Bentivoglio, G., Schottenberger, H., Kahlenberg, V., Kopacka, H., Röder, T. and Sixta, H. (2005) Ionic Liquids: Current Developmemnts, Potential and Drawbacks for Industrial Applications. Lenzinger Berichte, 84, 71-85.
(b) Cull, S.G., Holbrey, J.D., Vargas-Mora, V., Seddon, K.R. and Lye, G.J. (2000) Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids as Replacements for Organic Solvents in Multiphase Bioprocess Operations. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 69, 227-233.
[60] McKenzie, L.C., Huffman, L.M., Hutchison, J.E., Rogers, C.E., Goodwin, T.E. and Spessard, G.O. (2009) Greener Solutions for the Organic Chemistry Teaching Lab: Exploring the Advantages of Alternative Reaction Media. Journal of Chemical Education, 86, 488-493.
[61] Li, C.J. and Chen, L. (2006) Organic Chemistry in Water. Chemical Society Reviews, 35, 68-82.
[62] Tsukinoki, T. and Tsuzuki, H. (2001) Organic Reaction in Water. Part 5. Novel Synthesis of Anilines by Zinc Metal-Mediated Chemoselective Reduction of Nitroarenes. Green Chemisdtry, 3, 37-38.
[63] Li, C.J. and Chan, T.H. (1997) Organic Reactions in Aqueous Media. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
[64] Grieco, P.A. (1998) Organic Synthesis in Water. Blackie Academic & Professional, London.
[65] Breslow, R. (1998) Water as a Solvent for Chemical Reactions. In: Anastas, P.T., Williamson, T.C., Eds., Green Chemistry: Frontiers in Benign Chemical Syntheses and Processes, Oxford University Press, New York, Chapter 13.
[66] Ritter, S.K. (2003) Designing Solvent Solutions: Novel Reaction Systems Combine Best Features of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis. Chemical Engineering News, 81, 66-68.
[67] Bergbreiter, D.E. (2000) Polymer-Facilitated Biphasic Catalysis. In: Anastas, P.T., Heine, L.G. and Williamson, T.C., Eds., Green Chemical Synthesses and Processes, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, Chapter 15.
[68] Leitner, W. (2002) Supercritical Carbon Dioxide as a Green Reaction Medium for Catalysis. Accounts of Chemical Research, 35, 746-756.
[69] Sato, M., Ikushima, Y., Hatakeda, K. and Zhang, R. (2006) Applications of Environmentally Benign Supercritical Water to Organic Syntheses. Analytical Sciences, 22, 1409-1416.
[70] Hancu, D., Green, J. and Beckman, E.J. (2002) H2O in CO2: Sustainable Production and Green Reactions. Accounts of Chemical Research, 35, 757-764.
[71] Ono, Y. (1996) Dimethyl Carbonate for Environmentally Benign Reactions. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 68, 367-375.
[72] Shieh, W.C., Dell, S. and Repic, O. (2002) Nucleophilic Catalysis with 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) for the Esterification of Carboxylic Acids with Dimethyl Carbonate. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 67, 188-2191.
[73] Shieh, W.C., Dell, S. and Repic, O. (2001) Diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) and Microwave-Accelerated Green Chemistry in Methylation of Phenols, Indoles, and Benzimidazoles with Dimethyl Carbonate. Organic Letters, 3, 279-4281.
[74] Anastas, P.T., Kirchhoff, M.M. and Williamson, T.C. (2001) Catalysis as a Foundational Pillar of Green Chemistry. Applied Catalysis A: General, 22, 3-13.
[75] Sheldon, R.A. (2000) Atom Efficiency and Catalysis in Organic Synthesis. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 72, 1233-1246.
[76] Reed, S. and Hutchison, J.E. (2000) Green Chemistry in Organic Teaching Laboratory: An Environmentally Benign Synthesis of Adipic Acid. Journal of Chemical Education, 77, 1627-1629.
[77] Tanaka, K. and Toda, F. (2003) Solvent-Free Organic Synthesis. Wiley-VCH, New York.
[78] DeSimone, J.M. (2002) Practical Approaches to Green Solvents. Science, 297, 799-803.
[79] (a) Sharman, J., Chin, B., Huibers, P.D., Garcia-Valls, R. and Hatton, T.A. (1998) Solvent Replacement for Green Processing. Environmental Health Perspectives, 106, 253-271. (b) Sheldon, R.A. (2005) Green Solvents for Sustainable Organic Synthesis: State of the Art. Green Chemistry, 7, 267-278. (c) Kerton, F.M. and Marriott, R. (2013) Alternative Solvents for Green Chemistry. 2nd Edition, RSC Green Chemistry No. 20, Royal Society of Chemistry.
[80] Gedye, R., Smith, F., Westaway, K., Ali, H., Baldisera, L., Laberge, L. and Rousell, J. (1986) The Use of Microwave Ovens for Rapid Organic Synthesis. Tetrahedron Letters, 27, 279-282.
[81] Lidström, P., Tierney, J., Wathey, B. and Westman, J. (2001) Microwave Assisted Organic Synthesis—A Review. Tetrahedron, 57, 9225-9283.
[82] Kappe, C.O. (2004) Controlled Microwave Heating in Modern Organic Synthesis. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 43, 6250-6284.
[83] Roberts, B.A. and Strauss, C.R. (2005) Toward Rapid, “Green”, Predictable Microwave-Assisted Synthesis. Accounts of Chemical Research, 38, 653-661.
[84] Price, G.J. (1992) Current Trends in Sonochemistry. Royal Society of Chemistry Publications, Cambridge.
[85] Cintas, P. and Luche, J.L. (1999) Green Chemistry: The Sonochemical Approach. Green Chemistry, 1, 115-125.
[86] Cravotto, G. and Cintas, P. (2006) Power Ultrasound in Organic Synthesis: Moving Cavitational Chemistry from Academia to Innovative and Large-Scale Applications. Chemical Society Reviews, 35, 180-196.
[89] Alcalde, M., Ferrer, M., Plou, F.J. and Ballesteros, A. (2006) Environmental Biocatalysis: From Remediation with Enzymes to Novel Green Processes. Trends in Biotechnology, 24, 281-287.
[90] Bruggink, A., Straathof, A.J. and van der Wielen, L.A. (2003) A “Fine” Chemical Industry for Life Science Products: Green Solutions to Chemical Challenges. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, 80, 69-113.
[97] (a) Okonkwo, E.M., Okunola, O.J. and Ezeanyanaso, C.S. (2010) Sustainable Development: The Role of Chemical Technology in the Industrialization of Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 12, 135-146.
(b) Poliakoff, M., Fitzpatrick, J.M., Farren, T.R. and Anastas, P.T. (2002) Green Chemistry: Science and Politics of Change. Science, 297, 807-810.
[98] Anastas, P.T. and Kirchhoff, M.M. (2002) Origins, Current Status, and Future Challenges of Green Chemistry. Accounts of Chemical Research, 35, 686-694.
[99] American Chemical Society (2002) Chemistry in the Community. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 372-375.
[100] Cann, M.C. and Connelly, M.E. (2000) Real-World Cases in Green Chemistry. American Chemical Society, Washington DC.
[101] Graedel, T.E. (1999) Green Chemistry in an Industrial Ecology Context. Green Chemistry, 1, 126-128.
[102] Fiksel, J. (2002) Sustainable Development through Industrial Ecology. In: Lankey, L.N. and Anastas, P.T., Eds., Advancing Sustainability through Green Chemistry and Engineering, American Chemical Society, Washington DC, Chapter 2, 13-29.
[103] Matus, K.J.M., Anastas, P.T., Clark, W.C. and Itameri-Kinter, K. (2007) Overcoming the Challenges to the Implementation of Green Chemistry. CID Working Paper No. 155, Center for International Development, Harvard University, Cambridge.
[104] Matus, K.J.M., Clark, W.C., Anastas, P.T. and Zimmerman, J.B. (2012) Barriers to the Implementation of Green Chemistry in the United States. Environmental Science Technology, 46, 10892-10899.
[106] Matus, K.J.M., Xiao, X. and Zimmerman, J.B. (2012) Green Chemistry and Green Engineering in China: Drivers, Policies and Barriers to Innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 32, 193-203.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.