Green Labs


Green Labs

Laboratories are one of the main generators of waste at universities around the world. Laboratories use about four times more energy than offices of the same size; thus, laboratories have an enormous impact on a university's energy bill. Yet unfortunately, few resources have been available for laboratories to decrease their environmental footprint. Few Energy Star-rated laboratory equipment and few effective ways of recycling or reusing laboratory chemicals and supplies are available in the current market. Furthermore, research spaces are rarely designed in a way that facilitates conservation of energy and water.

Green Chemistry

“Green Chemistry is the utilization of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products.” Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice by Paul Anastas and John Warner

Green Chemistry is framed by 12 Principles which guide chemists in the design of materials and processes. 

The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry


It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.


Atom Economy
Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.


Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.


Designing Safer Chemicals
Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity. 


Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries

The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used. 


Design for Energy Efficiency

Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure. 


Use of Renewable Feedstocks
A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.


Reduce Derivatives
Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.



Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents. 


Design for Degradation
Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment. 


Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention

Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances. New step content goes here.


Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention
Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires. 

Contact:  Marjorie Markopoulos 937-775-2797