Review

Designing for a green chemistry future

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Science  24 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6476, pp. 397-400
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay3060

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Abstract

The material basis of a sustainable society will depend on chemical products and processes that are designed following principles that make them conducive to life. Important inherent properties of molecules need to be considered from the earliest stage—the design stage—to address whether compounds and processes are depleting versus renewable, toxic versus benign, and persistent versus readily degradable. Products, feedstocks, and manufacturing processes will need to integrate the principles of green chemistry and green engineering under an expanded definition of performance that includes sustainability considerations. This transformation will require the best of the traditions of science and innovation coupled with new emerging systems thinking and systems design that begins at the molecular level and results in a positive impact on the global scale.

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