Part 2: Green Chemistry for Textiles
By J. Michael Quante, AATCC Staff
Before launching into a list of green chemistry resources, it is fitting to ask: what is green chemistry? One very simple description is that green chemistry produces compounds and materials for economically-viable industrial use that do less harm to living beings and the environment than traditional chemicals/materials. What is your definition? The American Chemical Society (ACS) defines it in a complex way that contains sustainability principles as well.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and ACS have been the pioneering organizations behind green chemistry initiatives for the past 25 years.
ACS offers a wide variety of resources for green chemistry research and industry applications. Their flagship organization is the ACS Green Chemistry Institute. This website is rich with information and tools for integrating green chemistry principles into research, education, and industry processes.
Some useful links include:
- Design Principles for Sustainable and Green Chemistry
- Tools for Green Chemistry & Engineering
- Research Topics in Green Chemistry & Engineering
- Online Teaching Resources
ACS also hosts an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, which was last held in June 2016. The Chem 21 Online Learning Platform is a free tool that offers information on green chemistry guides, metrics, solvent selection, and more. For the active online professional, the Green Chemistry Innovation Portal offers a place where professionals can meet and discuss green chemistry advances and applications.
The most prestigious awards given to green chemistry innovators since 1996 is the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge. Information on the winning technologies and their uses can be found in the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Winners Database.
There are also research institutes and incubators that focus on practical green chemistry industry applications. One of the founders of the green chemistry initiative, John C. Warner, founded the Warner Babcock Institute, which helps its clients find cost effective solutions that meet the 12 Principles. In Europe, the Green Chemistry Campus acts as an incubator for companies developing green chemistry technology.
Another group active in providing green chemistry B2B-resources is the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3), facilitated by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA. GC3 offers an extensive list of recent, free publications covering green chemistry status in industry, case studies, economics, and supply chain issues.
This is by all means not an exhaustive list. What is important is that there are people and resources available to help your business attain cost-effective manufacturing processes that are healthier for the planet. Got any other examples of green chemistry resources to share? Send them to me and I may include them in a later post.
Coming in Part 3: Green Chemistry Applied to Textiles
Opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily those of AATCC.