Vol. 21, No. 1
from IUPAC Sponsored Symposia
Working Party on Synthetic Pathways and Processes in Green Chemistry
At the end of the OECD Workshop, Saturday afternoon
17th and Sunday 18th October, a meeting of the
IUPAC Working Party of Commission III.2 was held. This was the second
time the workgroup met from its constitution (Washington, 27 May 1998).
This Working Party was founded during the 13th
IUPAC Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry (2529 August 1996,
Inchon, Korea) and formally approved by the General Assembly (Geneva,
P. Tundo, Chairman
(Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy).
Paul Anastas (U.S. Environment Protection Agency), Masakazu Anpo (Osaka
Prefecture University, Japan), Terrance Collins (Carnegie Mellon University,
USA), Werner Klein
(IUCT, Germany), Tomasz
Modro (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Martin Poliakoff (University
of Nottingham, UK), William Tumas (Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA).
This group operates in collaboration with the IUPAC Division
Chemistry and the Environment, represented by its President
Prof. J. Miyamoto,
and with the Committee for
Chemistry and Industry (COCI), represented by Prof. G. Martens (SOLVAY
The first aim of the meeting was to create a network of
single IUPAC initiatives in the field of sustainable chemistry among
Committee and the Subcommittee on Synthesis of the Organic Division.
It was decided to propose to organize a joint meeting
together at the General Assembly in Berlin (August 1999).
The Working Party agreed that they needed to help define
the general concept of green-sustainable chemistry to ensure that leading
scientists are attracted to the area.
The Working Party agrees upon the set of goals to be achieved
as outlined in the following four points:
- impact and awareness heightening of the chemical community
- informational linkage of green chemistry initiatives and efforts
- international political and funding impact
- standardization and formalization of definitions and principles
of Green Chemistry
While there is a high level of activity in the new field
of green chemistry, a large portion of the chemistry community is still
unfamiliar with the principles, methods, and definitions that are a
fundamental part of this new area.
Throughout the world currently, there are government programs
and policies in green chemistry being developed independently and in
collaboration with the chemical industry and academia. The need for
scientific input and a scientific framework in green chemistry by an
international scientific body is necessary in order to inform the decisions
of the policy makers and program directors.
The role of IUPAC as the scientific body for definition
and standardisation will be particularly useful as OECD incorporates
the work products of the green chemistry Working Party into the implementation
phases of its sustainable chemistry initiative. Moreover, this interaction
is an example of a particular benefit to IUPAC. A green chemistry focus
will strengthen IUPAC because the potential of the field for beneficial
social impacts provides a unifying force that positively couples the
mission of IUPAC to other international bodies such as OECD.
The main purpose of the two-day meeting of the IUPAC Working
Party, was to define the products of this group. A number of key issues
were discussed and decisions were made on what the technical products
The goal of these products was two-fold: 1) to communicate
green or sustainable chemistry concepts more broadly to the chemical
community (industry and academia) and 2) to enhance the image of chemistry
to the broader community through a lay-type publication. The main motivation
of these products arises from what needs to be done to promote green
chemistry and how to show that it is a new worldwide approach distinct
from other concepts for environmental protection. These products are
apparently very important for advancing the global nature of this concept,
given the important issues at the OECD workshop.
For its major product, the Working Party will attempt
to prepare a cogent product (report or progress report) on green chemistry
to be submitted by Commission III.2 during the Berlin General Assembly,
with the following outline:
I The Concept of Design
II Sustainability and the Role of Chemistry (Energy
III Evolution of Chemical Problems and Solutions.
IV Evolution of Risk Management (Processes as well as
- Recycle and Reuse
- Pollution Prevention
- Process Intensification.
V Definition of Green Chemistry
- New Approach to Risk Reduction
- Concept of Intrinsic Hazard
VI Principles of Green Chemistry
VII Economic Considerations
VIII Recommendations for Fundamental Research Needs.
As scientific products are concerned, the Working Party
decided to submit a proposal for a special issue on Chemistry for the
Environment to be published in IUPAC's journal Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Other products will be: