Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.1, January 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 1 (January)
..Chemistry in Africa
..News from IUPAC
..Other Societies
..Reports from Symposia
..Provisional Recommendations
..New Books
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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 1
January 1999

Reports from IUPAC Sponsored Symposia

The IUPAC 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, August 1997).

Workgroup Composition:
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 s.a., Belgium).

The first aim of the meeting was to create a network of single IUPAC initiatives in the field of sustainable chemistry among the CHEMRAWN 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:

  1. impact and awareness heightening of the chemical community
  2. informational linkage of green chemistry initiatives and efforts
  3. international political and funding impact
  4. 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 will be.

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 and Materials)

III Evolution of Chemical Problems and Solutions.

IV Evolution of Risk Management (Processes as well as Products)

  • Disposal
  • Treatment
  • 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:

  1. Prepare and manage an Internet home page on the subject within the IUPAC web site.
  2. Advertise the activities of the Working Party in the major scientific journals.

P. Tundo

> Read the MINUTES of this meeting
> Visit the Working Party Homepage




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