Read the full article in Science Magazine.
The chemical industry is facing some tough challenges in Europe. European legislation is about to tighten the way chemicals are regulated and make chemical companies responsible for proving the environmental safety of the chemicals they produce. Even before legislation provided a specific impetus for cleaning up their act, chemistry companies and researchers were becoming aware of the need to replace common products, production methods, and feedstocks with substitutes that have less impact on the environment. Sustainable products and processes are being developed that should eventually replace the old ones. An army of “green chemists” is coming on stream that aims to continue the trend. “We need green chemists in at the start, designing processes from first principles,” says Jeff Hardy of the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry.