Can Chemistry Be Green?
Trent University presents the annual Stairs Lecture featuring Dr. Philip Jessop. The old way to prevent pollution was to capture pollutants before they left the factory or chemical plant, which is always a financial burden. The Green Chemistry approach—“Design the process so that pollutants aren’t made”—can reduce environmental impact while making industries more economically competitive. Economic benefits occur because designing processes to reduce pollution requires minimizing wasted energy and materials. What’s the catch? The right chemistry and societal conditions are necessary to bring these green processes to market. This presentation will discuss the origins of green chemistry, explain how new technologies are assessed for their environmental impact, and introduce, as an example of a new technology, one of the author's inventions, a “greener" paint.