The twelve principles of green chemistry were created by Paul Anastas and John Warner in 1991. The aim of the principles is to maximize the efficiency and minizine any harm done to humans and the environment. Our main raw material dextran can be considered as a “green” product; it is a naturally occurring polysaccharide derived from only renewable sources which also displays excellent biocompatibility. Even though most of our products can be considered as “green” the overall impact to the environment and human health can always be reduced. TdB Labs therefore follow the twelve principles of green chemistry whenever possible. Below you can read what we do to fulfill these principles.
Preventing waste is better than treating or cleaning up waste after it is created.
What TdB Labs do: We use exactly the quantities of solvents and reagents that we need so as to reduce waste.
2. Atom Economy
Synthetic methods should try to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product. This means that less waste will be generated as a result. What TdB Labs do: Our protocols are highly optimized towards maximization of the reaction yields to final products and minimization of byproducts and waste.
3. Less hazardous chemical syntheses
Synthetic methods should avoid using or generating substances toxic to humans and/or the environment.
What TdB Labs do: We hardly use toxic solvents (chlorinated, aromatic etc.). For most of our syntheses we use mostly water (very green!) and EtOH.
4. Designing safer chemicals.
Chemical products should be designed to achieve their desired function while being as non-toxic as possible.
What TdB Labs do: Our final products are very safe and have very low toxicity. They are comparable to that of the starting materials, i.e. polysaccharides, which have negligible toxicity.
5. Safer solvents and auxiliaries
Auxiliary substances should be avoided wherever possible, and as non-hazardous as possible when they must be used.
What TdB Labs do: The solvents used are very safe for the personnel as well as for the environment. We utilize a lot of water and EtOH. Our reagents are safe to use and if toxic they are almost fully consumed during the syntheses.
6. Design for energy efficiency
Energy requirements should be minimized, and processes should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure whenever possible.
What TdB Labs do: Moderate heating is used. We never cool to very low temperatures and almost always run our syntheses/workups at ambient conditions (energy consumption is kept to minimum)
7. Use of renewable feedstocks
Whenever it is practical to do so, renewable feedstocks or raw materials are preferable to non-renewable ones.
What TdB Labs do: We always attempt to do that.
8. Reduce derivatives
Unnecessary generation of derivatives—such as the use of protecting groups—should be minimized or avoided if possible; such steps require additional reagents and may generate additional waste.
What TdB Labs do: We do not use any protecting groups. We have minimal side-projects or undesired byproducts in the majority of our syntheses.
Catalytic reagents that can be used in small quantities to repeat a reaction are superior to stoichiometric reagents (ones that are consumed in a reaction).
What TdB Labs do: Our reactions do not involve catalysts however we use stoichiometric reagents and rarely large excess of reagents.
10. Design for degradation
Chemical products should be designed so that they do not pollute the environment; when their function is complete, they should break down into non-harmful products.
What TdB Labs do: Our products are based on naturally occurring polymers which can easily be degraded in the environment without leading to the release of toxic or harmful compounds.
11. Real-time analysis for pollution prevention
Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to permit real-time, in-process monitoring and control before hazardous substances form.
What TdB Labs do: We are working on this continuously.
12. Inherently safer chemistry for accident prevention
Whenever possible, the substances in a process, and the forms of those substances, should be chosen to minimize risks such as explosions, fires, and accidental releases.
What TdB Labs do: We do not use any strong oxidizing or explosive reagents and we have a reduced risk of fire, explosion or violent release of toxic or harmful compounds.
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