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Chemistry LibreTexts

1.4: Conclusions and Review

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  • The greatest blight affecting the modern time is the apathy associated with ignorance. We tend to strongly adhere to wrongful beliefs—all manufacturing and industrial processes are failsafe in protecting humans and the environment. The truth is that Murphy’s Law more often than not is RIGHT. Thus, the need for pre-emptive measures as embodied by the principles of green chemistry is of paramount significance. The principles as listed below will constitute a future chapter in this book:

    It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.

    Atom Economy
    Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
    Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
    Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
    Designing Safer Chemicals
    Chemical products should be designed to affect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.
    Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries
    The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
    Design for Energy Efficiency
    Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
    Use of Renewable Feedstocks
    A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
    Reduce Derivatives
    Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
    Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
    Design for Degradation
    Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
    Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention
    Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in- process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
    Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention
    Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.

    Review Questions

    \(\PageIndex{1}\) Using lysergic acid as a starting point, indicate the general type of chemistry (you can indicate in your own words what is happening) that would need to occur in order for the epimerization of lysergic and L-lysergic acid to occur shown below.


    \(\PageIndex{2}\).How does too much salt in a human’s diet contribute to high blood pressure?

    a. What are two known chemical mechanisms (reactions) that enzymes can pursue for bonding
    to 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal?
    b. Come up with a way to quantify the inefficiency of a reaction; that is, derive a quantitative
    measure of the wastefulness of a reaction using the LeBlanc numerical process
    information contained in this chapter.