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The Sustainable Aspects of Chemistry

The Sustainable Aspects of Chemistry

Sustainable aspects of chemistry include photocatalysis, synthesis, environmental sciences, and development of environmentally benign synthetic methods using alternate energy input using microwaves, ultrasound, mechanochemistry, etc.; efficient technologies for greener remediation of contaminants and environmental sciences. Sustainability is the ability to provide a healthy, satisfying, life for all people on Earth, now and for generations to come.

Currently, Society has a non-sustainable dependence on a finite supply of fossil-fuel-based hydrocarbons used in almost every synthetic material in the economy as a main source of energy. The price of oil and energy demand continues to rise and the cumulative impact of burning fossil fuels to meet this demand raises serious concerns. The non-sustainable use of materials and energy such as CO2, a byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels, harms the environment by stimulating global climate change and potentially disastrous global warming. We have been consuming far more natural resources than we are replacing. Unsurprisingly, our greediness is implicated in horrific global impacts, with one example being the destruction of the ozone layer. We have managed to destroy the ozone layer through human activity, such as burning fossil fuels that come from industrial plants or just driving around town. Human activity had a negative impact on the Earth. Rather than pointing fingers and trying to assign blame to the biggest culprits, the United Nations (UN) has developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help the world understand what actions we need to collectively take to be better for the Earth. The significant environmental consequences of use of carbon-based fuels and the decrease in their availability, demand a new approach to energy and energy conversion.

Green Chemistry is also known as sustainable Chemistry. It is design of chemical products that reduces the use of hazardous substances. Sustainable development meets the need of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet. The problems it aims to address is the depletion of finite oils, gas, and mineral resources.

Chemists have played important roles in shaping or developing new methods of energy conversion, storage, and utilization. Most of used forms of energy come from combustion of fossil fuels that are clearly not sustainable. Solar light can be used to create chemical feedstocks or to create electricity in a solar cell i.e., harvesting of sunlight and the conversion of this energy into more readily usable chemical or electrical energy. Solar energy is largest exploitable energy source of the future. However, to be valuable to society, it must be harvested and converted to a useful form. New, low-cost materials that efficiently harvest sunlight and separate charge for photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic applications which are critically needed. Storage can be accomplished in batteries or in chemical bonds. The rate at which consumers can deliver gasoline to their automobiles underscores the utility of storing energy from the sun in chemical bonds.

Issues related to sustainability are vast and complex, and many individuals in a wide range of technical fields will ultimately need to work together to tackle them. Basic research in science particular in chemistry, can play a pivotal role in driving the science and technology innovations needed to achieve a sustainable future. Using sustainable and less toxic chemicals, not only will lower the negative global impact, but it will also help to nourish more people.


Teacher’s Name: Dr. Jyoti Chandra

Designation: Assistant Professor

Department: Chemistry

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