Interest and Concern About the Fate of The Earth

I have found myself increasingly interested and concerned with the fate of the Earth and the way humankind views sustainability. In my perspective many humans believe that Earth’s materials and resources are infinite, they will always be there to feed and maintain human life. The Earth will endlessly support and provide for the needs of the humans that inhabit it. Yet, that is just simply not true, as the human population grows we use more and more of the natural resources Earth provides.

At a rapidly increasing rate less and less of those resources are available and humans continue to consume more, expecting the Earth to do the same and provide more and more to sustain their needs of “survival”. In many recent years scientists have put focus on the declining resources for the growing population, truly recognising that the Earth cannot sustain human life at this rate.

Chemists have began to look at the metrics of green chemistry and options for sustainable development through the evolving chemical products and technology principles.

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The very first green chemistry metrics were introduced in the late 1990s with something called “The E factor”. The E factor is defined as kilograms of waste per kilograms of product, and atom economy which is mol wt of product per sum of mol wts of starting materials. During the last two decades these metrics have been adopted and reasereached around the world. The E factor has been greatly refined in order to distinguish the difference between simple and complete E factors.

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This difference has been explained as a definition to the system’s boundaries, it is looking for simple structure and complete structure.

These are the (E)environmental factors. However, the lack of system boundaries have proved flaw in the E factors. E factors often ignore things like recycled solvents and re-used catalysts, which increases accuracy but ignores energy involved in the solvent recovery, this proves the difficulty of the boundaries. In simple terms, a production facility that is recording E factors can simply measure how much material enters a specific site, then how much of that material leaves as waste leading to an accurate global E factor for that site alone. Utilizing E factor and incorporating it with stoichiometry, solvent usage and yield, it has proven to be a relatively valuable metric for green chemistry. E factors can be combined to asses multistep reactions as either step by step or in one large calculation making them crucial factors in determining environmental outcomes of a multitude of things.

The American Chemistry Council has devoted a lot of time into generating a sustainable principles standard. They have claimed that their commitment is to promote the safe use of chemicals, different chemical technologies, informomed sustainability decision making/inferences and accelerated heighted innovations by: Working to provide information on the impact of chemicals on the Earth and population based on information about hazards, exposures, risks and human life impacts with science. To create a new framework for to enable clear decision making for possible chemical products and technologies that are used in the process. They claim that they will not do this without addressing their own environmental impacts of the operations and products used in the process by: attempting to achieve measurable and accurate reduction amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in the manufacturing and distribution of the their products and through the process of their research.

Additionally, conserving materials and resources, reducing waste through as much reuse and recycling as possible and collaborating with other chemical facilities to reduce marine debris and its impacts. With the standards set for the cation taken while conducting environmental chemical analysis, The Chemistry Council of America has also made a clear statement about the execution of the sustainability scientific breakthroughs and how they will be applied for further research purposes. They claim that they are committed to creating innovative products and crucial information that will: “Safely feed a growing global population through technologies that reduce food waste, improve food safety and quality, and enhance crop yield. Help people live healthier, longer lives through enhanced sanitation, hygiene, medicines and medical treatment.

Drive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency of vehicles, buildings and industry through materials and technologies that power, strengthen, insulate and reduce weight. Improve availability of clean water through resource conservation, reuse, purification, and filtration. Help build and connect communities, elevate standards of living and contribute meaningfully to the world’s economy.” Sustainability is all about meeting the needs of society’s current economic, social and environmental status through the application of policies and strategies without compromising the ability of future generation of human kind to compensate and meet their own needs.

Starting with the simple idea of the E factor in the 1990s chemistry has started to explore the E factor and other ways of finding crucial sustainable solutions to some major global issues including energy provision, environmental protection, food and water supply/safety, and global healthcare. Many chemical products and processes have been designed to help reduce harmful impacts on the Earth’s sustainability, chich include things like the E factor, biodegradable plastics, chemically adapted pharmaceuticals, new ways of research and processes as information surfaces, manufacturing and the removal of toxic and harmful chemicals and uses of dangerous things for sustainability. It is all centered around the idea of green chemistry, the planet, the people, the profit, development and sustainability of life. Taking chemicals to a new level and changing the limited perception we have of chemical capabilities.

Overall, I am interested in the basics of this topic and what some organizations are doing with it. We have not learned really about any of this in class but it very engaging for me to think of chemistry in a more ambiguous way that i can see more easily applied in things that i am interested in. I wanted to do a little bit of research about the origin of sustainability with environmental chemistry and what it has morphed into today. I wanted to see how some organizations are using it in innovative ways to deal with our declining Earth and the lack of sustainable life we are pretending still exists. It is just a touch of research on something that has so much potential to do good. It is something that I am interested in and has an impact on me and the way i perceive chemistry, hopefully eventually prompting deeper research and exploration of the topic, as well as what i have learned and can apply.

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Interest and Concern About the Fate of The Earth. (2022, Jan 09). Retrieved from

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