13.10.2015

Green Chemistry Principle 5 | Safer Solvents

Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries are the subject of Principle 5.

The principle states that the use of solvents and other auxiliaries should “be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used”.

Safer solvents matter to chemistry

Dr. Concepcíon (Conchita) Jiménez-González, Director, Operational Sustainability, GlaxoSmithKline writes on the importance of solvents and rejects the argument that solvents don’t matter and that it’s the chemistry that counts. Because they do matter it is important that safer solvents are used.

In many cases, there would be no reaction without solvents and separation agents. They provide for mass and energy transfer.

They are 50-80% of the mass in a standard batch chemical, depending on whether you count the water or not and they are 75% of the cumulative life cycle environmental impacts.

They drive most of the energy reaction in a process too.

Solvents are flammable and volatile and sometimes explosive. The also contribute to the overall toxicity profile of a process. Workers and users of them need to wear protective clothing.

The fact is that we will always need solvents and safer solvents will help to reduce energy requirements, be the least toxic and have the least environmental impacts.  It’s all about making better choices and that is what principle 5 is about.

Halo uses safer solvents that give the coatings just enough time to react with the surface to form a bond. Then instead of using a toxic soup that stays behind to harden and strengthen to coatings’ chemical connections to itself or the surface, Halo decided to be cheap and use a curing agent that we don’t have to pay for – the air!

Being as green as possible is Halo’s mission. For more information on our amazing science and how it can help you please email us, sign up for our updates or fill in the form below. We love to hear from you.

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