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Finding Greener Chemicals: A Practical Guide

The word “green” used to be figuratively associated with some unflattering characteristics, such as naivete and envy. Thanks largely to the green movement, the word is now associated with purity — the purity of a natural environment that contains no pollutants and, therefore, is safer for humans, fauna, and flora. Organizations can support this new environmental outlook by replacing toxic solvents with greener chemicals that are better living organisms.

The Role of Green Chemistry

Protecting the environment by finding greener chemicals that replace toxic chemicals is made possible by green chemistry — a relatively new branch of the centuries old science that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines as “The design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances.”

Green chemical formulation has flooded the industrial solvent market with thousands of solvents that are safer than older solvents they are designed to replace. But some of these green solvents offer more safety — or offer safety in different ways — than others. Organizations should carefully choose green chemicals that meet productivity and safety requirements.

Finding Greener Chemicals

For organizations interested in finding greener chemicals, step one is shopping at a chemical manufacturer that specializes in green chemistry, and offers a wide selection of solvents. Once you choose your shopping destination, look for chemical replacements that offer the following seven environmental safety factors that many old generation solvents do not.

  • Biodegradability
  • No SARA or RCRA listed ingredients
  • No ingredients scheduled for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation
  • Low or no VOC percentage
  • “Environmentally safe” or “environmentally preferred” status
  • Use simply requires common sense safety precautions
  • Low or no flashpoint

These seven characteristics typify chemicals that are safe for the environment at large. Available in stock solutions, the characteristics can also be created through the formulation of custom solutions that are specifically formulated to provide high efficacy and excellent safety.

Looking for Greener Chemicals?

Whether you’re committed to finding greener chemicals because the EPA is regulating a solvent you use, or you simply need to increase safety in the workplace, we understand your position. We employ our own green chemistry team to work with organizations in various industries, improving the safety of industrial solvent operations as much as possible, while ensuring the customer maintains productivity.

Sometimes, it’s possible to supply “environmentally safe” solutions that require only the smallest safety measures, such as wearing safety glasses and gloves. Other times, the nature of the solvent application requires a solution that’s “environmentally preferred”, which means the solution is a lot safer than a toxic solution but requires more safety considerations than an environmentally safe solution.

The goal is to supply the safest product without sacrificing chemical efficacy. This is what green chemistry helps Ecolink do. To inquire about finding greener chemicals, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to presenting you with an array green chemical options that are safer and just as effective as toxic solvents.

 

 

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Understanding the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Green chemistry is a method of chemistry devoted to the principles of securing eco friendly, green alternative chemical concoctions that can be used in place of the hazardous, toxic chemicals still used by industrial businesses that harm both people and the environment. Speaking of principles, there are twelve principles involved in green chemistry that speak to the improvement of knowledge for those involved with industrial companies, who might come to realize the chemicals their company has in operation is hazardous, and therefore should transition to green alternative chemical solutions, which derive from the ideals of green chemistry. The following will list the twelve principles, and provide insight into what each principle means.

  1. Prevention: Always try to prevent waste instead of relying on methods of waste cleanup. Prevention is always the best choice, every time.
  2. Atom Economy: This involves the idea that synthetic methods can be designed to help optimize the incorporation of all components in use, so that there is no waste when the final industrial product is being formed.
  3. Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis: Synthetic methods for waste prevention should always generate substances that produce little to no toxins that could potentially harm people and / or the environment.
  4. Designing Safer Chemicals: Chemicals should be developed with maximum efficiency and for optimal safety, ensuring minimization and elimination of toxins.
  5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries: All auxiliary and supplemental substances should be reduced as close to zero as possible, and if used, should be close to one hundred percent innocuous as possible.
  6. Design for Energy Efficiency: chemicals with energy requirements are considered dangerous, and therefore should not be relied on, and should be eradicated by any means possible.
  7. Use of Renewable Feed stocks: Raw materials, also called ‘feed stocks,’ should not be designed to deplete, and should be labeled renewable whenever possible.
  8. Reduce Derivatives: The use of derivative substances and components should be minimized, or all together avoided because it requires additional steps, consequently leading to more waste.
  9. Catalysis: Catalytic reagents are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
  10. Design for Degradation: All chemical products should be developed with materials that can easily break down and dissolve, or safely erode, once its lifecycle ends, with no negative environmental affect.
  11. Real Time Analysis for Pollution Prevention: Analytics and methodologies need to be maximized and enhanced to allow for current, up to date, even real time monitoring, which allows for immediate control and regulation, subsequently leading to the prevention of hazardous substance formation.

Inherently Safer Chemistry or accident Prevention: All substances that could be chosen for a chemical process should have an element, or high degree of chemical accident prevention specifically designed within its makeup.

Practicing Green Chemistry – Eco Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Practicing Green ChemistryThe push for companies to use eco friendly products has reached industrial businesses that use cleaning solutions for their industrial products, since it has been discovered that many of the cleaning and degreasing solvents used by industrial organizations are harmful to both people and to the environment. Carbon footprint conscious companies such as Ecolink are trying to help industrial companies practice the art of utilizing green chemistry, which involves transitioning to eco friendly cleaning solutions. Why? Well, most importantly, thorough research has been conducted that can directly relate long term health problems that have appeared in workers both currently and formerly employed at industrial businesses who were in usual and frequent contact with certain chemical solvents. Unfortunately, some of these medical problems include the manifestation of cancer, of which some forms of development are fatal. The fact that evidence exists that some chemicals used in industrial cleaning solutions can cause or increase the risk of cancer is more than enough of a reason for companies like Ecolink to alert industrial organizations to this threat, and help them transition to green alternative options that incorporate solutions created by green chemistry.

Federal regulatory committees, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are one hundred percent behind Ecolink’s desire to help all industrial organizations that are still using harmful chemical solvents to clean and degrease components. Though perceived as “watchdog” groups, the EPA and OSHA are issuing mandates that serve to keep workers and the environment out of harm’s way. However, it is sometimes difficult for organizations to keep up with compliant cleaning solutions, which is why companies like Ecolink are so helpful with informing business of  hazardous chemicals and ways to reduce use and waste. In addition, Ecolink also offers documented proof of eco friendly cleaning solution alternatives produced through the use of green chemistry that clean and degrease industrial products as well as, if not, better than older industrial cleaning solvents. Therefore, there is no reason for any industrial company to continue using hazardous cleaning solutions that hurt people and the environment.

Why use harmful chemical compound agents when you do not have to? Allow Ecolink to help your industrial business switch to an eco friendly cleaning solution that will clean and degrease components better than your current ingredient, and will be less expensive. There is no losing scenario for industrial organizations to contact Ecolink and learn how to make the change to an eco friendly cleaning solution. By completing a comprehensive review of your chemical usage, Ecolink is sure they will find ways to improve cleaner performance, save on chemicals usage while reducing overall chemical waste.  All of these things mean safer work environments for employees and reduced cost for business. Do you really need another reason other than removing a serious threat to your employees and the environment if you were to transition to green chemistry practices? You do not. Call Ecolink today.

How Can Green Chemistry Make Industrial Cleaners Safer?

green chemistryThe concept of green chemistry involves the design of chemical products and processes that work to reduce or eliminate the generation and emission of hazardous liquids, gases, and harmful substances. Due to the success, strides, and progress of green chemistry concepts, and its influence on significantly reducing the use of potentially harmful industrial cleaners – making the cleaners safer to use – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is striving to speed the legal adoption of this revolutionary and innovative eco friendly discipline. Why is the EPA working so quickly to adapt this measure into a federal mandate? Because analysis of green chemistry implementation has led to empirical evidence that areas of significant environmental benefits are directly related to the green chemistry concepts that have been put in place in those specific locations. In fact, a research report exists, provided by Pike Research, which concluded that, if green chemistry concepts are encouraged nationwide for the purposes of making industrial cleaners safer, green alternative chemical will save the industry 65.5 billion dollars by 2020.

The concept of green chemistry applies across the entire life cycle of a chemical product, which includes the chemical’s design, method of manufacturing, utilization, and, at the end of the chemical’s use or life cycle, disposal. Green chemistry is also called sustainable chemistry by scientists and those involved in industry. Other benefits and advantages to green chemistry involve the prevention of pollution at the molecular level, the application of innovative scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems, the resulting in source reduction because it prevents the generation of pollution, and the reduction of the negative impacts of chemical products and processes on human health and the environment. In addition, green chemistry lessens and sometimes even eliminates hazards from existing products and processes, as well as aides in the design of chemical products and processes to reduce their intrinsic hazards. Green chemistry is a philosophy that applies to all areas of chemistry, not merely a single discipline of chemistry, as it relates to industrial cleaners. However, the ability to make industrial cleaners safer is definitely one of the most integral aspects of green chemistry.

To learn more about the importance of green chemistry as it pertains to improving industrial cleaner safety, contact Ecolink – a company invested in harvesting eco consciousness industrial businesses that depend on industrial cleaners to clean parts, metals, materials, and many other industrial products. Ecolink works to promote and educate the validity and importance of green chemistry, offering evidence to industrial organizations of the myriad advantages of incorporating green chemistry, which leads to making industrial cleaners safer. An Ecolink professional will be happy to explain the principles of green chemistry, and why transitioning to safer industrial cleaners will be one of the best investments your industrial organization will ever make.