MilliporeSigma Launches First Green Chemistry Rating System

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – We often think of chemicals as highly toxic materials that could even prove lethal. But chemistry is everywhere and we rely on it for everything we need in daily life, from the ink in our pens to the actual food we eat. It is an integral part of our routines and industrial processes.

As such, chemicals also need a green overhaul as they can be aggressive to the planet and animal lives, and must be replaced with safer alternatives. Companies are under increasing pressure to offer safer, planet-friendly alternatives, but how is the public to know how much safer they are?

In order to create a clearer picture of how green the chemical content of a product is, chemistry specialist MilliporeSigma has created a pioneering system called DOZN, which it hails as the first Quantitative Green Chemistry Evaluator.

The tool evaluates the greenness of chemicals and chemical processes against the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and provides what it promised to be a “consistent framework” for measuring and communicating what’s “greener” about products labeled as “greener alternatives.”

The principles have suggestive names such as Prevention, Atom Economy, Catalysis, Design for Degradation and others. They provide a comprehensive multi-step guide to tackle every stage of chemical production and consequently make products greener in their industrial DNA.

The company says these 12 principles can be distilled into three major categories: improving resource use, more efficient use of energy, and minimizing human and environmental hazards. “Our approach intends to share with customers our view on product performance aligned with each Principle, as well as within the three larger categories," the company says on its website.

For now, the method does not incorporate lifecycle impacts of raw materials, such as extraction, pre-processing and manufacture, but it does consider hazards and the efficient use of such materials.

For the more technically-minded, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering recently published a paper that provides some additional background.

Image credit: MilliporeSigma