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Green Chemistry: Hotspots of Innovation

November 8, 2013

Who's leading the charge for green chemistry in the marketplace?

Checking the status of regulation, government funding and educational curricula gives us useful information about green chemistry in 2013. But, to get a more complete picture, we need to look for commercial companies, an important group of green chemistry innovators.  


Here are some companies that walk the walk in green chemistry, changing how we think about sustainability, chemistry and profitability


Waste no atoms:
BHC Company


Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Commonly known as "Advil", this class of drugs is used globally to relieve mild-to-moderate pain and inflammation.


Originally, ibuprofen was produced by a six-step process that created more waste chemicals and by-products than usable pain reliever.

Atom economy is the green chemistry principle that says, “Waste no atoms in the production of a product.” That is, bring production of waste substances and by-products to as close to zero as possible. This principle of green chemistry measures the amount of end product created as a percentage of total inputs used in the synthesis.

Given atom economy measurement methods, the original ibuprofen synthesis has an atom economy score of 40 percent. That means each year’s production of 30 million pounds of ibuprofen resulted in more than 40 million pounds of waste chemicals.
Using green chemistry principles, the BHC Company developed a new, three-step ibuprofen synthesis, which:

  Improves the atom economy score of ibuprofen from 40 percent to 77 - 99 percent
  Prevents more than 30 million pounds of waste chemicals from being created - each year
  Enables faster more energy-efficient production
  Increases profits by providing a shorter, more cost-effective production process



Minimize the release of toxic by-products:

Ford Motors

Ford's River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan uses an

eco-effective approach to prevent storm water-based pollution. 

The system captures and cleans runoff before returning it to the

watershed using natural processes.


This integrated system includes a 10.4 acre living roof, natural treatment wetlands, vegetated ditches called swales, hundreds of newly planted trees, and the world’s largest porous pavement lot located north-west of the Dearborn Truck Plant.

This state of the art plants capabilities include Improved capabilities include:

  A natural storm water management system preventing water pollution as it occurs
  A 10.4 Acre living roof and wetland gardens which clean 20 billion gallons of water each year
  Initial cost savings of about $35 Million


Estimates show Ford save $35 Million in costs implementing this program compared to conventional "clean it up later" technical controls. The Ford Rouge Factory Tour site contains more information about the many design innovations incorporated into this plant, read more

Next time, more businesses which showcase the positive effects of green chemistry in preventing pollution, bolstering business profits and benefitting people.



The future can be cleaner.

At GlyEco, we believe providing information about chemistry-based pollution solutions is good for both the environment and your mind. Our team is dedicated to creating a future with less dirty glycol going to waste. It's a big job... and we are up to the challenge. Using our breakthrough technology, we clean all types of waste glycol, help safeguard the environment and create valuable green products.