Modern chemistry is one of the essential tools in pursuing better
medical care, more efficient telecommunications and informatics,
and increased agricultural production. However, certain chemicals
produced and used in large quantities might cause various hazards
in environmental sectors, owing to their global (trans-boundary)
translocation, as well as their intrinsically hazardous properties.
To reduce environmental risk of such chemicals, international regulatory
measures have already been taken [e.g., in response to the initiatives
of the Intergovernmental Forum in Chemical Safety (IFCS)], including
legally binding implementations and national capacity building in
developing countries. Herein lies the urgent need for promoting
worldwide research into green chemistry (sustainable chemistry),
in which the invention and application of chemical products and
processes are designed to reduce or to eliminate the use and generation
of hazardous substances.
Indeed, green chemistry should encompass a variety of disciplines
of fundamental chemistry in IUPAC, to encourage new trends of chemical
research. Moreover, results of these researches could be effectively
applied for solving environmental problems related to the production
and use of chemicals and to create a new chemical industry in the
future. As such, green chemistry research conforms completely to
the mission-oriented activity of IUPAC to meet regulatory requirements
for achieving environmentally sound management of chemicals. We
sincerely hope that the present special issue highlighting the state
of the art and future prospects of green chemistry research will
encourage all chemists who intend to serve society through their
Past-President of IUPAC Chemistry and the Environment Division
The increasing knowledge in natural sciences and the application
of this knowledge are the driving forces for the development and
welfare of mankind. Chemistry plays a central role in this development.
Chemistry provides the molecular understanding of physical properties
of materials and other matters and thus closely interacts with physics.
Chemistry also provides the molecular understanding of living systems
and is the basis for modern biology and medicine. The development
and opportunities of synthetic chemistry have opened a new dimension
for tailor-made materials and compounds for specific purposes.
The driving forces for developments in chemistry have been very
strong, and there is a demand for new and efficient processes and
chemicals. Aspects of sustainable and environmentally friendly processes
and chemicals have sometimes been lagging behind this demand. Fortunately,
chemistry also provides the tools for a green and sustainable development.
Knowledge in this general area has to be integrated into the planning
of all research and development in chemistry. There are specific
research topics related to the development of green and sustainable
processes, which need the input of new technology and novel chemistry.
The present Symposium-in-Print provides an overview of recent research
and development in the field. We hope that it will stimulate further
activities in the field. It is planned as a first step in an IUPAC
action on this subject. The IUPAC Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Division is grateful to its Subcommittee on Organic Synthesis and
particularly Professor Pietro Tundo for initiating and engaging
in this action, and to him and Profs. David StC. Black and Sofia
Memoli for editing the Symposium-in-Print.
President of IUPAC Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division
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