Measuring the greenness of undergraduate laboratory experiments

George D. Bennett, Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Millikin University, 1184 W. Main, Decatur, IL 62522

Power Point Presentation (PDF)

ABSTRACT: The name “green chemistry” might connote a false dichotomy between green and not-green to some people. However, there is really a spectrum of greenness, and the greenness of a technology can be evaluated according to a variety of metrics. Five such metrics will be described. Examples of how these metrics are incorporated into an undergraduate organic laboratory course will also be shown. One advantage to using some or all of the metrics is that they can be applied to any experiment regardless of how green the experiment is perceived to be. Another advantage is that the metrics provide students with several quantitative methods for evaluating greenness.