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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 2 (2003) pp 102-106

Contribution to “Developing Sustainability” in Chemical Education

Achim Diehlmann,* Guenter Kreisel, and Roger Gorges

Friedrich Schiller University at Jena, Institute of Technical and Environmental Chemistry, D-07743 Jena, Germany,
Received October 11, 2002. Accepted January 2, 2003

Published online: 18 February 2003

Abstract. Developing sustainability is a primary goal for the present and future as we have begun to realize that natural resources are not limitless and that the environment as we know it today can only be sustained through conscious effort. Efforts for better preservation of resources and the protection of the environment must be initiated in all scientific fields, including chemistry. The most appropriate time to introduce this topic to young chemists is during their introduction to the science. In this way, preservation will become second nature to them when they begin to work alone in the laboratory. Although chemistry can be rendered more “green” in many ways, for example, by recycling or through waste disposal, life-cycle assessment of many products in chemical industry shows that most of the negative environmental impact of a reaction is related to its energy consumption and the processes used to create the starting materials. To familiarize future researchers and decision makers with these issues during the course of their education and to standardize the way these methods are measured and talked about, we established pragmatic “sustainable synthesis optimization rules (SUSOR).” When science students are as familiar with these rules as they are with classical laboratory techniques, then chemistry as a field can hope to make serious advances towards the goals of sustainable development.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; organic chemistry; synthesis

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Article in PDF format (1.7 MB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Supporting Materials A and B are available in a Zip file (193 KB) 10.1333/s00897000668a

Issue date: April 1, 2003

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