Featured Journal: Green Chemistry


It’s that time again! As part of my featured journal series, I decided to showcase a publication which is a bit more specific science-wise, but which still appeals to a wide audience. Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Green Chemistry is a monthly journal which spans all areas of chemistry, as long as the research attempts to reduce the environmental impact of a process.

With an impact factor of 6.32, Green Chemistry is highly cited, highlighting the relevance of this relatively new area of chemistry. Green chemistry as a subject area has really taken off since Paul Anastas defined it in 1998, and journals such as this provide an excellent platform for showcasing cutting edge research in this field.

The RSC describe the journal as being based on the definition of Green Chemistry laid out by Anastas and and Warner, and covers the following areas:

  • The application of innovative technology to establish industrial procedures
  • The development of environmentally improved routes and methods to important products
  • The design of new, greener and safer chemicals and materials
  • The use of sustainable resources
  • The use of biotechnology alternatives to chemistry-based solutions
  • Methodologies and tools for measuring environmental impact
  • Chemical aspects of renewable energy

Featuring communications, reviews, full papers and perspectives, Green Chemistry has much to offer chemists working in this area, or anyone with a genuine interest in sustainable chemistry. You can view the journal online here, but either you or your institution will need a subscription to view all of the content.

In Green Chemistry today:


“Olefin metathesis in aqueous media”

The formation of C-C bonds is crucial to organic chemistry, and olefin metathesis offers an atom-efficient method of doing just that. Due to this, this area of chemistry has received a significant amount of interest. Furthermore, water is coined as a ‘green’ solvent, as it’s safe, economical and non-toxic. This article is a critical review of such reactions carried out in aqueous media, providing an excellent overview for anyone interested in this area.

“Large-ring lactones from plant oils”


With petroleum resources being used up, there’s an ever-increasing demand for sustainable sources of starting materials for the chemical industry. Lactones are important starting materials in many syntheses, particularly during ring-opening polymerisations. Large-ring lactones are also of interest in the fragrance industry. In this paper, compounds from sunflower and rapeseed oils are converted to macrocyclic lactones in just four steps, showing that natural sources can be just as good as, if not better than, traditional petroleum routes!

“Removal of platinum from water by precipitation or liquid-liquid extraction and separation from gold using ionic liquids”


One for all you jewellery lovers! I’m sure everybody knows how rare and valuable platinum is, and finding efficient methods of extracting the metal is of incredible importance. Platinum is usually extracted using hazardous organic materials, which isn’t ideal. This paper describes the use of hydrophobic ionic liquids to extract platinum anions from aqueous solutions. Ionic liquids are promising new substances in green chemistry and beyond, and this is another example of how they can be utilised in a more sustainable process than what currently exists. Replacement of harmful organic compounds is becoming more and more important, and a more sustainable route to the isolation of platinum is a great step forward in this area.

Bio-inspired fabrication of silver nanoparticles on nanostructured silica: characterization and application as a highly efficient hydrogenation catalyst“


What seems like a mouthful is actually a clever way of synthesising spherical silver nanoparticles using a biological protein which make efficient hydrogenation catalysts. Hydrogenation is a very important process in organic chemistry, and normally requires harsh conditions with expensive palladium catalysts, so an efficient and environmentally-friendly method for this process is very desirable. Furthermore, silver nanoparticles have received an enormous amount of interest recently due to their interesting properties and high surface area, making them great candidates for catalysts. This paper describes a way of using a biological protein anchored to nanoporous silica as an excellent template for the synthesis of silver nanospheres, which the authors hope can be developed into a larger-scale synthesis of such particles. If this can be done, it gives great hope for the larger-scale efficient and mild hydrogenation of organic compounds.

If you’re interested in how the chemical sciences are helping to drive us to a more sustainable future, you should definitely take a look at Green Chemistry. In a world where energy production is a major issue and petroleum supplies are drying up, more efficient and environmentally-friendly syntheses and processes are more important than ever.


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