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Green Chemistry



The purpose of Green Chemistry is to create processes that are inherently safe, efficient, and sustainable. This often requires radical changes with respect to our current chemical industry, such as the use of new reactions, different solvents, or renewable reactants. During the course, we will discuss the basic design rules for Green Chemistry and see some of the synthesis strategies, solvents and catalysts that we have available to apply them. We will analyze examples from both the production of fine chemicals (such as medicines) and bulk chemicals (such as fertilizers). Since chemical processes are often linked together into a network, we will also zoom out and analyze how the biggest industrial processes are connected. This will allow us to evaluate where some of the “big issues” in our chemical industry come from, and to pinpoint where in the network of reactions Green Chemistry can make the most effective contribution.


This course is available only for students in the minor Sustainable Chemistry and Biotechnology.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course students:

  • know the 12 principles of green chemistry and strategies to apply them

  • can critically evaluate a chemical process based on these 12 principles

  • can calculate the E-factor and atom efficiency of chemical processes

  • can evaluate the influence of pressure and temperature on chemical reactions, and can describe the necessary process conditions based on this knowledge

  • can name the most important chemicals and reaction networks in the current chemical industry

  • can name the industrial processes with the largest CO2 emission

  • can identify the most important options to integrate renewable resources in the reaction networks of the chemical industry



Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars

Assessment Methode

Written examination with short questions and essay questions (70%)
Presentation + report (30%)

Reading List

  • Slides presented during the lectures, exercises, lecture notes

  • Online book

  • Reports by the IPCC and other NGO’s and government organizations

  • Selected scientific literature


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory

Information and Contact

Rik Mom