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Green Chemistry


Admission Requirements

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


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.

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


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars

Assessment Method

Written examination with short questions and essay questions (60%)
Presentation + report (40%)

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


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information. Exemptions are minor students and fall semester for 1st year bachelor students: the student administration will enroll these groups for courses.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Rik Mom