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The Role of Chemistry in Green Manufacturing

Industries and regulatory bodies across the world recognize the impact “greener” manufacturing practices could have on the earth. Over the last two decades, scientists have focused on creating more sustainable manufacturing practices in almost every field, from medicine to plastics to technology. Why does so-called green manufacturing matter?

Green manufacturing is good for…the environment.
Intentional and unintentional release of hazardous chemicals and manufacturing byproducts is causing irreparable damage to the earth’s natural resources. Greener manufacturing lessens the impacts of industry on the ozone layer and reduces waste.

Green manufacturing is good for…humans and animals.
All humans and animals benefit from cleaner air, water, and soil. Safer, greener manufacturing practices mean increased safety for industry workers and less risk of exposure to toxic substances or harmful chemicals.

Green manufacturing is good for…the bottom line.
Green manufacturing practices are more sustainable long-term. They reduce waste, eliminate the need for remediation, and simplify logistics. Certain processes produce higher yield and/or operate on a reduced footprint when made “greener,” and can coincide with large tax reductions.

In short, green manufacturing is more important than ever. But what role does chemistry play in the complicated process of creating more sustainable, more eco-friendly manufacturing methods?

Industrial chemicals play a surprisingly big role in today’s manufacturing processes. Chemicals are used to design and troubleshoot production of everything from food to fuel. They are used to further materials science, creating industrial plastics and polymers suitable for myriad manufacturing processes. Chemicals are a critical component of the R&D process for dozens of industries, notably bio-engineering, pharmaceuticals, and automotive, among others.

Chemicals have a lot to offer the green manufacturing movement. In some instances, chemical processes may be identified that can replace existing process, requiring less energy and fewer source materials. In others, the right combination of chemicals can result in a far higher yield, reducing manufacturing overhead on a large scale.

Perhaps most importantly, chemicals are actually helping make manufacturing processes and byproducts less hazardous and less toxic. Chemicals can be used to create biodegradable materials out of formerly landfill-clogging products. They can be used to turn waste products into usable feedstock for additional manufacturing processes, saving valuable energy resources. Superior chemical components can also be used to replace toxic, hazardous ones, reducing overall toxicity within manufacturing facilities.

It’s hard to fathom that the solution to a greener, cleaner manufacturing landscape might be chemicals. In fact, “Green Chemistry” is now touted as one of the foremost trends in industrial chemistry itself. The marriage between chemicals and manufacturing is strong. Sustainability is simply the next phase of innovation.

Noah Chemicals believes strongly in the power of green chemistry. We provide high-purity chemicals to hundreds of manufacturing clients around the globe, most of whom are more concerned than ever about safer, more sustainable practices.

Questions about how chemistry fits into your green manufacturing process? Reach out to us today.

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