26 No. 2
Green Chemistry in Russia
by Pietro Tundo
|© F. Tundo, 2004
Another project headed by Prof P. Tundo is aimed at increasing awareness and interest in green chemistry among university students and industrial chemists in Russia and the former Soviet republics. The aim of the project is to produce and disseminate a book like Green Chemistry in Africa or Green Chemistry in Latin America.
The field of green chemistry has received much attention from the scientific and industrial communities in almost every highly industrialized nation. It is understandable that the principles of green chemistry should generate strong interest in countries with high production capacities. One of these countries is Russia, which has a long history of chemical industry. Unfortunately, that industry has resulted in a number of highly contaminated sites and hazardous and resource consuming production tools. Industrial development in Russia took place during Soviet times, when there was no concern about environmental issues.
"The renaissance of Russian industry . . . has been based in part on the principles of sustainability."
Although there was a decrease in production capacity in Russia in the two last decades, the country’s scientific and technological potential remained strong. The renaissance of Russian industry, which has been observed for the last several years, has been based in part on the principles of sustainability. A particular focus on chemistry resulted in a nationwide effort by the research community (which has historically been the driving force for innovation) to invent, develop, and popularize new “green” chemical processes.
Even though not all the research directions to be reported in this book have found applications in industry, environmental protection, or elsewhere, the book will demonstrate that the ideology of green chemistry has never been hostile to Russian research and development. What is particularly important is that the book, which will be available in English, will share these innovations, for the first time with the foreign R&D community.
The book will deal with developments in the main regions of Russia: Central Russia, Northern Region, Siberia, Ural, and the Far East. Among the green chemistry innovations that will be described in the book are the following:
- the nucleophilic aromatic substitution of hydrogen reactions that are ecological alternatives to the commonly used methods of introduction of substituents to organic molecules
- de-NOx reactions or SO2 removal using new very effective catalysts containing transition metal cations
• new methods for transforming wood biomass to valuable products, based on examples from Siberian and Northern Russia woods
- new approaches to classifying humic substances and principles for using them for a number of chemical, agricultural, medical, and other purposes
- applications of ionic liquids for base-promoted reactions of CH-acids to obtain important agrochemical and medicinal products
|The aim of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Green Chemistry is to further the cause of green chemistry for the wider benefit of the chemistry community and society as whole. For more information regarding the Subcommittee visit its Web site.
The book will also address waste disposal and remediation problems and pollution control and monitoring. These issues are vital for Russia, where enormous amounts of PCBs are still stored and used in old electrical equipment. For example, some data have shown that even in relatively clean regions of Russia, there is contamination of human milk by dioxins.
We believe that the interesting and substantial material in this book will help many researchers, students, and people who are interested in the problems of environmental protection and safety, to obtain valuable information and perspectives on the development of green chemistry in Russia.
For more information, contact the Task Group Chairman Pietro Tundo <[email protected]> or Valery Lunin <[email protected]>.
Pietro Tundo is a professor at the University Ca' Foscari, Venice, Italy.
last modified 3 March 2004.
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