Consumers will have access to medicines, cosmetics, and other products that are "greener," less expensive, and more environmentally friendly than ever before, thanks to new manufacturing processes now under development, according to an article scheduled for the Nov. 19 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.
The article, by C&EN Senior Editor Stephen K. Ritter, explains that the processes use so-called supercritical carbon dioxide, a phase of carbon dioxide with both liquid and gaseous traits and that is heralded as a nontoxic replacement for conventional manufacturing solvents.
Ritter notes that while supercritical carbon dioxide shows promise for carrying out greener industrial catalytic processes, it also can provide a means for replacing inefficient chemical separations.
The new processes help reduce the use of conventional organic solvents, reduce energy consumption, and reduce the loss of costly and sometimes toxic metal catalysts. These "advances may allow for greener product separations, which typically make up the bulk of the cost of industrial processes," Ritter states.
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