Jump to content

KJE114 Green Chemistry

Course description for academic year 2018/2019

Contents and structure

Green chemistry, also known as sustainable chemistry, is founded on the main principle of reducing or preventing pollution already at the source. This stands in contrast to the field of Environmental Chemistry which encompasses the study of pollutants that are already present in the environment. The term green chemistry was coined by Paul Anastas and introduced at the beginning of the 1990s. It has since established itself as an important philosophy within chemistry over the past decades. One of the objectives of this course is to provide the student knowledge about the principles for Green Chemistry. Central topics will include the reduction of waste, use of renewables, catalysis, substitution of hazardous and dangerous chemicals with more benign alternatives etc. Furthermore, the student will obtain skills and experience through case studies and laboratory exercises. 

The course covers following topics:

  • Definition of concepts and principles for green chemistry. 
  • An introduction of the historical background of Green Chemistry.
  • Case-studies in Green and Environmental Chemistry (sustainable development). 
  • Identification of issues that Green Chemistry could solve. 
  • Inorganic health- and environmental pollutants.
  • Organic health- and environmental pollutants. 
  • Environmental work place conditions with the emphasis on chemical compounds. 
  • Waste treatment
  • Case-studies: exploitation of waste flow i water purification waste in water purification (e.g. struvite and urea-production)
  • The role of Green Chemistry in large scale production of organic chemicals (catalysis/biocatalysis, selection of raw materials and solvents/process evaluation). 
  • Production of biofuels. 
  • Product evaluation (biodegradeability/toxicity/recycleability). 
  • Biorefinery processeses.

Learning Outcome

Upon completing the course, the candidate should have obtained the following learning outcome:  

  • Knowing the 12 principles of Green Chemistry.
  • Be able to describe classes of the most important chemicals (both organic and inorganic) that are hazardous/dangerous for human and animal health, and the environment.
  • Identification of greener solvents and recycling of these including catalysts.
  • Calculate the atomic efficiency and E-factors of chemical reactions and processes.

  • Apply the principles for Green Chemistry in order to make a life cycle assessment for a chemical product including waste treatment (degradation/recycling).
  • The student will learn to keep a laboratory journal.

  • Be able to compare actual industrial chemical syntheses/processes and identify their strengths and weaknesses in a green chemistry perspective.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

KJE100 General Chemistry, KJE103 Organic Chemistry and KJE101/KJE120 Instrumental Analysis, or similar courses. 

Teaching methods

Lectures, laboratory exercises and report writing. 

Compulsory learning activities

A learning portfolio that consists of the following coursework:

  • A satisfactory laboratory journal (lab report)
  • Four written problem sets.
  • One report. 
  • A two-hour written test 

In case of failing the written test the evaluation of the obligatory report is kept whereas the 2 hours written test must be retaken. The report is valid for six subsequent semesters. 


Evaluation is based on portfolio assessment. The portfolio is based on two parts from the learning portfolio: 

  • One report
  • A two-hour written test

The grading scale is A-F of which F is failed.