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Inherent Safety at Chemical Sites : Reducing Vulnerability to Accidents and Terrorism through Green Chemistry



Elsevier, Amsterdam



Inherent Safety at Chemical Sites : Reducing Vulnerability to Accidents and Terrorism through Green Chemistry

 Author  Paul T. Anastas and  David  G. Hammond

Year of Publication











Krishna B. Misra



Review Complete

The book consists of 4 chapters preceded by Dedication and an Acknowledgement as follows:



Chapter 1

Introduction ( to Green Chemistry)

09 Pages

Chapter 2

Accident Vulnerability and Terrorist Threats to the Chemical and Related Industries

06 Pages

Chapter 3

The Role of Green Chemistry in Reducing Risk

06 Pages

Chapter 4

Case Studies- Green Chemistry in Practice

96 Pages


01 Pages


04 Pages


Since 1990, Green Chemistry has gained importance and recognition a reliable and cost-effective approach to reduce the environmental consequence of industrial growth. In order to reduce vulnerability to catastrophic accidents, the chemical industries are being compelled to store and use smaller quantities of hazardous chemicals. It is estimated, in United States alone 15000 chemical plants and manufactures store and use extremely hazardous substances that could affect or kill people in the neighbourhood, if released suddenly 


from these plants as had happened in Bhopal tragedy in India in 1984.  About 125 of these 15000 plants of the US, put over 1 million people at risk while 700 of them at 100,000 people and 3000 of them put at least 10,000 people at risk. With the increased threat of terrorism across the world, the dangers of this type become even more serious as terrorists could turn hazardous chemical facilities into improvised weapons of mass destruction.. The use of Green Chemistry therefore assumes even more strategy to combat these threats.

The book starts with an introduction to Green Chemistry which is considered as an approach to synthesis, processing and use of hazardous chemicals that inherently reduces the risks to humans and environment over the entire life cycle which includes generation and use. It entails replacing hazardous chemicals with relatively safer alternatives while minimizing their amount needed for reaction combining it with catalysts to increase yield and to reduce the storage, handling and transportation of hazardous material. Green chemistry also aims to produce heavy-risk compounds on–demand or on site in order to minimize the risks associated with their transportation or storage. While conventional approach to safety is to contain an accident and training employees for emergency response, the green chemistry aims to fundamentally change the materials and processes to ensure permanently safe processes and system. A 2006 survey conducted in the US, mentions that at least 284 facilities across 47 states have reduced the risk of a chemical release into neighbourhood by resorting to green chemistry by switching to less hazardous processes or chemicals ensuring that 38 million people no longer live under the threat of an accident. In order to illustrate the use of green chemistry, a major portion of the book (96 pages of a 124 pages book) provides several case studies the use of green chemistry in practice, highlighting the triple advantage of using green chemistry, namely, the environmental protection, economic competitiveness, and accident prevention and national security against a terrorist   attack.

The book therefore provides a good account of the approach of green chemistry for environmental protection, safety and to safeguard a nation against terrorism. Besides being of interests to undergraduates, postgraduate chemical engineering or chemistry students and researchers, the book will help serve as a guide for the design of chemical plants to industrial and systems engineers.


This review has been published in Vol. 12, No. 3,  May 2016 issue of the IJPE


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