Sunday, Jun 04, 2023 08:00 [IST]
Last Update: Sunday, Jun 04, 2023 02:20 [IST]
5 JUNE: WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
Dr. BHASKAR CHAKRABORTY
Environment Friendly Research: A Top Priority For A Researcher Now To Protect Our Environment And Livelihood
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5th June and encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is supported by government, many non-governmental organizations, businesses, and represents the primary United Nations outreach day supporting the environment.
In the state of Sikkim, a majority of the people are fully aware of the measures that should be taken to protect our environment. The Sikkim government is fully committed to protect our environment by initiating many initiatives. Plastic materials are fully banned in Sikkim and the state is the only "Green State” in the country because of the awareness and love of the people for the environment.
In continuation of the endeavours of the Sikkim government, we have been conducting "Environment Friendly Research Works" in our Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory of Nar Bahadur Bhandari Government College (former Sikkim Government College), Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim from 2003 in order to save our environment and atmospheric conditions in our laboratory. As we all know majority of the reagents and chemicals used in conventional methodologies in "Organic Synthesis" are found to exhibit health hazardous conditions and also few of them are carcinogenic as well. Therefore, not only the environment is filled up with health hazardous conditions during the research work but all the individuals including research scholars and supervisors are equally affected.
Therefore, environment friendliness and sustainable development is being the need of the hour instead of using health hazardous organic solvents like benzene, pyridine and many organic reagents which may be replaced if we adopt "Green Chemistry" methodologies. This revolutionary concept was invented by Paul Anatas & W. Warner in 1998 in their famous book "Green Chemistry-Theory & Practice" (Oxford University Press).
The famous "Green Chemistry methodology chart" provided many environmental friendly pathways for conducting research in "Organic Synthesis.”
We have been following many of the procedures in our laboratory leading to Ph.D degree of my research scholars and high quality research publications in peer reviewed good impact factor research journals like "Green Chemistry-Letters & Reviews"(Taylor & Francis, USA); "American Chemical Society-Omega"(ACS, USA); "Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry"(Wiley, New York); "Tetrahedron Letters" (Elsevier, UK) and many more.
The important methodologies we have adopted are: i) Aqueous phase reactions (conducting reactions in water.
Organic reactions in water have received increased attention nowadays because of environmental acceptability, abundance and low cost.
ii) Mechanochemical chemistry including ball-milling processes avoiding organic solvents. These are known as "Solvent free reactions" so that we can protect our environment! iii) Microwave induced (MWI) reactions which also do not require any hazardous solvents.
iv) Atom efficient reactions.
I have presented these environment friendly procedures of "Organic Synthesis" in many International conferences like Tetrahedron Conference (UK); "Green Chemistry Symposium" (France); "Organic Chemistry Conference" (Greece), etc. The Indian Science Congress felicitated me in January 2023 for outstanding contributions in utilizing "Green Chemistry" procedures.
Let us join hands to heal the world and make it a better place for the entire human race. Nature is the purest and greatest form of treasure you can ever come across. You got to nurture nature today to enjoy its benefits tomorrow.
Happy World Environment Day to all. Please take an oath that "I shall protect my environment, plant a tree and make my surroundings plastic free.”
(Dr. Bhaskar Chakraborty is Associate Professor of Chemistry, Nar Bahadur Bhandari Government College (former Sikkim Government College), Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim)