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Atom Economy

Atom economy % of reactants forming useful products

  • A lot of reactions make more than one product

  • The atom economy of a reaction tells you how much of the mass of the reactants is wasted when manufacturing a chemical and how much ends up as useful product

  • Atom economy = relative formula mass of desired products / relative formula mass of all reactants x 100

  • 100% atom economy means that all the atoms in the reactants have been turned into useful products, the higher the atom economy, the greener the process

  • Calculating the atom economy

  • Identify the desired product

  • Work out the Mr of all reactants

  • Work out the total M of the desired product

  • Use the formula to calculate the atom economy

High atom economy is better for profits and the environment

  • Reactions with low atom economy use up resources very quickly

  • At the same time, they make lots of waste materials that have to be disposed of

  • This makes them unsustainable

  • They usually aren’t very profitable

    • Raw materials are expensive to remove and dispose of responsibly

  • Reactions with highest atom economy are the ones that only have no product

  • The reactions have an atom economy of 100%

    • The more products, the lower the atom economy is likely to be

Atom Economy

Atom economy % of reactants forming useful products

  • A lot of reactions make more than one product

  • The atom economy of a reaction tells you how much of the mass of the reactants is wasted when manufacturing a chemical and how much ends up as useful product

  • Atom economy = relative formula mass of desired products / relative formula mass of all reactants x 100

  • 100% atom economy means that all the atoms in the reactants have been turned into useful products, the higher the atom economy, the greener the process

  • Calculating the atom economy

  • Identify the desired product

  • Work out the Mr of all reactants

  • Work out the total M of the desired product

  • Use the formula to calculate the atom economy

High atom economy is better for profits and the environment

  • Reactions with low atom economy use up resources very quickly

  • At the same time, they make lots of waste materials that have to be disposed of

  • This makes them unsustainable

  • They usually aren’t very profitable

    • Raw materials are expensive to remove and dispose of responsibly

  • Reactions with highest atom economy are the ones that only have no product

  • The reactions have an atom economy of 100%

    • The more products, the lower the atom economy is likely to be