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Journal Articles Green Chemistry Year : 2024

Carbon footprint and mitigation strategies of three chemistry laboratories

Abstract

As the global imperative for decarbonization gains momentum, the need for action in chemistry laboratories becomes increasingly apparent. This study examines the 2019 carbon footprint of three French chemistry laboratories encompassing energy, purchases, travels, and commutes. The average per capita carbon footprint stands at 5.6 teqCO2 per year, positioning chemistry laboratories slightly above the median calculated across all disciplines. Key contributors are purchases (31–42%) and heating (23–33%), driven by heavy equipment, consumables and fume hoods. Attainable mitigation strategies suggest a 40–50% reduction by 2030. Pivotal efforts involve transitioning heating sources to renewables, extending the equipment lifespan, collaborative resource management, as well as a limitation in the use of planes and combustion engine vehicles. Such changes imply actions at the level of the government, the university, the laboratory and the individual. We suggest fostering a sustainable research environment in chemistry laboratories by rationalizing experimental practices and dedicating time to consider the socio-environmental implications of research.
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hal-04475689 , version 1 (23-05-2024)

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André Estevez-Torres, Fabienne Gauffre, Guillaume Gouget, Chloé Grazon, Philippe Loubet. Carbon footprint and mitigation strategies of three chemistry laboratories. Green Chemistry, 2024, 26 (5), pp.2613-2622. ⟨10.1039/D3GC03668E⟩. ⟨hal-04475689⟩
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