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Formulator's Tool: GSR System to Calculate Renewable Content
Posted: June 20, 2008
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GSR provides a process by which a formulator can easily ascertain the eco-friendliness of a raw material and by which a consumer can determine and compare it to the formulations of similar types of products. This process allows the formulation chemist to break a molecule down into eco-friendly portion and a nonrenewable resource portion. The evaluation of this data allows for the generation of a GSR, which is the percentage of the molecule that is based upon green chemistry, divided by 10. Once this number is known, the effect of replacing one ingredient in a formulation with a eco-friendlier compound can be ascertained.
Specifically, if a raw material used in a formulation at 20% by weight has a GSR of 1, and is then replaced with a product having a GSR of 7, the impact on the formulation is (7-1) x 0.20=1.2. This means that much more renewable resources can be used in the formulation so that its consumption will impact less negatively on the environment. This approach allows the formulator to make greener products and allows the consumer to choose more renewable products. In this instance, such products are determined to be such based on their greater percentage of renewable resources; i.e., those with a higher GSR rating.
The GSR is determined by:
1. First determining the Empirical formula for chemical compounds used to make formulated products; leading to
2. the determination of which portions of the molecule are renewable; then
3. determining the percentage by weight of the renewable portion of the molecule; thus
4. Determining the GSR; and
5. Optionally, optimizing the formulation by selecting components with the greatest GSR.
-Tony O’Lenick, Siltech LLC, and Laura Anderson
University of Southern Mississippi