stands for Re
de de Quím
ica e Te
cnologia and names the Chemistry and Technolology Network that has been formed by two Research Units, the Centro de Química da Universidade do Porto - CEQUP and the Centro de Química Fina e Biotecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa – CQFB.
Since November 2001 REQUIMTE
became the “Laboratório Associado para a Química Verde – Tecnologias e Processos Limpos”
of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia of MCTES, in which 374 researchers (208 holding a Ph.D. Degree) exploit the basic principles of Green Chemistry and aim to contribute to the practice of Sustainable Chemistry.
The need of practicing a sustainable development in order to reach the social, economic and environmental objectives of the modern society is well accepted by governments, industrial sector and general public. Within this scope, Chemistry which is commonly associated with harmful products and not with materials absolutely essential for everyday life, must have a decisive role in the maintenance and improvement of living and environmental conditions.
The awareness of contemporary society for the inevitability of the use of chemicals and chemical processes and the understanding of the concept of sustainability lead to a new way of thinking Chemistry. Having in mind the implementation of clean practices and clean industrial processes, in which the amount of raw materials, energy, costs and risks are reduced a scientific movement, known as Green Chemistry, has emerged in the last quarter of the 20th century.
Green Chemistry aims to redevelop laboratory and industrial processes in order to make them cleaner and economically viable. For that purpose, scientists have to design new reactions and processes in which principles such as an economy of atoms, use of renewable materials, use of non-toxic solvents and use of clean energy sources must be followed.
The objectives of Laboratório Associado para a Química Verde – Tecnologias e Processos Limpos are:
a) To encourage the use of clean products and technologies
b) To assist industry in the design and implementation of non-aggressive chemical processes
c) To train young researchers in interdisciplinary areas related with the practice of sustainable chemistry
d) To make public the principles of Green Chemistry and to alert society for the necessity of a sustainable practice in everyday life.
Research is presently focused in the following thematic areas of: i) natural products, (ii) food quality and safety, (iii) clean production technologies and processes, (iv) environmental control and remediation and (v) catalysts, solvents and non-toxic compounds.
The sharing of multidisciplinary scientific knowledge, technology and equipment between researchers of the two centers that form the network, has significantly contributed to the development of new projects in Green Chemistry and to the enrichment and training of graduate students by making easier the mobility of human resources.
At present the network REQUIMTE can be described as a big Laboratory that has two operating sites, one at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and other at Universidade do Porto.