Going Green requires revisiting industrial application of Analytical Chemistry and redefining the requirements for process monitoring and control. This revolution requires us to take a hard look at available sensor tools that can provide reliable on-line and real-time measurements for quality processing in a safe manner. With available tools for signal conversions and data acquisitions, sensor technology should break all barriers and beliefs for supporting process monitoring and control. Instrument manufacturers and researchers should work together in understanding various process operations and monitoring steps for replacing traditional sampling, analysis and data collection with reliable catch-all tools for continuous data logging of real time measurements. This approach will eliminate the use of unnecessary reagents / chemicals and generation of secondary wastes, and specifically protect the operators from unwanted exposure to hazardous processes due to traditional sample collection and analysis requirements.
Sensors are available and the technology has made progress for process control and monitoring applications in certain areas like food and pharmaceutical, but still in its infancy in several other areas. In order for this technology to prove sufficient and necessary for process monitoring, chemists should shift their thinking process from analytical accuracies and sensitivites of environmental measurements - to what is needed for process operations to control the product quality. This revolution in process measurements and waste reduction will make a positive contribution to worker protection and environment.