Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous Next

Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog

600 posts

By Michelle Muzzio, Graduate Student, Brown University

 

I never realized how much location could profoundly change an experience until I was walking to class about to learn more about green chemistry from some of the world’s leading experts on the topic, walking past South Table Mountain, breathing in the freshest air I’ve ever breathed, all while talking to my new friends about innovations in CO2 capture and conversion. That was the scene every day while I was attending the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy this past August at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. Location is everything. Bringing together people with similar values, research interests, and of course passion for dancing, in one location, is everything.

 

View of Golden from the hike up South Table Mountain in the early morning before lectures

           

Over sixty graduate students and postdocs from all over the United States, Canada, South America, and beyond, found themselves in Colorado for the experience, and were welcomed the first night with a barbecue. At first, it was overwhelming: so many new faces in a new location. I am the first from my university to come the summer school and I applied on a whim almost, because my research in nanoparticle synthesis has begun to drive my interests in more sustainable biomass conversion. I was nervous I wouldn’t fit in. However, within minutes, that changed as we all started talking about our shared interests in green chemistry and even our cultures and where we came, from leading us to Colorado and to this summer school. Of course, the welcome from Dr. Mary Kirchhoff, who was the guiding force of the whole week, quelled any residual anxieties, and we were all excited.

 

Roommates in Maple Hall, right outside of where our lectures were, posing before the final dinner

 Roommates in Maple Hall, right outside of where our lectures were

 

The week began with a lecture about systems thinking from Dr. Jim Hutchison from the University of Oregon. Using engaging group activities, he made us think about systems thinking in everything we did, from our experiments in lab to even our morning coffee. He gave two lectures during the week, both of which made participants think much broader than ever before. During the allotted times for breaks between lectures, we had a chance to talk to the speaker or each other about anything: the class content, wild ideas for the future, or any in-between (with coffee, tea, and snacks, of course!). These breaks ended up being where so much of my learning happened during the week, being able to process and bond more with those amazing scientists around me.

           

Two more staple lecturers were given by Dr. David Constable from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and Dr. Philip Jessop from Queen’s University. Both are powerhouses of the field of green chemistry, so as students, you could argue that seeing them lecture was comparable to a celebrity sighting. Within Dr. Jessop’s talk, we were all exposed to the joys and tribulations of life cycle analysis (LCA), which highlighted the nuances in green chemistry, assumptions that are often made, and all the factors that must go into deciding whether one thing is “greener” than another.

           

With its location right around the mountain, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) made an impactful presence with lectures from Dr. Emily Warren and Dr. Bryan Pivovar, about solar cells and fuel cells, respectively. They gave us insight in being working scientists thinking about these complex issues of sustainable energy and how we, as the next generation of scientists, can begin to make research a reality. Lectures about entrepreneurship from Dr. Eric Beckman from the University of Pittsburgh and pharmaceutical green chemistry from Dr. Dan Richter from Pfizer gave us concrete tools how we can think about green chemistry in our own lives. Lectures from Dr. Nancy Jensen of the Petroleum Research Fund and Dr. Natalia Martin allowed participants to understand the grant-writing and job-hunting process, both of which are often scary and misunderstood. The lectures closed with Dr. Ryan Richards of Colorado School of Mines and also Dr. Grant Miyake of Colorado State University, a former Summer School participant, who highlighted a career built on principles he learned at the Summer School, which was very inspiring considering all we learned through the week.

 

Whitewater rafting is more fun with green chemists!

Whitewater rafting is more fun with green chemists!

 

Beyond the lectures, there were two poster sessions in which most participants presented their work. Without comparison, it was the most amazing poster session I’ve ever been to because everyone was so engaged, asking important questions, and the lecturers even came, which added to the excitement of seeing green chemistry icons walk up to your poster.  

 

It wasn’t all schoolwork either. Most of it, actually, was talking and soaking in the beautiful location. From morning hikes up South Table Mountain, to our free Saturday in which this New Yorker whitewater rafted for the first time and then had lunch with her new friends at a delicious Nepalese restaurant, there really never was a dull moment. We also got to explore Golden, stumbling across a street fair that was unfortunately just ending, making our own karaoke, and of course, dancing to new music with our new friends. The ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy is more than just a week of lectures on exciting content; it provides a location and sets a scene for a whole lifetime of experience to come after.

 

On the way to the poster session, posing with some statues on Colorado School of Mines Campus

On the way to the poster session, posing with some statues on Colorado School of Mines Campus

 

Moving forward, I will start a job as a scientific editor at CellPress in September after finishing up my Ph.D., and this experience could not have come at a better time. I am excited more than ever to talk about green chemistry, which as I learned this week, is a facet of all chemistry and life in general, not its own separate endeavor.

Before I go, thanks must first go to Mary and Stephanie Wahl, who organized one of the most significant and reenergizing weeks of my graduate school career. You brought all of us together, and for that, we are forever grateful to you both, and ACS, the sponsors, and Colorado School of Mines for hosting.

By Christiana Briddell, Communication Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute


In a cultural and political climate that grows increasingly more divisive and nationalistic, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stand as a clarion call for decisive and coordinated action for the benefit of global humanity. These far-reaching goals cover everything from the eradication of poverty to climate action to peace and just institutions. If you want to dream big—look no further.


Set in 2015, these 17 broad goals each contain specific targets with indicators to help track progress in achieving them. If you are interested in learning more, the U.N. website is very educational: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

 

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
The American Chemical Society—representing the world’s largest society of scientists—recognizes the importance of chemistry in uplifting people’s lives and ensuring the well-being of the planet. In their policy statement on Sustainability and the Chemistry Enterprise, the Society states: “We believe the chemistry enterprise must continue to provide leadership in forging the science and technology that will provide humanity with a sustainable path into the future.”


Using the SDGs as a framework, the ACS is developing a strategic response to this challenge. One of the first priorities is to inspire and enable chemists to see themselves and their work as directly relevant to one, if not many, of the goals. Indeed, there are a myriad of ways that chemistry will necessarily underpin our global efforts in achieving them.


For example, we cannot truly meet goal #2, End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, without closing the loop on soil fertility by finding a way to produce ammonia (NH3) sustainably (which requires a sustainable energy source to produce hydrogen), and by recovering and recycling phosphorus from waste streams. This will require significant development in the fields of catalysis and low-energy, high-efficiency separations respectively. In just this one goal, a revolution in agricultural science and subsequent impact on global infrastructure is required.


It is easy to be overwhelmed when faced with an immense transformative challenge, such as truly meeting the SDGs. On the other hand, sufficiently inspired groups of researchers have performed similarly “impossible” feats under tight timelines—most recently brought to mind with the 50th anniversary of the successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon in July of 1969. Truthfully, although the technological challenge is Nobel-Laureate quality significant, the harder challenge may be in our own capacity to shoulder the responsibility of caring for the future of the planet and the humans who will live on it. Can we put aside other demands; adopt a focus, purpose, collaborative and innovative spirit fit to meet these goals?


This is the question we must ask ourselves.


In the coming issues of The Nexus, we will focus on each goal in turn and discuss specific ways that chemistry innovation can help to move us forward. We will also reveal ACS’s evolving strategic response to the SDGs including a new hub on the website for all things related to chemistry & sustainability. We invite the chemistry and chemical engineering communities to share their approaches to addressing the SDGs so that we can highlight successes, learn from each other, and work together in achieving the dream of a sustainable world.

That’s a wrap! The American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute would like to sincerely thank all of the 579 attendees who presented and participated in the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference this past week at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia.

 

This year’s keynote speakers – Udit Batra, Lee Cronin, and Dana Kralisch – gave exceptionally interesting and insightful speeches. The numerous networking sessions and fun social events provided attendees the opportunity to establish a multitude of professional connections, share ideas and build lasting friendships with colleagues from around the globe. In fact, this year we had attendees from 31 different countries and six different continents, from China to Ireland to Australia and everywhere in between. This year's conference was one of the most diverse yet with 31% of attendees coming from outside the United States. The various exhibitors, poster session, product showcase and technical sessions gave fascinating updates on the latest technologies, theories and developments across the chemical field while answering questions and taking suggestions from an exceptionally inquisitive audience.

 

Udit Batra, CEO of MilliporeSigma, gives the opening keynote address.

Photo Credit: Jackie Garcia Photography

 

ACS GCI would also like to offer a special thank you to our conference co-chairs Joan Brennecke and Philip Jessop for helping to make this year’s conference one of the best ones to date. They helped ensure that the conference maintained its scientific and academic core, while featuring a substantial number of industry/entrepreneurial sessions and other exciting features to keep events fresh and add to what is already an exceptional conference.

 

With the 2019 conference now in the books, rest assured that ACS GCI has already started planning and preparing for the 24th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference taking place in beautiful Seattle, Washington from June 16-18, 2020. We are pleased to announce that theme for the 2020 conference will be “Systems-Inspired Design” and will be led by co-chairs Paul Richardson of Pfizer and Meg Sobkowicz Kline of UMass Lowell. The call for symposia for the 2020 conference will go out next month and be due in early October and we encourage you to submit your ideas. Submissions are welcome in all areas of green chemistry and engineering, particularly those that address the 2020 conference theme.

 

Attendees discussing green chemistry at a conference networking breakfast.

Photo Credit: Jackie Garcia Photography


Finally, we hope to see many of you at the ACS National Meeting coming up from August 25-29, 2019 in sunny San Diego. The topic of green chemistry will be featured in many of the events taking place there. We look forward to continuing our discussions with you there!

Contributed by Rachel Simon, Senior Research Associate, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, and Lauren Heine, Senior Science Advisor, Northwest Green Chemistry; Director of Safer Materials and Data Integrity, MaterialWise; and member of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Advisory Board.

 

Many researchers working on the forefront of green chemistry are designing new chemistries and chemical products to reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Similar to green chemistry, the field of alternatives assessment shares the objective of addressing the health and environmental impacts of chemicals, seeking to find safer and feasible solutions to chemicals of concern. Despite the clear connections between alternatives assessment and green chemistry, the two fields—and their respective scientific communities—have not been highly integrated.

 

A4The Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment (A4) is a new professional association solely dedicated to advancing the science, practice, and policy of alternatives assessment and informed substitution. A4 offers the opportunity to connect with a collaborative community of professionals representing a broad range of scientific disciplines – chemistry, toxicology, exposure science, engineering, life cycle assessment, law and policy, and economics, among others – who are working to accelerate the transition to the use of safer chemicals, materials, processes, and products.

 

At the recent 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry A4’s President Pamela Spencer spoke about the intersection of these communities in her presentation Fostering Green Chemistry and Alternatives Assessment Collaborations in Safer Product Design. If you did not have a chance to learn about A4 at the conference, we invite you to come take part in our community. Visit www.saferalternatives.org to find out more.

We have just wrapped up the joint 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/ 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry in Reston, Virginia. We were thrilled to welcome more than 600 attendees to this year’s conference, which focused on “Closing the Loop” of the chemical life cycle. My sincere thanks to our wonderful co-chairs, Joan Brennecke of the University of Texas at Austin and Philip Jessop of Queen’s University, Canada, for putting together such a compelling and engaging technical program.

 

The conference would not be possible without the countless hours dedicated by our volunteers to organizing and supporting the conference. Forty experts in green chemistry and engineering served on the organizing and international advisory committees. These individuals provided input into the technical program and encouraged participation in the conference with their colleagues across the globe. Poster judges thoughtfully assessed the student posters during the Green Chemistry & Engineering Poster session, recommending the top posters among an outstanding field. Throughout the conference, volunteers offered support during sessions, directed attendees to the right meeting rooms, and provided assistance with the mobile app. Thank you to all who volunteered to make the 2019 conference such a success!

 

The success of the conference also depends on the engagement of our sponsors and exhibitors. We are especially grateful to our gold sponsors, MilliporeSigma and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Pharmaceutical Roundtable, for their generous support. We were delighted that MilliporeSigma’s CEO, Dr. Udit Batra, delivered the opening keynote address of the conference, providing insights into “Green Chemistry at Global Scale.” Keynote addresses by Professor Lee Cronin and Professor Dana Kralisch expanded on the conference theme through their presentations on “Programming Organic Synthesis using the Chemputer” and “Which Way to Go from Innovation to Sustainable Process/Product Design?”, respectively. All three of our keynote speakers volunteered their time and expertise to share their perspectives on future directions for green chemistry and engineering. And a huge thanks to our exhibitors, who interacted with attendees throughout the conference, showcasing their greener products and services.

 

We look forward to welcoming everyone to next year’s conference in Seattle, Washington, where we will explore the theme of “Systems-Inspired Design.” I encourage you to submit your symposium ideas for the 2020 conference after submissions open in July. Please visit gcande.org/call-for-symposia for key dates and additional information.

 

Thank you for all you do to advance green and sustainable chemistry and engineering across the chemistry enterprise. We are grateful for your dedication to designing greener chemical products and processes and educating the next generation to practice chemistry in service to society.

 

The American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) was honored to partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to host the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony and reception at the EPA headquarters in Washington D.C. this past Monday! A panel of technical experts convened by the ACS GCI make recommendations to EPA for the winners of each award category. The awards were presented by Alexandra Dunn, Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. 

 

Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

 

Alexandra Dunn gives Professor Sanjoy Banjeree his award, joined by his team of collaborators.
Photo credit: @DCEventPhoto

 

Academic Award – Professor Sanjoy Banjeree of The City University of New York Energy Institute: Rechargeable Alkaline Zn-MnO2Batteries for Grid Storage Applications.

Professor Banerjee, in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Urban Electric Power Inc., created rechargeable zinc-manganese dioxide batteries that can be recharged thousands of times without significant degradation of capacity. These batteries do not have some of the limitations of lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries, and use materials that are abundant and already in use. Transforming this technology into a grid-scale rechargeable system would enable a revolutionary, low-cost, green technology able to meet critical U.S. electrical grid needs.

 

The Kalion, Inc. team receiving their award from Alexandra Dunn.
Photo credit: @DCEventPhoto

 

Small Business Award – Kalion, Inc.: Microbially Produced High-Purity Glucaric Acid for Diverse Uses.

Kalion, Inc. has commercialized the first microbial fermentation process to produce glucaric acid. Glucaric acid produced by Kalion’s method offers the possibility of replacing environmentally polluting chemicals with a biodegradable, non-toxic, sugar-derived product. Kalion's fermentation process solves the challenges of traditional chemical approaches and enables the production of high-purity, low-cost glucaric acid. 

 

The Merck & Co. team accepting their award from Alexandra Dunn.

Photo credit: @DCEventPhoto

 

Greener Synthetic Pathways Award – Merck & Co.: Innovating for a Greener Future: Development of a Green & Sustainable Manufacturing Process for Zerbaxa.

Merck & Co. is being recognized for their efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and energy usage by redesigning the manufacturing route to the antibiotic component of Zerbaxa. Key to the redesign is a sustainable crystallization-based purification process that enabled the development of the revolutionary new process that reduces process mass intensity by 75%, reduces raw material costs by 50% and increases the overall yield by more than 50%. Additionally, carbon footprint and energy usage are expected to be reduced by 50% and 38%, respectively, and water savings are estimated to be 3.7 million gallons annually.

 

Alexandra Dunn presents the WSI team with their award for TRUpath.
Photo credit: @DCEventPhoto

 

Greener Reaction Conditions Award – WSI: TRUpath.

By creating TRUpath, WSI developed a successful alternative to traditional commercial laundering technologies that use harsh and harmful chemicals. TRUpath utilizes more readily biodegradable surfactants and eliminates phosphates from wash formulas making it less toxicTRUpath™ detergent has prevented the discharge of petroleum hydrocarbons into wastewater by approximately 200,000 lbs/yr and reduced overall laundry wastewater discharge by more than 1.3 million lbs/yr. Additionally, the annual use of natural gas is reduced nationwide by greater than 5.1 million therms, and 545 million gallons of water are saved annually. 

 

A big congratulations to all of this year’s winners!  These award-winning technologies once again demonstrate that great science can be accompanied by significant health and environmental benefits, reductions in the use and generation of hazardous substances, and economic advantages.

 

ACS GCI would like to thank Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention for giving the congratulatory address and presenting the awards. We would also like to thank Chair of the ACS Board of Directors, John Adams for giving the Science Address, David Widawsky, Director of the EPA's Chemistry, Economics, and Sustainable Strategies Division for giving the welcoming remarks, and the U.S. Military District of Washington for presenting the colors and singing a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem.

 

We look forward to doing it again next year!

Organizers: Se Ryeon Lee, Research Group Leader; Chad Landis, Research Associate; Kristin Nuzzio, Senior Research Chemist, PPG Industries

 

Converting an economy that is still largely linear (Take-Make-Dispose), to a circular economy where waste streams can be fed back into an industrial cycle will require new chemistries and innovative processes. The sources for recycling or repurposing can exist anywhere along the material lifecycle from industrial waste streams to post-consumer waste. Ideally, the recycling and repurposing could turn these waste streams into value streams for industry in the near future.

 

This session will focus on those new chemistries and processes that are necessary for repurposing waste streams both pre- and post-consumer.  It will also analyze already implemented projects as well as potential new science necessary to make a circular economy more feasible. In addition attendees will learn what is done with waste streams at the manufacturer level to make for an overall greener process and look at chemistries, processes, and regulatory issues in this area.

 

In addition this session will feature two in-depth talks from leaders in the field. Richard Engler of Bergeson & Campbell, PC will discuss the regulatory barriers to a circular economy, and Brian Riise of REMADE Institute will talk about the challenges and opportunities in developing a circular economy for plastics.

 

We hope you will join us for this exciting discussing on this important and intriguing topic!

 

This session will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry on Thursday, June 13 from 9:45 AM to 12:30 PM at The Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

Organizers: David J. C. Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute; Xianlai Zeng, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Tsinghua University

 

There is a growing list of elements that are considered strategic metals; they are rare, expensive, and heavily relied upon for electronics, energy and chemistry. The current methods of extracting, purifying and using these metals is unsustainable and as these materials approach impending extinction from the supply chain while escalating environmental and socioeconomic costs across the world, it is critical to identify low-cost and abundant alternatives, or sustainable technologies to recover, recycle and reuse these elements. In general, there have been few chemistry alternatives that could recreate the performance of these metals in a variety of fundamental applications.

 

 

This session will showcase innovators who are creating alternative chemistries and chemical technology approaches that can increase the sustainable reuse and recycle of these critical elements, or provide comparable functional, commercially viable materials for a variety of applications. In addition this session will cover how cyclical chemistry is proposed to close the loop from the extraction of material to end-of-life recycling.

We will have an in-depth presentation from Dr. Xianlai Zeng of Tsinghua University on the emergence of cyclical chemistry as it relates to green chemistry, closed-loop supply chain theory and industrial ecology at different scales. We propose that cyclical chemistry can address three inter-related problems:  resource depletion, over reliance of linear economies and environmental pollution. In doing so, cyclical chemistry will play an increasing role in closing the loop and enabling a smooth transition to a circular economy and society.

We look forward to discussing this topic more with you at the conference!

 

This event will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/9th Annual Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry on Thursday, June 13 from 2:00 PM to 5:05 PM at the Lake Anne, Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

Organizers: Peter A. Reinhardt, Director, Office of Environmental Health & Safety, Yale University; Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO, Environmental Safety Manager, Keene State College

 

There are many commonalities and shared principles between the fields of chemical safety and green chemistry. A thorough understanding of both will benefit practitioners in both communities, correct misconceptions and ensure that green chemistry innovations do not overlook chemical safety considerations in the laboratory. That is why the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemical Safety’s symposium at the 2019 GC&E Conference will focus on and discuss the connections between chemical safety and Green Chemistry within the chemical enterprise.

 

This session will address a variety of elements within the systems that support environmental health and safety, in both the laboratory and in the larger economy at whole. Attendees can expect to learn how emerging greener and safer approaches to chemical education and research interact to form a system that can have more sustainable environmental impacts. Attendees will also learn about innovative work in both academic and industrial chemistry that takes a systems approach to educating chemists and identifying innovative chemistries which serve multiple environmental stakeholders.

 

The keynote speaker of the symposium is Dr. Kristen M. Kulinowski of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board will also present and discuss real-world case studies where a major incident resulted in changes to chemical processes that made them both safer and greener.

 

We hope you will join us for “Making Chemistry Greener & Safer” and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

 

This session will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry on Thursday, June 13 from 9:45 AM to 12:30 PM at the Lake Audubon, Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

Organizers: Gonghu Li, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire; Jonathan Rochford, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston

 

The green chemistry community, and indeed most of the general populace, are well aware of the negative effects that the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has on our planet. What is less known and talked about is the fact that C02 is also a renewable C1 feedstock and can be used to produce chemicals, materials and fuels. This is why it is important for the public to know and understand different strategies for safely and efficiently utilizing C02 as a valuable feedstock.

 

Our session at this year’s GC&E Conference will focus on and discuss the design of innovative catalytic systems for efficient C02 conversion. While unfortunately there are still few viable strategies for large-scale C02 utilization due to the lack of scientific breakthrough and lack of technologies that are sufficiently mature for industrial deployment, research is progressing towards this goal.  Attendees can expect to learn about the latest in cutting-edge research in the field of chemical conversion of C02 and how it can be used to help protect our atmosphere.

 

This session will be broken down into seven different oral presentations, all given by leading researchers from respected U.S. and Canadian universities as well as a U.S. National Laboratory representative. Topics will include, but are not limited to, rational design of C02-reduction catalysts, molecular and heterogeneous catalysts, and spectroscopic investigations of C02 reduction using catalysts.

 

We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a timely and informative session.

 

This session will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/9th Annual Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry on Tuesday, June 11 from 9:45 AM to 12:10 PM at the Town Center, Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

 

The Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment (A4) is a professional association solely dedicated to advancing the science, practice, and policy of alternatives assessment and informed substitution. A4 offers the opportunity to connect with a collaborative community of professionals representing a broad range of scientific disciplines – toxicology, exposure science, engineering, chemistry, lifecycle assessment, law and policy, and economics, among others – who are working to accelerate the transition to the use of safer chemicals, materials, processes, and products. Join A4 president Pam Spencer at the 2019 Green Chemistry & Engineering (GC&E) Conference for her talk Fostering Green Chemistry and Alternatives Assessment Collaborations in Safer Product Design.


We hope to see you there!

Contributed by Samy Ponnusamy, Fellow & Global Manager, Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma

 

The 12 principles of green chemistry provide a conceptual framework for green chemistry that is globally accepted, which was an important starting point.  As the practice of green chemistry evolves, MilliporeSigma is working to evolve how people can more tangibly interact with the 12 principles through a quantitative framework. While various approaches to quantifying greener processes and products have been proposed, there is no unifying set of metrics in place. After a review of the current state of green chemistry methods, MilliporeSigma developed DOZN™ and leveraged generally accepted industry practices.

 

DOZN™ scores products based on metrics for each principle and aggregates the principle scores to derive a final aggregate score. DOZN™ groups the 12 principles into like categories, allowing for a focus on overarching green chemistry categories of hazard, resource use, and energy efficiency to calculate greener scores from 0 – 100 scale (0 being the most desired). The system calculates scores based on manufacturing inputs, Globally Harmonized System (GHS) and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information, which after the calculation provide a green score for each substance. DOZN™ is flexible enough to encompass the diverse portfolio of products ranging from chemistry to material science to biology. DOZN™ has also been verified and validated by a third party to ensure best practices are applied and a peer-reviewed paper has been published.

 

Using MilliporeSigma’s DOZN™2.0 platform, customers can now calculate green scores for their own processes and products. This free, web-based tool provides users with even more data so that they have more information to increase their sustainability.

 

Quantitative Green Chemistry Evaluator (DOZN2.0):

The design objectives developed by MilliporeSigma scientists included the following:

 

  1.      Allow for direct comparison between alternative chemicals considered for the same application, as well as direct comparison between alternative synthesis manufacturing processes considered for the same chemical product.
  2.      Allow transparent comparison against each of the 12 principles and for each of the three major stewardship categories: resource efficiency, human health and environmental hazard, and energy use.
  3.      Allow customers to score their own products/processes.
  4.      Provide sufficient flexibility to apply to the diverse product portfolio.
  5.      Be inexpensive to implement by utilizing readily available data.
  6.      Be based on generally accepted industry practices, when available.
  7.      Be easy to communicate the method and results to customers.

 

Considering these guiding elements, MilliporeSigma investigated and designed an approach to evaluate and score chemical products and processes on each of the 12 principles.

 

Categories: DOZN2.0 groups the 12 principles into like categories, allowing for a focus on overarching green chemistry categories of hazard, resource use and energy efficiency.

  • Improved resource use
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Reduced human and environmental hazards

 

These category groupings and scores are shown in Table 1 for 1-Aminobenzotriazole (original and re-engineered):

 

DOZN2.0 Scores for 1-Aminobenzotriazole

 

Category and Related Principles

 Original

1-Aminobenzotriazole

Process

 Re-engineered

1-Aminobenzotriazole

Process

Principle Score

Principle Score

Improved Resource Use

Principle 1: Prevention

2214

717

Principle 2: Atom Economy

752

251

Principle 7: Use of Renewable Feedstock

752

251

Principle 8: Reduce Derivatives

0.0

0.0

Principle 9: Catalysis

0.5

1.0

Principle 11: Real-Time Analysis for Pollution Prevention

1.0

1.0

Increased Energy Efficiency

Principle 6: Design for Energy Efficiency

2953

1688

Reduced Human and Environmental Hazards

Principle 3: Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis

1590

1025

Principle 4: Designing Safer Chemicals

7.1

9.1

Principle 5: Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries

2622

783

Principle 10: Design for Degradation

2.3

2.8

Principle 12: Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention

1138

322

Aggregate Score*

93

46

 

*Aggregate Score is calculated by averaging each category scores and summing three category scores to get the single score. Then this will be further normalized (divided by 50) to get an aggregate score from 0  to 100 scales (0 being the most desired).

 

DOZN2.0 moves the quantitative approach to green chemistry forward through accessibility with an aim to continue to the discussion with stakeholders about improvements to the methodology. DOZN™ 2.0 provides the advantage of providing metrics that are (1) inexpensive to implement with readily available data, (2) based on generally accepted industry practices when available and (3) easy to communicate the method and results to customers. Sustainability programs that implement the proposed approach should anticipate the following benefits:

 

  • Measurement: Ability to use on-hand data sources or establish straightforward data collection programs.
  • Calculations: Ability to utilize well-defined metrics to calculate the benefits of the 12 principles of green chemistry.
  • Communication: Ability to transparently communicate greener alternatives to customers.
  • Data privacy: Users can evaluate their processes and products in a secure manner.
  • Enables customers to choose more environmentally friendly approaches for their research/manufacturing projects to promote their overall sustainability.

 

For more information: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/dozn

 

Organizer: Joseph Sabol, Chemical Consultant

 

This symposium is about industrially viable processes to utilize carbon dioxide as a raw material feedstock (as opposed to current venting to the atmosphere or deep-well injection.) Attendees can expect to learn how the barriers of reducing or otherwise incorporating carbon dioxide into process streams were overcome. Traditional waste carbon dioxide can be converted into useful chemicals and fuels, at a profit to society. These chemicals include those to produce fuels, pharmaceuticals, and bio-polymers.

 

Our session will include discussions and presentations from respected subject matter experts from around the world:

 

Schwan Hosseiny, Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics in Stuttgart, Germany will discuss LOTERCO2M, which splits water in a single electrochemical membrane reactor, and directly provides protons to be used with carbon dioxide to form methanol. Hydrogen, generally used with carbon monoxide in the industrial Fischer-Tropsch process to produce liquid hydrocarbons, is not needed. LOTERCO2M, using water, carbondioxide, and ideally renewable electricity, is less complex and more economical than current processes to produce liquid hydrocarbons. Challenges of characterization of the membrane materials and electrode assemblies in the single electrochemical membrane reactor will be presented.

 

Sergey Melnikov, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg, Germany will discuss the liquid-structure properties of various alkanolamines, which are currently used to capture carbon dioxide in flue gas streams. The molecular engineering of novel high-performance biogas upgrading alkanolamine compounds requires detailed information about their properties in mixed solution, including not only the thermodynamics and chemical reactivity, but also the liquid structure properties, the dynamics of carbon dioxide diffusion, and the kinetics of interactions in complex ternary solutions. Molecular simulation techniques, useful tools to investigate molecular binding for further technological applications, will also be presented.

 

Gregory Rorrer, Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University will discuss diatom algae as a platform organism for renewable chemical production. Genera Cyclotella and Thalassiosira produce a unique bio-product, a nanofiber composed of an N-acetyl glucosamine biopolymer, single rigid rods of ~ 50 nm in diameter and 100 mm in length. These nanofibers have a wide variety of biomedical material applications and are readily converted to glucoamine, a widely used nutraceutical. Development of a closed photobioreactor to measure the capture of carbon dioxide by growing cells with inlet and outlet concentrations vs. time, aeration, and light and dark cycles. Mass transfer strategies were developed to dynamically maximize carbon dioxide capture and biomass accumulation, demonstrating how photosynthetic systems can be optimized through an engineering approach to produce carbon-based products.

 

Aubrey Paris, Department of Chemistry and Institute on Science for Global Policy, at Princeton University will discuss new alloy and intermetallic catalysts that have been shown to facilitate carbon-carbon bond formation during carbon dioxide electro-reduction. This makes possible the generation of highly profitable compounds, such as oxalate, with promising catalyst stability and over potential requirements. Attendees will be walked through the process of catalyst discovery, including how a new material is characterized, optimized for peak performance, and tested to gain insight into its activity. Bimetallic catalysts, with newly discovered surface oxides, may play an important role in oxalate formation, which competes with hydrogen production. The mechanism for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds that circumvents the generation of a carbon dioxide radical anion intermediate, and the elimination of nonaqueous solvents, can directly lead to commercial production of glycols and other multi-carbon species.

 

We hope you will join us for this in-depth symposium. Hope to see you there!

 

This session will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry on Wednesday, June 12 from 9:45 AM to 12:30 PM at the Town Center, Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

Organizer: Love-Ese Chile, Bioplastic Specialist and Consultant, Grey to Green Sustainable Solutions

As the world becomes more educated and aware of the environmental issues facing our planet and the consequences of not addressing them, there has been a subsequent and significant increase in everyday citizens looking to do their part. Plastic pollution has become an issue of public concern with greater societal awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways. The quantity of disposable plastics used and the fact that most plastics do not breakdown fast in the environment, are root causes. Alternatives to petroleum-based plastics and biodegradable plastics are becoming more readily available to conscientious consumers. However, without new waste management and recovery options, these alternatives will not be as effective in supporting a circular economy.

This is why our session will focus on the advances in sustainable plastic degradation and highlight the recent research progress made involving the waste recovery aspect of the sustainable plastic lifecycle. Our session will illustrate how bio-derived and/or biodegradable plastics have the potential to significantly reduce not only plastic pollution, but fossil resource reliance as well. It will also show that we unfortunately still need more support in the development of infrastructure and technology to turn this goal into a reality and what you as green chemists and engineers can do to help.

Participants can expect to leave this session with a deeper insight into how to design materials for better use, the recovery and conversion used in the plastic degradation process, as well as new strategies, ideas, and approaches to the waste management of sustainable plastics.

We hope you will join us for the Advances in Sustainable Plastic Degradation session and look forward to discussing this important and timely topic with you in person!

This session will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry on Wednesday, June 12 from 9:45 AM to 11:35 AM at the Regency A, Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

Organizers: Paul D. Thornton; Laura M. Reyes, Career Development Leader, Chemical Institute of Canada

In addition to having a great innovation and a solid business plan, an equally important element for creating a successful start-up is developing partnerships that can access key resources and accelerate the path to market.

 

At the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Sustainable & Green Chemistry in June, we have organized a half-day session that examines the role of partnerships in building green businesses.

 

The session will first feature several entrepreneurs and CEOs who will share their experiences in building the types of partnerships and relationships that have been most important for their company’s development. We will then hear from speakers with expertise in the due diligence process that investors undertake and in how entrepreneurs can protect their intellectual property within partnerships. The final portion of the session will be dedicated to a panel discussion that will feature a variety of organizations dedicated to working with entrepreneurs to develop industry partnerships, find external resources, and secure critical funding.

 

We have three entrepreneurs who will be sharing details of the partnerships that have been critical to their start-ups. Our first speaker is Adrienne McKee, Director of Platform Partnerships for Checkerspot. Checkerspot is a company that is harnessing biotechnology to make custom building blocks that enable the preparation of new, high-performance polyurethanes and coatings. Adrienne will be offering insights into how Checkerspot is building relationships that are critical to the growth of the company and that position it for future success. Sumedh Surwade is the founder and CEO of SAS Nanotechnologies. His company is developing a self-healing anti-corrosive coating technology to be used in a wide range of industrial applications. Sumedh will be presenting on how networking and collaborations have been important in overcoming the commercial challenges he faced when building his start-up. Our third speaker in the session is Bryan Tracy, the CEO and co-founder of White Dog Labs, a company that is using synthetic biology to prepare a range of products in fields ranging from animal nutrition to biofuels. Bryan will discuss the partnerships critical in the path to market for the company’s ProTyton product, a high-protein feed material for use in aquaculture.

 

In addition to these entrepreneurs, will feature two speakers who will be sharing insights into conducting due-diligence when seeking out investors and protecting intellectual property when approaching industry partners. Richard Goodman runs RMG Consulting and has deep experience with entrepreneurs working in chemistry-based technologies. Richard will be presenting on how start-ups can better prepare for technical and commercial landscape due diligence that potential investors will conduct prior to investing in their start-up.

 

Finally, Krista Bianco and Charles Collins-Chase of Finnegan LLP will describe ways in which start-ups can safeguard their intellectual property while still enabling valuable collaborations and partnerships. Krista and Charles bring significant experience in IP Law and will also discuss potential pitfalls that entrepreneurs may encounter around protecting intellectual property.

 

The final hour of the session will be dedicated to a panel discussion that highlights the work of organizations involved in helping start-ups build partnerships and collaborations that advance their commercial development. Julie Manley of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3), Claudio Cinquemani from the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3), Janine Elliott of Venturewell, and Ben Schrag from the National Science Foundation's SBIR Program are the confirmed panelists. Panelists will be describing the work of their organizations and resources available to start-ups that enable valuable commercial partnerships. This closing panel discussion will build on the previous presentations in the session and will be largely driven by questions from audience members including speakers.   

 

We hope to see you there!

 

This event will take place at the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Sustainable & Green Chemistry on Thursday, June 13 from 2:00 PM to 5:05 PM at the Lake Fairfax, Hyatt Regency Reston, VA.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: