Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous Next

Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog

564 posts

One of the new elements of the GC&E Conference this year was a morning dedicated to Interactive Discussions—a different session format aimed to engage participants in discussions and actively explore new approaches and tools. Feedback from participants was positive and these sessions offered a welcome change and a great opportunity to meet and talk to new people.


We will be recapping the session in two parts. Part II will be published in the August issue of The Nexus.


Building Green Businesses

The Building Green Businesses interactive session engaged participants in exploring strategies to translate green chemistry technologies into commercial applications. Participants developed a business model canvas addressing a green chemistry challenge in the textile sector. This approach required attendees to work in teams to consider a number of factors, including customer segments, value proposition, and key partners, in developing business models. Organizer Marty Mulvihill of Safer Made shared information on funding sources, talking with investors, and building a start-up team.


Resources for creating a green business:


Venture Well- Accelerator and curriculum

Business model canvas resources

Safer Made Textile report



Implementation Strategies for Green Chemistry in Products – What are the Barriers, Opportunities, and Key Elements for Making Sustainable Consumer Goods?


In this session led by John Frazier, Bob Buck and Scott Echols, participants were lead through a series of thought-provoking questions and engaged in conversations to identify barriers to implementing green chemistry and then brainstorm potential solutions. The top five barriers identified were 1) long development/scale time, 2) regulatory requirements, 3) cost/investment, 4) clear communication with supply chain, and 5) economy of scale vs. existing chemicals.



High-level routes to overcome these barriers included:

  • Predictive modeling to identify greener alternatives
  • Communicate clear expectations across regulators, brands, suppliers
  • Seek “Co-opitition” Opportunities (competitors collaborating)
  • Educate to create demand
  • Reduce risk through investment insurance model
  • Develop greener purchasing systems
  • Enable fail-fast R&D
  • Multi-disciplinary approach to green chemistry needs
  • Recognize green chemistry as innovation


Minimizing Ecotoxicity and Persistence in Chemicals and Materials

Is it possible to develop a “safe” diazo dye? The Minimizing Ecotoxicity interactive session allowed participants to examine the acute and chronic ecotoxicity of chemical and material safety by using predictive models.  During the session, the attendees were asked to select three candidate compounds to propose a safer aromatic amine alternative based on ecotoxicity and biodegradation data. By studying a list of Primary Aromatic Amines (PAAs), the acute and chronic ecotoxicity data associated with them, in addition to predicted data on biodegradation, the attendees were able to create a list and report out their safer selection. After participants identified their “safer” compounds, they learned about the different methods of ecotoxicity data collection and how it’s used in an integrated approach to identify chemicals safer to other species.


To review the slides from the interactive session visit

The Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship sponsors the participation of a young green chemistry scholar to attend a green chemistry technical meeting, conference, or training program. This year's winners are enrolled at Ohio State and Colorado State. Both students chose to use the award to attend the GC&E Conference in June where they presented their research.


breen-luke.pngLuke Morrical receives Breen Award from Tom Connelly.
© 2018 American Chemical Society. Photo Credit: Naim Hasan Photography



This year’s undergraduate recipient of the Breen Award is Luke Morrical, who is studying chemical engineering at The Ohio State University. Morrical was introduced to green chemistry last year through an internship at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.  His project involved using botanical compounds in conjunction with biobased polymers to combat microbial contamination in foods and food products.



Bonnie Buss receives Breen Award from Tom Connelly.
© 2018 American Chemical Society. Photo Credit: Naim Hasan Photography.



Bonnie Buss, who is working toward her Ph.D. in chemistry at Colorado State University, is this year’s graduate student awardee. Bonnie’s research focuses on the application of organocatalyzed atom transfer radical polymerization to scalable photo-flow reactor systems. She has designed a new class of organic photoredox catalysts that hold promise as polymerization catalysts.


The ACS established the fund in 2000 to commemorate Dr. Breen’s commitment to and accomplishments in advancing green chemistry. Dr. Breen was instrumental in creating the Design for the Environment and Green Chemistry programs in the U.S. EPA, as well as founding the Green Chemistry Institute (which later became a part of ACS).

Congratulations to this year’s Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award winner, Emily Roberts, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Materials Chemistry at the University of Southern California. She received the award from the ACS Executive Director and CEO Tom Connelly at the GC&E Conference in June.


hancock.pngEmily Roberts receives Hancock Award from Tom Connelly.
©2018 American Chemical Society. Photo Credit: Naim Hasan Photography


The Hancock Award provides national recognition and honor for outstanding student contributions to furthering the goals of green chemistry through research and/or studies.


Roberts' research is directed towards improving the production of biofuels by scaling catalytic nanoparticle fabrication. She is investigating earth-abundant catalysts composed of Ni and Ni2P.  Her research is also focused on transitioning and scaling the batch manufacturing of these nanoscale catalysts to a continuous flow droplet microreactor using an ionic liquid solvent in place of volatile organic solvents.


The Hancock Award is sponsored by the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry and the National Institute of Standards & Technology.

My sincere thanks to all who attended and helped organize last month’s Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Portland, Oregon—what a fantastic meeting!  A total of 580 attendees shared research results, engaged in interactive discussions, and visited the poster session, exhibitors, and product showcase.  The keynote speakers – Joe DeSimone, Don Sadoway, and Julie Zimmerman – were exceptional, and the high-energy networking events provided attendees with opportunities to establish new collaborations across sectors.


I would like to extend a special thanks to our conference co-chairs, Julie Haack and Richard Blackburn, for organizing such a dynamic conference. Their vision in retaining the scientific core of the conference while introducing new features, such as the interactive sessions and product showcase, was key to the success of the conference. The incredible support of my ACS Green Chemistry Institute® colleagues – Christiana Briddell, Ashley Choi, David Constable, Jane Day, Matt Deinhardt, Dawn Holt, Jenny MacKellar, Isamir Martinez, and Stephanie Wahl – was essential in delivering an outstanding meeting experience. The conference also afforded us the opportunity to recognize Kent Voorhees for his dedicated service to ACS GCI during his 11 years on the Governing Board, including five years as Chair.


voorhees.pngKent Voorhees thanked by Tom Connelly on behalf of his service on, and as Chair of, the ACS GCI Governing Board.
©2018 American Chemical Society. Photo Credit: Naim Hasan Photography.


Planning for the 2019 joint 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference is well underway. The conference will be held in Reston, Virginia from June 11-13, 2019 under the leadership of conference co-chairs Joan Brennecke and Philip Jessop. The call for symposia is open through September 10 and I encourage you to submit your ideas. Submissions are welcome in all areas of green chemistry and engineering, particularly those that address the conference theme of “closing the loop” of the chemical life cycle.


While much of ACS GCI’s attention has been lately focused on the conference, work continues on other fronts, as evidenced by two recent publications. Jim Hutchison and Tom Holme, who are deeply involved in developing the Green Chemistry Education Roadmap, published an editorial in the April issue of the Journal of Chemical Education on “A Central Learning Outcome for the Central Science”.  The Central Learning Outcome articulated in this article is that “Chemicals have benefits and hazards, and these must be considered together.” Tony Noce, ACS GCI Advisory Board member and Chair of the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement, authored a May 27 comment in Chemical & Engineering News that outlined how chemistry can help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  He highlights chemistry’s essential role in meeting these ambitious goals.


Finally, I hope to see many of you at the ACS National Meeting in Boston next month. Symposia on green chemistry are featured in many of the technical divisions, including catalysis, chemical education, environmental, and organic.  Please stop by the GCI booth (#1418) in the exhibit hall – we look forward to welcoming you!




By Louis Diorazio, Pharmaceutical Technology and Development, AstraZeneca


Solvents are commonplace chemicals across industry and academia.  In many cases, the bulk of the materials that chemists process are solvents with the ‘interesting stuff’ present only as minor components.  From this, it can be seen that the greenness of a chemical process, whether in a lab or a manufacturing plant, will be heavily influenced by the selection of the correct solvent.  Although solvents can offer green credentials in their own right, this only translates into a green process once we recognize that the purpose of a solvent is to effectively support an application such as synthesis, coating or formulation.  A green solvent may not provide for a green process if we don’t properly consider its influence on aspects of the application from the molecular to the macro scale such as:


  • Accessible temperature window
  • ‘Molecular’ properties  and interactions e.g. pKa, redox potential, metal binding, solubility
  • Side reactions and impurities
  • Available analytical technologies e.g. refractive index, spectral properties
  • Product isolation and drying


Effective solvent selection should progress beyond the current contents of the solvent cupboard or from a limited appraisal of options.  The principles of solvent selection are very simple and start with a straightforward challenge ‘Do I really need a solvent?’  In many applications (e.g. making low cost / high volume materials), solvents bring unnecessary dilution and no benefit but if the need for a solvent can be justified, there are only two additional questions to answer:


  1. What properties do I need from a solvent?
  2. What solvents fulfill those requirements?


The new Solvent Selection Tool launched publicly by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable sets out to provide answers to these questions. Users start from a pool of 272 solvents that can be filtered based on a wide range of criteria such as:


  • Chemical functionality
  • Physical properties
  • Engineering and plant accommodation
  • Safety Health and Environment
  • ICH classification


In this way, the user can address traditional processing concerns such as chemical reactivity or water miscibility alongside environmental considerations. The tool deliberately avoids explicitly identifying solvent identities until the user is happy with the size of their shortlist, all of which fulfills the set criteria. Some unconventional or unexpected options may be encountered, the key is to be open to change – after all, what does a solvent look like? Ultimately this provides for rational solvent selection where results can be explored directly in lab studies or refined using predictive methods.


The issue of solvent selection is becoming more critical as legislation places restrictions on some traditional solvents (e.g. glyme, HMPA, benzene, NMP, DME) for reasons of health or environmental impact. This challenge will only increase over time and scientists will need to be more open minded with respect to solvent choice in the future.


Our perspective should focus on green solvent selection, i.e. providing end-to-end performance against all criteria rather than force-fitting a green solvent and expecting an optimal result. Take a look at the tool and tell us what you think.




L.J.Diorazio, D.R.J.Hose, N.K.Adlington, Org. Process Res. Dev., 2016, 20, 760-773

Contributed by Derrick Ward, Program Manager, Beyond Benign, and Erika Daley, My Green Lab


Are you looking to integrate green chemistry into teaching labs, but just can’t find time to look for and analyze new experiments? Are you a TA that would like to suggest safer experiments with a lower environmental impact, but haven’t been educated in the topic yourself? Are you a student or staff researcher that would like to make simple changes to green your lab practices, but don’t know where to start? We are happy to share that two non-profit organizations have joined forces to bring you a solution!


guides.pngGlobal industries are redefining their core business strategies by adopting greener chemistry practices that are reinventing supply-chain ecosystems to design models that create value for all stakeholders – including the planet. By simply adopting greener chemistry practices, whole industries have seen positive benefits ranging from novel innovations, reduced operational waste and costs, to increased market presence by differentiating themselves amongst their competitors. As a result, the North American green chemistry market is projected to grow from $3 billion to $20 billion by 2020. To facilitate the education and adoption of green chemistry by scientists supporting this market, we are thrilled to share that Beyond Benign and My Green Lab recently launched ‘A Guide to Green Chemistry Experiments for Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Labs’, with support from our mutual sponsor Millipore Sigma.


The guide provides 10 published, peer-reviewed green chemistry experiment that have been identified as substitutions for traditional undergraduate organic chemistry teaching lab experiments, in a pre-packaged, customizable manner that you may use as-is, or adjust to fit your own needs. Each experiment includes an introduction, experimental procedure, EH&S ratings, comparative analysis against traditional experiments, a TA guide, and example quiz questions. An assessment demonstrating qualitative benefits of green chemistry implementation, including energy efficiency, use of renewable resources, and use of safer solvents is also provided. Our goal was to make it as easy as possible for you to integrate these greener alternatives in your own teaching labs.


We took this opportunity to include several resources that extend well beyond academic teaching labs and apply to all academic and industry research settings. The introduction chapter includes information on greening common laboratory techniques, solvent and reagent substitution guides, ‘green chemistry 101’, and explanation of the EH&S safety ranking system we used so that you may adopt it for your own purposes.


qrcode.pngHow to Get Your Free Copy!

This guide is a FREE resource available for the chemistry community, from undergraduate students to faculty members, and it is available to download by scanning the QR code below or at:



After downloading your FREE copy of “A Guide to Green Chemistry Experiments for Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Labs”, check out the instructional webinar highlighting in more detail the design and benefits it offers to your organic chemistry laboratory! You can access the webinar here.


We Want to Hear From You!

We would love to hear from you with regards to how you are using the Guide, and suggestions for experiments you would like to see in future editions! To provide this and any other feedback, please take a moment to complete the following survey: We know your time is valuable, and greatly appreciate your input!

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is pleased to announce the opening of the 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The U.S. EPA supports the continuation of the awards program for 2018 under the sponsorship of the ACS GCI. To ensure continuity, the awards categories and guidelines are remaining the same, only the timing of the awards cycle is changing, and the ACS GCI will be managing the awards program and making final decisions about award winners.


As in past years, an independent scientific panel convened by ACS GCI will be making recommendations for the award winners, with the final decisions for each award category chosen by members of the ACS GCI Advisory Board.


Estimated Timeline:

  • Submissions accepted from April 30, 2018 through July 2, 2018
  • Award winners notified no later than August 31, 2018
  • Awards ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C. on October 2018


The award guidelines and nomination package will be posted on the ACS GCI website by April 30, 2018, and these will follow the same guidelines as in previous years. Interested parties are encouraged to begin the process for submission as soon as possible.


If you have any questions, please email

Contributed by Paul D. Thornton, Development Scientist, GreenCentre Canada, and Laura M. Reyes, Career Development Leader, Chemical Institute of Canada


We have organized a full-day session at this year’s GC&E conference called "Accelerating Development of Sustainable Products and Processes Through Start-Ups and SMEs," which will bring together entrepreneurs from various sectors and stages of company growth to share their stories, focusing on successes and turning points, expected and unexpected challenges, and lessons learned along the way. We will also hear about existing resources that can be creatively leveraged for maximum impact toward a growing company’s commercialization goals. While there is no easy roadmap for a green chemistry start-up to follow, there are valuable lessons to be learned from these shared experiences, and it is our hope that this session will help enable entrepreneurship in green chemistry and the resulting market adoption of innovative products and processes.


This session, which will take place all day on Wednesday, June 20, will greatly benefit anyone who is involved in, or interested in, start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) based in green chemistry. All conference delegates are highly encouraged to attend and join us in learning different perspectives of what is needed to bring a green product or process to market.


We will feature presentations from nine entrepreneurs and company founders, from fields as diverse as waste recycling, to safer consumer products, to naturally sourced ingredients. The talks will include two keynote speakers. In the morning, Lauren Zarama, the CEO of InKemia Green Chemicals, will discuss her company’s approach to innovating and commercializing greener and safer chemistry solutions. In the afternoon, Richard Blackburn, the co-founder and director of Keracol and a professor at the University of Leeds, will discuss commercializing natural products for use in the cosmetics industry and how he balances academia and entrepreneurship. The other companies featured are: framergy, Grow Bioplastics, Newreka Green Synth Technologies, RAPID Manufacturing USA Institute, remooble, and Sironix Renewables.


Following the start-up presentations, we will shift focus towards available resources, including the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council’s Green & Bio-Based Chemistry Startup Network, and considerations to keep in mind when turning a technology into a business. A series of short talks will cover the importance of market focus (by Diatomix), the most critical intellectual property tips (by Finnegan LLP), and the due diligence process behind investing in new ventures (by Chemical Angel Network). An interactive discussion will close off the day, highlighting the technical and business needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses in green chemistry, and what resources are available to address those gaps. We look forward to continuing these lively conversations shortly after our session at the GC&E’s Green Chemistry on Tap social!

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® receives input from a variety of stakeholders and last week the GCI Advisory Board met in Washington, DC. Chaired by ACS Past President and former Chair of the Board Bill Carroll, the Advisory Board includes Concepción Jiménez-González, GlaxoSmithKline; Lauren Heine, Northwest Green Chemistry; Audrey Moores, McGill University; Michael Kirschner, Design Chain Associates, LLC; and Tony Noce, Tetra Tech and Chair of the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement.


Advisory Board members provided guidance to GCI staff on a number of topics, including the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, the International Year of the Periodic Table, and the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.  The Advisory Board discussed the recent GAO report on "Chemical Innovation: Technologies to Make Processes and Products More Sustainable" and received updates on federal policy related to green chemistry, collaborations between the green chemistry and safety communities, and progress on the environmental genome project.


The Advisory Board also received an update and provided feedback on the 2018 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, the premier venue for sharing expertise across the green chemistry and engineering community. We are thrilled to be returning to Portland, Oregon on June 18-20 for the 22nd Annual Conference with a theme of “Product Innovation Using Greener Chemistries”. In addition to 30 technical symposia, this year’s conference will feature several interactive sessions along with a product showcase demonstrating green chemistry and engineering applications in the marketplace. The early-bird deadline of April 30 is fast approaching and I encourage you to register at to take advantage of the best conference rate.


At last month’s ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, GCI recognized the ACS Student Chapters that are sharing their green chemistry expertise on their campuses and within their local communities. A total of 56 Student Chapters were honored for their green chemistry activities during the Student Chapters Awards Ceremony on Sunday, March 18. Approximately 1,000 students and their faculty advisors celebrated the accomplishments of all of the Student Chapters during this high-energy ceremony.


The ACS National Meeting also provided a venue to reflect upon advances in green chemistry since the principles of green chemistry were introduced by Paul Anastas and John Warner 20 years ago. Speakers in the “State-of-the-Art:  Two Decades Advancing the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry” session highlighted products and processes that address each of the principles, as well as opportunities to further promote the integration of green chemistry across the chemistry enterprise.


As we approach Earth Day, it is important to continue sharing our expertise with colleagues, students, family, and friends. Chemistry in service to humanity is a powerful message that reflects our commitment to protecting human health and the environment through the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering.



Organized by Jennifer Y. Tanir, M. Barclay Satterfield, Robert Giraud, George Cobb, and David Constable (members of ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement)


We cordially invite conference attendees to participate in an interactive, 1-day workshop, "Charting the Course to Sustainable Chemistry in the Supply Chain," on Wednesday, June 20. The goal of the workshop is to evaluate successes of integrating green/sustainable chemistry into the supply chain in the formulated personal care and household products sector and distill the learnings into a plan for widespread adoption.


One of the barriers to the ubiquitous implementation of sustainable chemistry is strong integration and acceptance throughout the supply chain. Despite many individual single-product or single-company successes, or a few advances in limited sectors’ supply chains, there is still a need for widespread agreement on sustainability goals and cooperation throughout the supply chain.


The interactive workshop will be divided in to three sessions: (1) Lessons Learned; (2) Gaps, Challenges, and Needs; and (3) Facilitated Discussion and Roadmapping, with the goal of developing a plan (and ultimately a publication) to improve incorporation of sustainable chemistry in the supply chain for formulated products. The first two sessions are panel discussions with subsequent breakout discussions for the audience to contribute their ideas to key questions. In the final session, the facilitated discussion and roadmapping aims to articulate the vision for success and identify the 4 or 5 major milestones or key recommendations to move the sector from the current status to goal status.


We are holding this workshop at the 2018 GC&E Conference in order to bring together diverse thinking: technical experts in the formulated personal care and household products with other sectors, learnings from other sectors that can be applied, new ways of thinking, and students who can develop future solutions. Conference attendees are encouraged to participate as an audience, in the breakout discussions, and in developing the plan forward through the roadmapping discussion.

The symposium "Chemistry in Water – Following Nature’s Lead" honors the winners of the 2018 Peter J. Dunn award by the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable: Prof. Sachin Handa, University of Louisville, and Prof. Bruce Lipshutz, University of California, Santa Barbara. The Symposium features the latest developments in new synthetic chemistry from both academic and industrial labs that document not only that waste creation can be minimized, but that by going green, “faster, better, cheaper” processes oftentimes can be anticipated.


Prof. Sachin Handa’s award lecture "Non-Traditional Approaches to Chemical Catalysis to Sustainably Achieve Selective Reaction Pathways" will focus on issues with reproducibility, purity and selectivity arising at the multi-gram scale. In addressing these issues, Prof. Handa’s group has sought to develop catalysts, reagents and reaction media which are cheap, sustainable, easily recyclable, safer to use and yet also markedly improve reaction outcomes in terms of activity, selectivity and scalability.


Prof. Bruce Lipshutz’s award lecture "Synthetic Organic Chemistry in Water, Environmentally Responsible and Sustainable" will focus on the recent (unpublished) development of new palladacycles that are matched to both a ligand and their use in micellar catalysis, thereby enabling Suzuki-Miyaura (SM) cross-couplings at 300 ppm levels of Pd. A new ligand platform will also be discussed that can be prepared in only two steps, and that also can be applied to ppm level Pd-catalyzed SM reactions in water under mild conditions.


Dr. Wilfried Braje, Senior Principle Scientist at AbbVie, will give his presentation "Organic Chemistry in Water: Applications in the Pharmaceutical Industry" that will disclose applications of micellar catalysis for the most important reaction types performed in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g., transition-metal-catalyzed reactions such as Buchwald-Hartwig aminations, Suzuki, and Negishi couplings). In addition, a new additive will be disclosed for the first time. This additive enables chemical reactions to proceed in water with unprecedented short reaction times.


Dr. Fabrice Gallou, Principle Fellow at Novartis, will present a talk entitled "Alternative Solvents: From a Compliance-Driven Activity to a Trigger for Innovation" focusing on the application of the surfactant technology developed by professors Lipshutz and Handa. The team at Novartis has identified a variety of straightforward and highly advantageous transformations and their applications on-scale. Implementation of the technology typically resulted in significant benefits across their entire portfolio, not just from an environmental standpoint but also from an economic and productivity perspective (e.g., reduction in organic solvent consumption, water use and cycle time, milder reaction conditions, and improved yields and selectivities, which all contribute to improved process performance and lower manufacturing costs).


The Symposium will be held at the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Portland on Monday, June 18, 2018, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.

This Monday afternoon session will highlight industry innovations based on green chemistry and engineering principles, focusing on the development and design process. Case studies will be presented to illustrate how companies in different sectors have successfully implemented green chemistry and engineering principles into their processes. These examples will describe the design and development process, the challenges faced, and how these barriers were overcome. Additionally, this session will discuss the important collaborations along the value chain and with the academic community.


From the session, attendees should be able to understand at a high level how industry develops products and processes, and the many factors that contribute to the launch and commercialization of new greener technologies.  Presenters will be from industry and academia in order to share the valuable insights of a diverse group on the challenges and opportunities in bringing sustainable chemistries and processes to market.


Symposium organizer:

Ettigounder (Samy) Ponnusamy, Ph.D.

Fellow & Global Manager, Green Chemistry



Presentations include:


  • Finding nature-inspired alternatives to PFASs in durable water repellency (DWR): an academic/industry approach. T. McKeag
  • "Greener solutions" and "PFCs of environmental concern". B.J. Henry
  • Development of an eco-friendly biotransformation protocol for valorization of food industry waste for commercial application in consumer products. N. Mexia, M. Benohoud, C.M. Rayner, R.S. Blackburn
  • Sustainable dyeing of cotton: Graft-polymerization of AOETMAC to achieve ultra-deep black shades without salt or alkali. M. Abed, S. Salim, S. Mandal, A. El Shafei
  • Assessment of modernized chromatographic methods for a greener tomorrow from a global perspective. M.B. Hicks, L. Lehmann, W.P. Farrell, C.M. Aurigemma, J. Xu, R. Dermenjian
  • Green chemistry innovation in chemiluminescent conjugate manufacturing processes. J. Grote
  • Green chemistry impacts on environmental media. S.D. Gaona, A. Lew
  • Sustainability at an enterprise level: Focusing greening of the value chain. H. Plugge
  • Single-step co-synthesis of methanol, dimethyl ether and dimethyl carbonate from biomass-derived syngas. P. Sripada, A. Parihar, S. Bhattacharya
  • Cl2-free production of ethylene dichloride and propylene oxide. J. Hauck, M. Leclerc
  • Recycling metal swarf by extraction of cutting oils with supercritical CO2. R. Schlake, A. Kaziunas

Effective and inherently safer chemical products and processes are the obvious choice over their hazardous counterparts. The market appears to agree, with one forecasting analysis predicting that alternative chemical products, i.e., those made with inherently safer and more sustainable ingredients, will experience a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2016 and 2026 (BCC Research).


While many chemists are inspired to use their skills to improve health, safety and environmental impacts, a gap remains between innovation and implementation. Work on basic and/or applied research challenges is very different from bringing products to the marketplace. And products don’t simply have to be safer; they also have to perform as well as or better than existing products, in terms of both cost and functionality. There are also societal, political, and educational hurdles to overcome.


In our session, "Real-World Sustainability Challenges: Incentives and Barriers to the Use of Green Chemistry in Products," our speakers and panelists will explore this divide as well as best practices for successfully bridging the gap. We’re thrilled to have four outstanding session chairs: Dr. Lauren Heine, Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC)’s Executive Director; Dr. Amelia Nestler, NGC’s Project Manager; Anthony (Tony) Noce, Vice President, EHS Management Systems at Tetra Tech; and Ray Garant, Director of Public Policy at the American Chemical Society.


The diverse drivers for the adoption of green chemistry in products are not necessarily in alignment. Our session speakers will explore how creative initiatives supportive of safer products, like environmentally preferable procurement policies and start-up support,  often contrast with uncompromising obstacles such as lack of funding, limited market awareness or outdated standards and regulations.


Our line-up of expert speakers will cover these, and many more, drivers and barriers in depth and from first-hand practical experience:


To support scientists in fulfilling the promise of green chemistry to provide practical, sustainable solutions in the marketplace, they will discuss:

  • How to shepherd a great idea into a real and successful product
  • Resources that are available to designers at different stages in development
  • Common pitfalls and best practices for overcoming them
  • Sources of inspiration for solving real-world sustainability problems
  • Systems models and metrics for success


Join the conversation with product developers, regulators, investors, and procurement professionals to advance your innovative ideas and bring safe, sustainable products to the market. We look forward to hearing about your green chemistry product development experiences at the 22nd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference!

The Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale is collaborating with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on a three-year project to increase the general global awareness and capacities on deployable green chemistry in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.


This project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is part of the Yale-UNIDO Global Green Chemistry Initiative and was developed in response to the increasing variety and complexity of chemicals and the need to make the products safer and their manufacturing processes less polluting.


The Initiative consists of series of workshops in six countries where green chemistry experts deliver a one-day green chemistry awareness workshop, followed by a five-day training workshop developed for participants from industry, academia, non-profits and government. All workshops provide hands-on tools and materials to assist with the design of products and processes that advance global sustainability. In addition to the workshops—taking place in Brazil, Serbia, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Egypt and South Africa—the Center is also developing a university curriculum for students to teach green chemistry to undergraduates as early as their freshman year. This work is done in collaboration with Beyond Benign and will include lecture materials, laboratory exercises, and videos that are developed by students around the world.


“We are thrilled to be leading this project and to be working with the local and international green chemistry communities to develop the most effective way to disseminate green chemistry materials to countries around the world. So far the feedback we received has been fantastic and the workshops have been very well received by participating countries. We are eager to do more.” said Karolina Mellor, Ph.D., one of the Yale-UNIDO project managers.


“Thanks to UNIDO and GEF generosity, and the wonderful support from students, faculty and our local partners, we are able to do work that has the potential to impact countries’ sustainable development,” added Dr. Mellor.


As the project develops, the Yale-UNIDO Global Green Chemistry Initiative plans to engage the green chemistry community to develop a comprehensive compendium of green chemistry and green engineering technologies that include the broad array of innovations that are commercially available today. The document will provide a comprehensive collection of green technologies within developed and transitioning countries.


The Yale-UNIDO Initiative will be highlighted by Professor Paul Anastas, Ph.D., at the 2018 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Portland, Oregon at the session “Providing guidance for a wide distribution and implementation of green chemistry to developing countries and economies in transition,” where student videos will be shown and our strategy of community engagement will be outlined.



Awareness Raising Workshop in Belgrade, Serbia

Contributed by Jennifer MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute


Over the years, there have been many efforts to provide green chemistry resources and support for chemistry educators. We are pleased to announce another outstanding resource developed through a collaborative effort of chemistry educators: a green chemistry supplement to the ACS Guidelines for Bachelor’s Degree Programs. The development of the Green Chemistry in the Curriculum supplement was led by the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement with the support of many educators in the green chemistry community. This is just one more example of the incredible passion and commitment the green chemistry community demonstrates for enabling the adoption of green chemistry principles and practices in chemistry education.


The premise of the supplement is one that many of us in the green chemistry community already stand behind wholeheartedly, that in order for chemists to play a central role in addressing the grand challenges of sustainability, the integration of green chemistry principles and systems thinking is needed throughout the traditional chemistry subdisciplines. The Green Chemistry in the Curriculum supplement provides the context for why green and sustainable chemistry is critical for the next generation of chemists and provides some guidance for approaching chemistry education from a context-rich or systems thinking perspective.  Continuing on, the supplement articulates some illustrative examples of green chemistry for each of the foundational chemistry courses: General Chemistry, Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, Physical and Biochemistry. While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, it is intended to demonstrate how green chemistry concepts are relevant to all areas of chemistry and could, ideally, be scaffolded across the curriculum.


The ACS Guidelines for Bachelor Degree programs provide standards that define excellent and rigorous programs for undergraduate chemistry education. There are over 680 approved chemistry programs. The ACS Committee on Professional Training is in charge of this approval procedure. In addition to the guidelines, the Committee publishes supplements that provide advice to institutions that wish to develop specific aspects of their chemistry program.


The green chemistry supplement was approved by the Committee on Professional Training during the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans. When this news emerged at the meeting, the initial reception among educators was enthusiastic. We hope that you will also value this resource and share it with colleagues.


Successfully integrating green chemistry throughout the chemistry curriculum is a long-term strategic goal of ACS GCI. We will continue to support efforts to this end through our work on a Green Chemistry Education Roadmap, as well as by collaborating with key stakeholders such as Beyond Benign and the IUPAC Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education. Together we can make a difference!


We are currently in the process of plans to expand on the information in the supplement to give even more resources and guidance. We’d love to hear from you. How are you bringing green chemistry into your courses? What resources would be helpful?


Finally, I would like to give a quick shout-out to the amazing line-up of green chemistry enthusiasts who made this supplement possible. Without your wisdom, experience, and perseverance, we would not be where we are today.


Thank you!


Tony Noce  ·  Kate Aubrecht  ·  Marie Bourgeois  ·  Ed Brush  ·  Jane Wissinger  ·  Cathy Middlecamp  ·  Julie Haack  ·  Alan Elzerman  ·  Jim Hutchison  ·  David Constable  ·  Dave Finster  ·  Irv Levy  ·  Amy Cannon  ·  Tom Holme

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: