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Every year, starting in 1996, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® hosts the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, bringing together scientists, engineers, government and business leaders from around the world under a common vision of a brighter, smarter, and more sustainable future. The men and women who attend the conference are asking the right questions, and sharing their progress towards answering them through research presentations, case studies, and discussions.


Each conference is shaped by a dedicated group of volunteers who put together the technical program and inform the overarching theme. This year’s conference co-chairs are Jim Hutchison, University of Oregon; John Frazier, Nike, Inc.; and Tina Bahadori, U.S. EPA. They are working closely with the organizing committee on a program that explores the theme, “Advancing Chemistry, Innovating for Sustainability”.



What is New This Year


The 18th annual conference will explore new areas as well continue to develop important themes. As Professor Jim Hutchison explains, “This year we are planning multisession tracks or themes that tackle the tough issues in green chemistry and engineering. These tracks will span the range from the big picture challenges and opportunities to detailed technical presentations. Each track is being carefully crafted to address major societal and industrial opportunities and challenges, including critical materials, alternative feedstocks and sustainable molecular-level design. In addition to high-quality technical content, panels and events are being planned to ensure that the conference is highly interactive."


Themes to be explored include:

  • Greening chemical processes, products, and supply chains
  • Rational chemical design and alternatives assessment
  • Critical materials in research and development
  • Integrating green chemistry into the classroom, and beyond
  • Materials innovation for sustainable apparel and footwear
  • Green chemistry policy initiatives
  • And more

The Call for Papers is now open, and submissions will be accepted through February 28, 2014.

If you are interested in contributing your part to GC&E by presenting a paper, or would like to see a full description of topics to be covered, visit the technical track program page at this year’s conference website.

Workshops, Events, and Special Sessions

  • GC&E Business Plan Competition: We will be holding a business plan competition for green chemistry/engineering entrepreneurs, with finalists presenting their business plans at the conference. The application process will be announced soon. Find out more.
  • GC&E Student Workshop: Not to be missed by any student attending the conference, this full-day free workshop will be held June 16, 2014 at the ACS headquarters in Washington, DC. Find out more.
  • LAUNCH Workshop: A partnership between NASA, Nike, the U.S. Department of State, and USAID, brings us the LAUNCH System Challenge which will focus on green chemistry in 2014. Explore why a systems innovation approach is key to accelerating funding for and adoption of green chemistry and why green chemistry is critical to innovating the systems of materials and manufacturing that we rely on.
  • ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy: A special track will showcase the research and education innovations of 10 years of graduates of the Summer School from all over North and South America.
  • Monday Night Special Event on Critical Elements: All conference attendees are invited to join us on Monday night, June 16, 2014 for a look into the life cycle of critical elements mixing science, art, and society. Stay tuned for more details.
  • ACS Careers Workshop: A special four-hour workshop presented by the ACS Careers team will explore career pathways and job trends, and practical information to propel one’s job search. Find out more.

“We invite you to join us in a transformative discussion about reimagining chemistry and building the foundation for our future!”—Tina Bahadori, 2014 GC&E co-chair.

Take advantage of early registration and save up to fifteen percent. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at We look forward to hearing from you!


“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


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Are you a graduate or undergraduate student?
Are you interested in how you can apply green chemistry to your research, lab, or thesis?


With constant news like catalysis breakthroughs and multinational chemical firms transitioning from carbon-intensive petroleum to renewable feedstocks, it is clear that green chemistry is the central science to enable a more sustainable world.  As conventional reagents and key elements become increasingly scarce and costly, it is crucial that young chemists and engineers understand how to make their research greener.


To help meet this need the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is offering a full-day workshop where current graduate and undergraduate students can learn and practice how to evaluate the impact of chemicals and syntheses, and practice determining the greenest options. Most importantly, participating students have the opportunity to assess their own research with synthetic, analytical, and process experts. Throughout the day students will apply the ideas and tools learned in the workshop to their thesis, undergraduate lab, or even a class lab. Join us to learn how to apply green chemistry and engineering principles in the lab today and create more sustainable solutions for tomorrow!


Date: March 18, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Cost: $50.00
*Lunch provided!

Undergraduate and graduate students attending the ACS National Meeting can apply to the workshop by sending a completed application to with “Greening Your Research” as the subject. Space is limited, so be sure to send your application by February 28, 2014!

And if you are not yet registered for the National Meeting, you can register here. Take advantage of the early bird discount before February 6th!




“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

13th Annual Green Chemistry in Education Workshop
July 12-17, 2014 – University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

The Green Chemistry in Education Workshop is a five-day workshop for educators in the chemical sciences interested in incorporating green or sustainable chemistry concepts into the organic chemistry curriculum and laboratory.The primary goals for this workshop are to increase the number of educators who incorporate green chemistry experiments and concepts into their teaching and establish a network of chemical educators who promote green chemistry.


The workshop is a combination of lectures, discussion, and hands-on time in the laboratory. Leaders in the field will address the need for green chemistry in the undergraduate curriculum and provide strategies for designing, adapting and incorporating new green experiments into existing organic chemistry curricula. During the laboratory sessions, participants will have an opportunity to perform and evaluate greener organic laboratory experiments developed at the University of Oregon and elsewhere. Past participants from the workshop will be present to share their experiences infusing green chemistry into their courses and on developing new green chemistry materials. Participants are encouraged to share and refine their own plans for integrating green chemistry at their institution. Preference is given to applicants who focus on organic chemistry laboratory and who have the potential to significantly impact students, colleagues and the community. To apply go to:




“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® administers two student awards each year that recognize and support young chemists and engineers interested in green chemistry and engineering. Applications for both awards are due on February 1, 2014. Apply today for these awards and take your education to the next level.


Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship

The Breen award sponsors young international scholars to participate in a green chemistry technical meeting, conference, or training program. The award covers travel and registration expenses up to $2,000.


Find out more & apply to the Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship


Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award

The Hancock award of $1,000 is presented annually at the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, and recognizes student contributions to the advancement of green chemistry research or education. The award is open to any undergraduate through graduate level student, regardless of country of origin or place of study. Find out more & apply to the Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award


If you know of chemistry students who might be interested in applying for these awards, please share this post with them.


For details, please visit the ACS GCI awards page or email




“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

It has been a year now since I've started working at the ACS GCI and I’m not quite sure how the days accumulated into weeks and months that passed so quickly. I’m also not sure how we managed to accomplish so much but I think it has to do with having an amazing staff here in Washington and an amazing number of talented and committed people who have made so many contributions to green chemistry and engineering throughout the year. I have no doubt that the rapid pace and the many opportunities to move things forward will continue.


So what's ahead? There are the usual events like the Spring and Fall National ACS meetings where you will find green chemistry and engineering-related sessions sprinkled across many divisions. It's pretty exciting to see all the content and I hope that many of you will be able to participate. At the Spring meeting in Dallas we are working on a workshop for students to help them apply green chemistry and engineering to their research. This workshop promises to be a very practical and interactive opportunity to use tools and case studies. It's not the usual overview of what green chemistry is, or a review of the principles of chemistry and engineering but how you assess toxicity, change your reaction conditions and make better choices in the lab.


There's also the annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in June, the week of the 16th (17th, 18th, and 19th) to look forward to and hopefully you'll be there. The program organizers, Jim Hutchison (Univ. of Oregon), John Frazier (Nike), and Tina Bahadori (US EPA) have assembled a great team and are putting together a program to be remembered. Please do visit to learn more. The abstract system is open now and will close on February 28th.


This is also a year of other specialty conferences and symposia. Most notably, there is the Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry in Hong Kong and the IUPAC conference on Green Chemistry in Durban, South Africa. Both of these are shaping up to be great opportunities to interact with different green chemistry and engineering researchers across the globe. Very exciting indeed!


The work of the ACS GCI Industry Roundtables also continues apace. Each has met already or will meet soon to establish goals for 2014, and I am encouraged by what they are planning. An exciting addition on the horizon is a new roundtable for businesses involved in hydraulic fracturing, and I will be telling you more about that in the not too distant future. In fact, we hope to communicate more about the activities of all the roundtables throughout the year, recognizing that there has been much progress and many accomplishments over the years that are little known outside of the participating companies.


We are also working to understand comprehensively what is being done in green chemistry and engineering, and what is being said about it. Answering the simple questions of who is doing what and where they're doing it has not been an easy task. Note to academics: It would be helpful to the entire green chemistry and engineering community to make what you are doing more visible on the internet than it is currently! Later in the year, we are hoping to convene a key group of educators and industry folks for a workshop to develop educational roadmaps for green chemistry and possibly green engineering (if no one is doing that already). Jim Hutchison, David Allen, Julie Haack, Amy Cannon and others have been talking about this and moving the idea forward for a while now and we'd like to help move it the next step.


As has been the case for many years, there are a vast number of opportunities in green chemistry and engineering. I think what I am beginning to see is an increase in momentum, greater student interest, greater faculty involvement and a continuation of a high level of passion and energy in all sectors (industry, government, academia). It’s truly wonderful to see.


As always, let me know what you think.




“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

Show how green your work is at Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on Green Chemistry in Hong Kong this year!


The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry define our view of a sustainable future, with a key focus on designing chemical products and processes that have minimal environmental impact, are energy-efficient, and come with inherent safety for health and the environment. Cutting-edge developments, however, require constant stimulating discussion, multidisciplinary approaches, and an enthusiastic international community of scientists willing to share their high-quality research. All these factors are present at the unique Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Green Chemistry; this year to be held in Hong Kong!

GRC & GRS small poster.jpgGRC lecture 1956.jpgSince 1931, GRC, being a non-profit organisation, provides an international forum for the presentation and discussion of the frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, including related technologies. The GRC meetings are high-quality and cost-effective, being organised by leading investigators in the field, and held in fairly isolated locations to minimise distractions. Also, only unpublished research at the absolute frontier of knowledge in the field is presented; GRC meetings are officially “off-the-record”, with no abstracts or proceedings published before, during, or after the conference. This approach, a uniquely informal interactive format, gives the GRC meetings recognition as the world’s premier scientific conferences.


In 2014, among 300 conferences and seminars organised by GRC, one can find the latest GRC on Green Chemistry. Initiated in 1996, the GRC on Green Chemistry has become the most important multidisciplinary meeting in the area of sustainable chemistry. It is bi-annual, and traditionally has alternated between US and European sites to facilitate attendance fromView of Hong-Kong.jpg a very large international community of active scientists in the field of green chemistry. However this year, for the first time, it moves to Asia! The 2014 meeting is strongly focused on the industrial approach to green chemistry, and will gather people such as Steve Ley (Keynote Lecture), Roger Sheldon, and Alan Alda, among others.


A very recent addition to the GRC scheme is the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS), which is committed to gathering young scientists in the field to discuss their current research in a highly-stimulating and non-intimidating environment, and build informal networks with their peers that may lead to lifetime collaborations and achievements. It precedes the GRC meeting, and is primarily forPGC poster session.jpg graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education. The GRS on Green Chemistry will take place during the weekend prior the main GRC in Hong Kong. Being strongly connected with the main theme of industrial green chemistry, the Keynote Lecture will be given by Ji Qi from Merck. Moreover, a Career Strategy Panel will be held titled "On the Marriage between Academia and Industry", featuring guests from both industry and academia.


Finally, the best summary of GRC and GRS on Green Chemistry comes with the opinions from the previous meetings’ attendees, in particular that being held in Italy in 2012. See you in Hong Kong!


For some 5,000 years, cultivated silkworms have been spinning luxurious white silk fibers destined for use in the finest clothing. But current dyeing practices produce wastewater that contains potentially harmful toxins, so scientists are turning to a new, “greener” dyeing method in which they coax already-colored fibers from the caterpillars by feeding them dyed leaves. Their findings are published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.


colored-silk.jpgAnuya Nisal, Kanika Trivedy and colleagues point out that dyeing textile fabrics is one of today’s most polluting industries. The process requires huge quantities of water for bleaching, washing and rinsing, and it results in a stream of harmful wastewater that needs to be treated effectively before release into the environment. To make the industry greener and more environmentally friendly, researchers have been developing less toxic methods, including feeding dyed leaves to silkworms so they spin colored — rather than white — cocoons. But so far, this technique has only been tested with one type of dye, which is too pricey for large-scale production. Thus, the team turned to azo dyes, which are inexpensive and account for more than half of the textile dyes used today.


They dipped or sprayed mulberry leaves, the silkworm’s food of choice, with azo dyes to see which ones, when consumed, would transfer to the silk. Of the seven dyes they tested, three were incorporated into the caterpillars’ silk, and none seemed to affect the worms’ growth. The scientists noticed that certain dye traits, such as the ability to dissolve in water, affected how well the dye worked. “These insights are extremely important in development of novel dye molecules that can be successfully used in this green method of producing colored silk fabrics,” they conclude.


The authors cite funding from the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, and the Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Mysore.


Read the full abstract, "Uptake of Azo Dyes into Silk Glands for Production of Colored Silk Cocoons Using a Green Feeding Approach."


From the ACS Office of Public Affairs



“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

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