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The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is excited to participate in the 2019 Spring ACS National Meeting & Expo in Orlando, FL this March 31 through April 4. With so much going on at the National Meetings, it can be easy to miss a session you wish you had attended. To make it easier, ACS GCI has compiled a selection of “must-attend” sessions to get the most green and sustainable chemistry and engineering out of the meeting!


Visit the ACS GCI in the Expo!

The ACS Expo in the Orange County Convention Center is the central meeting space for those attending the meeting. While there, be sure to visit ACS GCI at the Green Chemistry Kiosk within the greater ACS booth (Booth 623). Talk to staff and learn more about sustainable and green chemistry practices. There will be fun giveaways and the return of our spinning wheel where attendees can spin to win different prizes. We look forward to seeing you at the booth Sunday, March 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Mon-Tues., April 1-2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.!


Dr. Paul Richardson, Director of Oncology Chemistry at Pfizer, and member of the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable will be speaking at the ACS Theatre within Booth 623 in the Expo Hall at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2. Richardson’s presentation will provide a brief introduction to “Green Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Industry – Why, When, Who and How?”


Don’t forget to check out the ACS Store and get our new Green Chemistry T-shirts!


Green Chemistry & Pharma

Practical Green Chemistry Tools and Techniques for Research and Development Scientists
Sunday, March 31, 1:30 - 4:30 pm, Room W313, Orange County Convention Center

This workshop will equip industry-based R&D chemists and engineers as well as graduate students with practical green chemistry tools, methods and metrics. We will cover green chemistry basics through to the most recent innovative tools and metrics widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. The workshop will be tailored toward scientists and engineers working in batch chemical operations in common use within the pharma industry but the tools may be applied to other allied chemical industries.


What you will learn:

  • Fundamentals of green chemistry and engineering.
  • Tools that the pharma industry routinely uses to optimize their synthetic chemical processes.
  • How to use these tools to make “greener” decisions in synthetic drug design and process development.
  • Real-world applications from experienced pharma industry process development chemists.


ORGN: Innovative Green Chemistry: Striving toward Zero-Waste API Manufacturing
Monday, April 1, 8:00-11:45 a.m. and 1:00-4:50 p.m., West Hall F3, Convention Center
This session put together by the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (Guy Humphrey, Kevin Maloney) will feature Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Frances Arnold, Bruce Lipshutz, Sachin Handa, and other accomplished speakers.


BIOT: Emerging Frontiers in BIOT

Thursday, April 4, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Grand A, Rosen Centre Hotel
Members of the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable's BioPharma team will discuss research and best practices aimed at increasing the sustainability of bioprocessing. Learn about newly developed metrics for biologics manufacturing, life cycle assessment case studies, recycling single use plastics and more.



Green Chemistry & Education


CHED/SOCED/ACSGCI/I&EC: Green Chemistry Student Chapters: Stories of Success
Monday, April 1, 8:30 a.m. – Noon, Room W311C, Orange County Convention Center

Hear from ACS undergraduate Student Chapters who have successfully incorporated green chemistry into their chapter. Presenters include students from Tennessee Tech, University of Central Arkansas, University of Puerto Rico – Bayamon, Heidelberg, University of Detroit Mercy, University of New England, Gordon College, and many more.


CHED/CHAS/ACSGCI/I&EC: Green Chemistry as a Pillar of Safety Education
Tuesday, April 2, 1:30 p.m., Room W311C, Orange County Convention Center

One aim of green chemistry is to reduce chemical hazardous impacts on human health and the environment. However, green chemistry principles are not yet an integral part of safety education. This symposium will explore innovation and best practices for integrating green chemistry into safety curriculum.


CHED/CEI/ACSGCI/I&EC: UN Sustainable Development Goals: Unique Opportunities for the Chemical Enterprise
Monday, April 1, 1:30 – 5:30 p.m., Room W311C, Orange County Convention Center

Learn how all sectors of the chemical enterprise can contribute to achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially through green chemistry and sustainable chemistry technologies. The last 40 minutes of the afternoon will be a workshop for the chemistry education community to discuss and explore innovative ideas for integrating the SDGs into chemistry education. Topics include connections between the U.N. SDGs and the chemistry enterprise; multidisciplinary topics and collaborations; and the importance of systems and life cycle thinking.


CHED/CEI: Green and Sustainable Chemistry Theory and Practice: Chemistry for New Frontiers
Sunday, March 31, 1:30 p.m., Room W311C, Orange County Convention Center

This symposium will engage and inform the CHED community on recent advances in green and sustainable chemistry education for majors, non-majors and K-12 students.


Green Chemistry & Small Business


SCHB/CEI: Frontiers in Green Chemistry for Small Businesses
Tuesday, April 2, 8:00-11:55 a.m. & 1:00-4:55 p.m., Orlando V, Hilton Orlando

What does it take to make it as a green chemistry business? This symposium will offer experiences from successful small green chemistry businesses as well as highlights of recent market trends and resources available especially to small green technology companies.


General Green Chemistry Sessions


ENVR: Green Chemistry and the Environment
Tues-Thurs, April 2, 4-6 p.m., April 3, 8-11:45 a.m. & 1-5 p.m., April 4, 8-11:40 a.m.


Green Chemistry Awards


POLY: ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry in Honor of Richard Gross
Monday, April 1, 2019, 8:30 a.m. – Noon, Salon 12, Rosen Centre Hotel

Award address is on “Biocatalytic routes to tunable building blocks, surfactants and polymers.”


I&EC: 2019 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards: Symposium in Honor of Paul Dauenhauer
Monday, April 1, 8 a.m. – Noon, Room W224E, Orange County Convention Center

Award lecture is on “At the frontier of renewable chemicals from biomass.”


I&EC: 2019 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards: Symposium in Honor of Kevin Wu
Monday, April 1, 1:30-5:20 p.m., Room W224E, Orange County Convention Center

Award lecture is on “Functional nanoporous materials for lignocellulosic biomass conversion and chemical engineering applications.”


The ACS Student Chapter Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Convention Center, Valencia Ballroom A.

Contributed by Dr. David Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®


Over the past five years or so there has been growing public awareness and increasing attention being paid to how society might move towards a Circular Economy. Organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have been at the center of this movement and have been advocating in a variety of areas, most notably thinking through Society’s unsustainable use of plastics and how to address what is now seen as a global blight of plastics in the oceans. If one begins to think deeply about the technical and economic issues surrounding any move towards a circular economy, it is readily apparent that there are a large number of major technical, behavioral, cultural, and economic hurdles to overcome. It is also apparent that looking at product development from a systems thinking, life cycle, and green and sustainable chemistry perspective can be very powerful, and this combination of analytical methodologies may help chemists and engineers to address many fundamental impediments to closing the loop.


That’s why this year’s 23rd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference/9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry is devoted to how green chemistry and engineering are instrumental in moving towards Closing the Loop. With 42 different sessions, the Conference will be covering a wide array of topics that are relevant to Closing the Loop. There are, of course big challenges to closing the loop, and a few of these are discussed in seven different sessions that cover a variety of plastics issues (degradability, oceans, etc.), critical elements, and access to medicines. Chemists and chemical engineers know the critical part that catalysis plays in making chemistry more sustainable, so it is fitting that there are four sessions touching on biocatalysis, earth abundant metal catalysis, catalysts for CO2 conversion, and catalysis that will enable the circular economy.


If the world needs to move towards a circular economy society will need to educate and train chemists and engineers to address the major unmet challenges of sustainability. There are five different sessions devoted to education, two of which are covering systems thinking. Systems thinking is a pivotal, fundamental skill scientists and engineers will need since closing the loop requires one to think across multiple systems and design chemicals, synthetic routes and processes in ways that minimize adverse systemic, life cycle impacts while maximizing sustainability outcomes.


Speaking of processes, there are six sessions related to different aspects of chemical processing. Process intensification and batch-to-continuous flow processes, especially in the batch chemical industry, are critically important avenues to decreasing the mass and energy intensity of chemical processing. An oft-forgotten consideration in green chemistry and engineering is large volume commodity manufacturing, and this year we are delighted to devote a session to how these industries can become more sustainable. Another usually forgotten unit operation in chemical processing responsible for 10- 15% of worldwide energy use is separations. A session will be exploring alternatives to distillation for organic solvent separations and separations of small molecules from dilute aqueous solutions.


The nature of chemical feedstocks needs to change if we are to close the loop, so there are four sessions related to alternative feedstocks. Clearly, we have a critical and continuously expanding need to use CO2 as a feedstock. Besides CO2, there is a need to see waste not as something to be burned or buried, but something that is a feedstock for chemical processes. In addition, we need to continue our evolution towards the use of biomass as a source of carbon and see the efficiency of bio-refineries rapidly increase to be equivalent to petrochemical feedstock conversion. These sessions will continue the discussion of these important areas of technical development.


Two other important conference session groupings are related to entrepreneurs and product development. Entrepreneurs are usually early adopters of new technologies and are responsible for commercializing many innovations deemed too risky by larger corporations. These sessions are intended to help entrepreneurs in start-ups to more efficiently commercialize their innovations. Product challenges, on the other hand, exist in companies both large and small. There are four sessions related to product challenges in textiles and electronics, with an additional session that breaks new ground with presentations on regenerative design in products. Finally, a product showcase will once again be part of the poster session and attendees will have the opportunity to see products that are being commercialized.


While there are many other sessions I’ve not described, I will end with three sessions related to the use of computers for toxicity prediction, in-silico design and artificial intelligence. In one way or another, all of us will be touched by the rapid development and implementation of AI/machine learning in discovery, process design and control, and product design. I am personally very excited to see these sessions as I strongly believe that chemistry is ripe for disruption through these technologies.


Regardless of which sessions you attend, I hope you are able to join us for what promises to be a most interesting and exciting conference!

Contributed by Carl Maxwell, Advocacy Manager, American Chemical Society


Unless you have been off the grid over the last three months, it is clear the era of divided government is fully formed. With Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives and the GOP holding serve in the Senate, the prospects for legislative achievement may seem remote. However, the partisan nature of our current government hides the prospects for real progress on federal support of sustainable chemistry.


Let’s start with the obvious: The Democrats won 40+ seats in the November 2018 elections. With this victory comes total control of the House of Representatives. The Majority sets the rules and agenda, leaving the minority party a few procedural paths to complain, but no prospect for changing legislation. In the Senate, the minority Democrats can delay, shape, and occasionally block legislation, but ultimately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) determines the floor agenda, meaning consensus is necessary for action. Of course, ultimately the President must sign any legislation.


For all the media coverage of the Green New Deal, the proposal is more idea than real legislation. From a legislative standpoint, we’ve already seen passage of a major federal lands bill, and there is strong desire to do bipartisan energy legislation, as well as possible infrastructure bills. Other energy/environment topics are likely to be small or partisan, with Democrats attempting to advance measures on climate change, renewable energy, and protecting the environment, while Senate Republicans focus on expanding drilling and mining on federal lands and cutting regulations.


One area that is showing promise, is possible bipartisan legislation to expand the federal role in promoting green and sustainable chemistry. Congressional activity in this realm is not new: Twice Congress has authorized, but not funded, a sustainable chemistry program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). A decade ago, the House of Representatives twice passed legislation creating a broad interagency federal program to support development of green chemistry at NSF, the Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Environmental Protection Agency.


What has changed is Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) are leading an effort in the Senate to invigorate green and sustainable chemistry in the federal government. In 2018, they introduced the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act. The legislation seeks to create an interagency task force to coordinate research across federal agencies, while also promoting partnerships with the private sector, and increasing reporting to Congress to understand government efforts in this field. Coons and Collins will reintroduce the legislation in 2019, and the prospects for legislation in the House are good, where several members are discussing cosponsoring the bill.


With Democrats in control of the House, and a GOP Senate, we are likely in for plenty of tired shouting matches on cable news, but in the realm of green and sustainable chemistry, there is a real possibility of agreement. If you believe in the exciting research green chemistry can bring to the chemical enterprise, a Democrat Congress/Republican Senate might just be the catalyst for which we have been looking.



By Paul Richardson, Director, Oncology Chemistry, Pfizer and Juan Colberg, Senior Director within CRD, Pfizer


The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable convened on October 9-10, 2018 at the Pfizer site in Groton, Connecticut for their fall meeting. With the vast majority of the 22 member companies represented in person, the meeting provided an opportunity for the various project teams to present updates on the numerous current initiatives on-going throughout the Roundtable ranging from the various grant programs, global outreach, green chemistry enabling tools as well as opportunities arising from engagement in new emerging pharma modalities.


The meeting’s opening remarks were delivered by Pfizer's Steve Brooks, Senior Vice President of EH&S, who has been the senior sponsor for the Pfizer Green Chemistry program for over 10 years. Steve spoke regarding the importance of linking product sustainability to green chemistry and how the program as a whole is embedded within the company’s business imperatives and cultural initiatives. From the Roundtable's perspective, the potential impacts to be realized from the relatively recent ignition grants were highlighted by a presentation within the meeting from Professor Jeff Byers, Boston College, who spoke on the emergence of iron as a viable alternative to the precious metal palladium in mediating carbon-carbon bond formations, which are prevalent throughout the industry. In addition, Greg Whiteker, Fellow at Dow AgroSciences, provided an overview of the chemistry within their crop protection portfolio highlighting the synergy between agrochemicals and pharma in the application of green chemistry principles in process development. Finally, the emergence of continuous manufacturing within the pharmaceutical industry and the paradigm shift this represents in terms of strategy and logistics was stressed by Lynne Handanyan, Vice President of Medicinal Sciences at Pfizer, who presented on the rapidly progressing initiatives on-going within Pfizer to address this challenge.

acs-gcipr-group-picture.jpgAttendees at the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable meeting at Pfizer in Groton, CT, October 2018.


Coupled to the meeting on October 11, 2018 the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable Flow Chemistry Team organized a standalone symposium focused on “Recent Innovations in Flow Chemistry and Continuous Manufacturing.” Despite both the specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industry’s traditional reliance on batch processes, there is a growing realization that continuous processes provide advantages from both a logistical and sustainability perspective. This meeting sought to bring together leading practitioners in flow chemistry from both academia and industry to speak on the latest emerging developments aimed at overcoming the technical hurdles involved in translating a process from batch to a continuous mode.


Scientists from both industry and local academic institutes filled the Pfizer lecture hall, and after a brief welcome from Juan Colberg and Paul Richardson from the Pfizer organizing committee, Lynne Handanyan gave the introductory remarks, stressing both the importance of realization that the implementation of flow-based processes can have significant advantages, as well as reiterating Pfizer’s commitment to this synthesis technology throughout chemical development.


These remarks lead into the first talk from Professor Richard Bourne, University of Leeds, UK, on the use of “Self-Optimizing Reactors for Rapid Sustainable Process Development,” which emphasized the need for an interdisciplinary approach at the interface between chemistry and chemical engineering in order to develop automated flow systems combining online analysis, feedback control as well as evolutionary algorithms to provide both process and understanding and enable optimization. Drawing on a series of examples including the optimization of the final step of the EGFR inhibitor, AZD9291, Richard was able to demonstrate how a flow system was able to automatically work through a series of experiments in a manner resembling a DoE to reach the optimal process conditions whilst evading the pitfall of identifying local maxima.


The second speaker was Kevin Cole, Principal Research Scientist at Lilly, who presented on the “Environmental Aspects of Lilly’s Small Volume Continuous Manufacturing Platform,” highlighting two compounds—prexasertib and merestinib—from the company’s oncology portfolio. In the two cases studies, Kevin emphasized the advantages of employing a continuous-based approach specifically in terms of running hazardous chemistries, minimizing worker exposure to high potency compounds, energy savings and a reduced operating footprint. He also stressed the further challenges that need to be addressed such as avoiding the use of strong solvents (e.g., DMSO, etc.) as well as driving towards a reduced Process Mass Intensity (PMI).


Matt Bio, CEO and President of Snapdragon, gave a presentation entitled “One Process from Milligrams to Kilograms: Efficient Drug Substance Development Enabled by Continuous Manufacturing Technology.” A recurring theme throughout Matt’s presentation was the development of a customized reaction engineering approach in order to optimize the chemistry at the development stage, and thus allow seamless and efficient scale-up to be realized using scaled equipment. This was highlighted by solutions presented to chemistries that are often challenging to run in batch, such as photoredox and gas-liquid reactions—specifically here ozonolysis.


Directly prior to the lunch break, Professor Frank Gupton, Virginia Commonwealth University, spoke regarding “Increasing Access to Global Healthcare through Process Intensification: The Medicines for All Initiative.” This initiative takes a multifaceted approach to ensuring global access to life-saving medications considering the complete life cycle through synthetic-route design, environmental impact, as well as implementation of a commercial supply network. Within the synthesis portion, novel manufacturing platforms such as flow play a critical role, and Frank presented case studies including the development of a newer higher-yielding synthesis of the antiviral (HIV) nevirapine, work for which he (and Prof. Tyler McQuade) were recently recognized for with the 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Academic Award.


Recipient of the 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Award, Professor Frank Gupton (left),
answering questions after his presentation (with Juan Colberg of Pfizer).


Joel Hawkins, Senior Research Fellow at Pfizer, initiated the afternoon session proceedings with an overview on his teams work on “Flow Chemistry for Greener and More Efficient API Synthesis”. Highlights of the presentation included application of a trickle-bed meso-flow reactor allowing the selective hydrogenation of a series of pyridine-based substrates as well as the application of flow chemistry to the synthesis of a fluorocyclobutane-containing H3 antagonist. Seongho (Ryan) Oh, Vice President of R&D at Biotek, then provided an overview of the continuous processing based technology implemented within SK Biotek. The talk was split into three sections looking at continuous organic synthesis, continuous homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic reactions and integrated continuous synthesis. As well as several highly impactful examples of running hazardous chemistries in flow, the presentation also demonstrated the advantages of running cryogenic chemistry under this paradigm with several lithiation-based chemistries developed and subsequently executed on metric-ton scale.


University of British Columbia's Professor Jason Hein’s talk, entitled “Continuous Preferential Crystallization as a Simple, Scalable Technique to Access Chiral Targets,” demonstrated how the manipulation of parallel solid-liquid equilibria in continuous flow could be utilized to resolve a mixture of enantiomers. This methodology was successfully applied to pharmaceuticals such as naproxen and omeprazole, and then extended to non-natural amino-acids such as 2-fluorophenylglycine. Jason then described how robotics and a feedback loop had been applied to this technology to ensure a continuous “self-correcting” system, and spoke about his laboratories further endeavors with the implementation of automation.


The final speaker of the day was Richard Robinson, Senior Investigator at Novartis, who spoke regarding “Batch to Flow Transfer via a Self-Optimizing Reaction Platform.” Richard initially described a slug-flow-based approach to reaction screening utilizing an oscillating-reactor, which could be easily adapted to evaluated photoredox-based transformation. Results from the screen could be coupled with a self-optimizing algorithm with the optimization and subsequent scale-up of an Ir/Ni-mediated decarboxylative arylation demonstrated in a commercial Vapourtec flow reactor. Several other examples were presented including a case study involving the successful manipulation of suspensions in flow with future needs in this area identified specifically surrounding the development of more complex algorithms capable of optimizing around non-continuous variables.


The symposium as a whole was a great success and served to highlight rapid advances in flow and continuous manufacturing from across both academia and industry. There is no doubt that this is an exciting time to be involved with the evolution of this technology, and the work presented emphasized that although there are still challenges ahead, these will be met with creative solutions from those involved in this field.

Contributed by: Radhika Gupta and Gunjan Arora, Members of ACS International Student Chapter, University of Delhi, India


ACSI-Dehli-student-group.jpgThe ACS International Student Chapter at the University of Delhi in India has been actively involved in organizing several national and international conferences and workshops. Spreading the importance of and knowledge about green chemistry is the major and continued focus of the group. The activities and events planned by the chapter are aimed at bringing information to others about green chemistry and encouraging those in the academic world to adopt it into their lectures, laboratories and research. It is the sincere efforts of Prof. R. K. Sharma, our Student Chapter Faculty Advisor and Coordinator of the Green Chemistry Network Centre at the University of Delhi, which play an indispensable role in popularizing green chemistry through the organization of numerous chapter activities.


Recently, the chapter has organized an International Conference on “Advancing Green Chemistry: Building a Sustainable Tomorrow” that aimed at initiating conversations on deep environmental issues by creating an interdisciplinary platform to share new information, advances and outlook in green chemistry to answer current and future prospects. The conference covered the crucial problems of our planet--the speakers in the conference presented the latest green initiatives in energy, environment and health based on their own experiences in either industry or academia to address the challenges and opportunities in green chemistry.


They provided strategies for designing, adapting and incorporating new green techniques in industries as well as in academia. The Conference promoted and developed the chemical sciences for the benefit of society and cost-effective solutions that can be implemented by local leaders and replicated in other areas of the world facing similar circumstances. Dr. David Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, participated and shared his views in the conference.


The chapter also believes that the concepts, strategies and practices of green chemistry can be best implemented by administering green chemistry courses in the curriculum. For this, a special workshop was organized by the chapter in which a large number of students and teachers from various colleges of University of Delhi participated with great enthusiasm. Through their interaction regarding teaching courses in Green Chemistry namely a skill enhancement course entitled “Green Methods in Chemistry” and also a discipline selective elective in Green Chemistry”, participants learnt about the new developments in this area and steps to further improve the way we perform our experiments so as to make chemistry labs safer and healthy for students. These improvements will spark creative seeds in the minds of young students and thus they will be motivated to opt for chemistry as a discipline.


Considering the importance of hands-on laboratory science, the chapter also organized an event in which the undergraduate students were given an opportunity to perform various green chemistry experiments. The event provided a platform to the students to broaden their outlook towards the recent trends in the field.


sharma.jpgThe chapter also supports its members to get involved with numerous scientific societies across the world and to share diverse ideas with students, teachers and researchers. We are highly indebted to ACS as it always provides numerous meaningful opportunities for the development of young chemical scientists through its scientific or career themed outreach programs such as ACS National Meetings. We were extremely fortunate to be awarded with 255th ACS National Meeting Travel Grant with which our faculty advisor Prof. R. K. Sharma, along with the Secretary of the chapter, Sriparna Dutta, gained cross-cultural experiences and learnt more about the society and its resources by attending the meeting at New Orleans. Prof. Sharma also delivered his talk on “Fabrication of magnetically retrievable metal nanocatalysts for organic transformations,” which was highly appreciated by all the attendees.


award.jpgOur chapter also keeps on participating in various international conferences being organized by the American Chemical Society. Prof. Sharma and his research scholar Dr. Manavi Yadav (Former President of ACS Student Chapter) participated in 21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference on June 15, 2017 at Reston, VA, USA. The GC&E conference has been long recognized as world's best and one of the most important meetings in the field of green chemistry and engineering. It routinely attracts the world’s top scientific researchers, along with government and industry leaders. Our research work was recognized by American Chemical Society in the form of first prize in best student poster at the conference.


Our chapter is making a lot of efforts to motivate the younger generation towards sustainable development and green chemistry. In this direction, we are also planning to organize a conference for young researchers and students in collaboration with ACS Green Chemistry Institute. Prof. Sharma believes that the bright future of green chemistry lies in the hands of budding researchers. He often says, “the day when every individual become vigilant to incorporate green chemistry in daily practices, my dream of making the planet a better place to live in will come true!”.

It is hard to believe we are already approaching the end of February! Each year seems to pass more quickly than the last one and 2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for chemistry, thanks to the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT). The United Nations declared 2019 as the IYPT to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s discovery. ACS’ IYPT initiatives are designed to engage our members in sharing their passion for chemistry in order to enhance public appreciation for chemistry's role in everyday life and increase awareness of chemistry's contributions to a sustainable planet. ACS GCI will leverage IYPT to raise awareness about endangered elements and the role that green chemistry and engineering can play in preserving these precious and finite resources.


As always, a major activity of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is the Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, which will be held in conjunction with the 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry. We received over 500 abstracts for this joint meeting, which will be held in Reston, Virginia from June 11-13. More than 40 technical sessions, networking receptions, poster presentations, and exciting keynotes will focus on this year’s conference theme of “Closing the Loop” of the chemical life cycle. We are thrilled to be joined by keynote speakers Udit Batra, CEO of MilliporeSigma; Lee Cronin, Regius Professor at the University of Glasgow; and Dana Kralisch, CTO of JeNACell GmbH. Learn more about this year’s conference at


On the education front, we are excited that the Journal of Chemical Education has announced a call for papers for a special issue on “Reimagining Chemistry Education: Systems Thinking and Green and Sustainable Chemistry.” ACS GCI played a key leadership role in assembling the guest editorial team for this special issue as well as guiding the development of the call for papers, which is accessible at Submissions are being accepted through April 1.


The ACS GCI industry roundtables play a key role in advancing the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering across the pharmaceutical, chemical manufacturers, formulators, hydraulic fracturing, and biochemical technology sectors. In particular, the Pharmaceutical Roundtable grew to 28 member companies and awarded $175,000 in research grants in 2018. The Chemical Manufacturers Roundtable is finalizing its report on Alternative Separations, a project funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. And the Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable met last month and has initiated a project to explore enzymatic degradation of biofilms to reduce biocide use in hydraulic fracturing.


ACS GCI continues to identify ways in which green chemistry can address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We organized a symposium on this topic at last week’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which elicited a lively discussion at the intersection of green chemistry, systems thinking, education, and policy. We will focus increased attention throughout the year on ways in which ACS can contribute to the SDGs, and we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact us with your ideas and suggestions at Thank you!



Dr. Mary M. Kirchhoff, Ph.D.

Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Director, Scientific Advancement Division

The Undergraduate Student Chapter Awards Ceremony at the ACS National Meeting in Orlando is coming soon, and this year we will be congratulating 76 student chapters who have won the Green Chemistry Award! Included in this number are four International Chapters –newly eligible this year—who won: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Universidad Icesi (Colombia), Universidad de Costa Rica, and the University of Delhi (India).


The Green Chemistry Award signifies that student chapters have successfully done at least three activities in the school year focused on green chemistry.


One of the most important aspects of this award is demonstrating that the chapter understands the difference between general sustainability, environmental chemistry, and green chemistry—three related but different concepts.

As the Georgia State University Student Chapter put it:

“In previous years, it was thought that green chemistry had the same definition as sustainability, and that green chemistry was just about reusing, recycling, and cleaning up. This year, it was learned that green chemistry is being conscious as chemists about the environmental impacts at every step of your work. Green chemistry calls for designing ways to prevent waste down to the molecular level. It is not using chemistry to clean up water and air pollution or waste that was already in an environment. It is about implementing greener methods and technology that does not create waste in the first place to be cleaned up.”

One way to get a firm start on the right track is by attending a relevant ACS webinar or Program-in-a-Box and using the green chemistry tie-in activities that ACS GCI has prepared. The upcoming February 26th Program-in-a-Box on the Periodic Table will include a green chemistry activity.@ Past events can also be used, including a dive into bioplastics and EPA’s Safer Choice Program.


Of course, there is no shortage of ideas for how chapters can go green—just look as a few examples from this year’s winners!


Students from Heidelberg University held a green lab contest were students wrote essays evaluating a reaction of their choice and how it could become a greener reaction using green chemistry design principles. The papers were judged by faculty with winning ideas to be considered for incorporation into labs next year.


Northeastern University students hosted a number of excellent speakers covering topics such as the importance of design for degradability, using flow chemistry to reduce waste and improve safety, and the challenges of degradability in modern polymers and how green chemistry could approach this problem.


Students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham created two trivia games—a green chemistry Jeopardy and Family Feud. Green chemistry trivia topics were divided into the areas of medicine, diseases, public policy, the environment, famous chemists and famous sites of ethical green chemistry issues.


The University of Detroit Mercy students taught a group of third graders about green chemistry using M&M’s to demonstrate atom economy. The importance of reducing waste was brought home when all the green M&M’s had to go in the “waste”—a beaker filled with water—and could not be eaten.


Wilkes University students made biodiesel and glycerin from waste oil produced by the campus cafeteria. The biodiesel was offered to the Wilke’s engineering department and the glycerin was later used to make soap in a general chemistry lab. The students learned about preventing pollution, producing biodegradable products and creating an energy efficient product.


If you are coming to Orlando, make sure to attend the CHED symposia Green Chemistry Student Chapters: Stories of Success to hear from a selection of ACS Student Chapters on their green chemistry initiatives. Co-organized by ACS GCI, the session will be held on Monday, April 1, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Convention Center, Room W311C.


The ACS Student Chapter Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Convention Center, Valencia Ballroom A.

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