Skip navigation

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


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


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

Photo Credit: Jackie Garcia Photography


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


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


Attendees discussing green chemistry at a conference networking breakfast.

Photo Credit: Jackie Garcia Photography

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


Congratulations to this year’s recipients:


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

Photo credit: @DCEventPhoto


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

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


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


Greener Reaction Conditions Award – WSI: TRUpath.

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


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


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


We look forward to doing it again next year!

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: