42 ACS Student Chapters Honored with Green Chemistry Awards

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By Madeline Pandos, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

As school life continued to return to normal in 2022, many ACS Student Chapters took on hosting more activities throughout the year to promote green chemistry ideas. This year the ACS Green Chemistry Institute selected a total of 32 student chapters within the US and Puerto Rico, as well as 10 international student chapters across Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and India, to receive a Green Chemistry Award.

To qualify for an award, a chapter must organize three or more eligible green chemistry activities during the school year. This year, chapters organized a wide variety of events. Here are some of the highlights:

Northeastern University (NUSAACS) prioritized recruiting speakers who use green chemistry in their industry. From experts in the field, students got to learn important safety tips for working in a lab, as well as the intersectionality of microbiology, geochemistry, water chemistry, and analytical chemistry. One of their meetings was with Dr. Alicia Taylor, a past chair of California ACS, whose research uses green chemistry applications to minimize the environmental impacts of water contaminants.

The ROCK program at Saint Francis University held several events with the purpose of educating others in their community. This included students and professors presenting research posters on their green chemistry projects including using mechanochemical methods to achieve metalation of porphyrins, eliminating the need for solvents. The Chemistry Club also participated in their campus’s Earth Day Carnival and demonstrated the scarceness of natural resources on Earth using cookies to mimic the effects of mining for non-renewable sources, while educating attendees on renewable resource alternatives.

Temple University (TUCS) opted to attend several ACS webinars on green chemistry topics. Students learned about the potential of hydrogen as an energy source and how South Korea is the current leading country in hydrogen economics. Additionally, they learned of the role green chemistry plays in everyday life, and how implementing the concept of green chemistry principles could improve not just the environment, but also health and education. Across all webinars, students discussed which of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry could be applied to the topic at hand.

Congratulations once more to all winning student chapters! We look forward to seeing chapters’ journeys into green chemistry in 2023 and hope many will reapply. Find out more about potential green chemistry activity ideas and educational resources, or learn more about starting or participating in an ACS International Student Chapter or ACS Student Chapter (U.S. & Puerto Rico).