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Learn and Share: Technologies and Tools to Enable a Circular & Sustainable Economy

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Contributed by Samy Ponnusamy, Ph.D., Fellow & Global Manager – Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma, St Louis, MO; Srinivasan Ambatipati, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Chemical Engineering, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA

In this year’s GC&E Conference, we have organized a technical symposium on the topic “Design of Chemicals, Novel Chemistries, Synthetic Pathways & Processes that Enable a Circular, More Sustainable Economy”. Case studies will be presented to illustrate how industry and academia have successfully implemented novel design strategies to achieve a more circular and sustainable economy. The examples from the session will describe the design and approaches taken, the challenges faced and how a solution for the challenge was achieved. Also, this session will discuss the importance of implementing sustainability as a basic design criterion to successfully achieve a closed-loop economy.

There will be two sessions on this topic held on June 16 and 17. The first part of Session 1 on Wednesday, June 16 will feature talks on diverse topics that include sustainable ways to recover rare earth metals from e-waste, how to recognize and learn from nature’s pattern to fit into a circular economy, single-pot production strategies through biocatalysis, and recycling agricultural waste for crop protection in sub-Saharan Africa.

Biobased processes is the theme for the second part of Session 1 on June 16 with talks on solutions to accelerate commercialization of new biobased chemicals, lignin-based nano-cellulosic materials for light-weight packaging, new polymers from recycled lignin, and developing a safer process for depolymerization of lignin using ionic liquids.

The first part of Session 2 on June 17 will highlight emerging mechanochemistry strategies for energy conversion and waste reduction, implementation of the DOZN™ tool on evaluating technologies related to mechanochemistry, a reusable green nano-catalyst, and a case study of the environmental impact on silica production employing the DOZN™ tool.

A diverse range of talks related to novel synthetic organic dyes, screening green plasticizers for polystyrene, and a sustainable catalytic route to optimize deN2O performance will conclude the second part of Session 2 on June 17.

A live Q&A session will follow every session to enable discussion with the presenters to further embrace the concepts towards enabling a circular and more sustainable economy. We hope this symposium will bring early-career and seasoned entrepreneurs from both industry and academia to learn and share their thoughts on exciting technologies/tools to nurture sustainable production routes for the betterment of the planet.

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