Contributed by Raymond Borg, recent graduate of the University of Maine, and new student at UMass Boston
The ACS GCI green chemistry workshop provided me with an opportunity to network with leaders in the field of green chemistry and to make acquaintances with other student members from all over the world.
This was the first ACS green chemistry workshop that I attended. Ten minutes after arriving I met a fourth year graduate student from UMass Boston who is working in the laboratory that I hope to join in the fall when I start grad school. That alone was quite amazing, but it didn’t stop there!
Marty Mulvihill from UC Berkley energetically kicked off the workshop by having everyone introduce themselves, then he shared his experience with green chemistry and why it is pertinent to contemporary global issues.
I particularly got a lot out of the next presentation, delivered by Dr. David Constable, the Director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®. He illustrated the power of applying green principles into one’s laboratory research, as well as the responsibility that chemists have in designing their laboratory research. He emphasized how it is essential for chemists to question traditional laboratory procedures, especially when it comes to solvent selection. He introduced several tools that are available to aid chemists in selecting solvents.
After lunch the workshop continued with a presentation from Dr. Marie Bourgeois of the University of South Florida on several databases such as ToxNEt, ToxCast, and ToxPredict that are available to chemists to determine the toxicity of various compounds.
Then, Dr. Douglas Raynie from South Dakota State University presented a case study to the group, where super critical CO2 was used design a better procedure for analyzing the quality of laundry detergent produced on an industrial level.
The workshop ended with an interactive activity that had the student members share how they could green their own research.
The presenters have inspired me to use available tools to spread green practice in the lab and awareness to fellow chemists. The connections that I made with people at the workshop carried over into the conference and deepened my overall experience of the conference.
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