Upcycled Green Chemistry Graduate Education Resource: GreenCEL Platform

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By Adelina Voutchkova, Director of Sustainable Development, ACS

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable launches an updated and upgraded online learning platform to promote the uptake of green and sustainable methodologies amongst both existing and future generations of lab chemistry.

By Adelina Voutchkova, Director of Sustainable Development, ACS

From 2012-2015 the pharmaceutical sector, in partnership with the University of York, helped pioneer an extensive online educational resource that illuminated the modern green chemical technologies being implemented in laboratories. Since it was funded by Europe’s largest public-private partnership dedicated to the development of manufacturing sustainable pharmaceuticals, the “Chemical Manufacturing Methods for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industries”, the site was similarly called the CHEM21 Learning Platform. The site encompassed a broad range of green chemistry tools, guidance, and considerations aimed at developing greener processes, and was accompanied by an ebook edited by Prof. James Clark and others.

While it became a popular resource for those of us trying to teach green chemistry to graduate students and professionals, the site could not be maintained once the Chem21 project wrapped up. In 2017 it was acquired by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR), which took on the task of updating it in relevance and content. Over the past six years, the volunteer members of the GCIPR led by Dr. Alan Steven of CatSci, Prof. Helen Sneddon and colleagues at the University of York, and our scientific team at the GCI have worked to update the resource with the aim of promoting the uptake of green and sustainable methodologies amongst both existing and future generations of lab chemistry. Now after being unavailable for about two years, GCIPR is pleased to relaunch the site on a new and upgraded website:  https://learning.acsgcipr.org.

While the resource was initially intended to allow medicinal and process chemists to embed green chemistry in their everyday practice, we now see application of this resource to synthetic chemists in academia and industry. Furthermore, we see a need for more coursework in graduate programs aimed at developing skill sets in practical green chemistry, as well as resources for professional development for chemists in the workplace. More broadly, this resource presents an opportunity to standardize how early-career industrial scientists are upskilled and oriented in the principles and practices of contemporary green chemistry and technology.  

To that end, we invite you to visit the site, which will be renamed the Green Chemistry & Engineering e-Learning (GreenCEL) Platform, try the resources, and provide us with your feedback. Community feedback will be vital as the ACS GCI and Office of Sustainable Development gear up to develop a broad initiative to provide resources for every chemist who wants to develop their skill set in green and sustainable chemistry to be able to do so. Stay tuned for more information on that soon.

Visit the GreenCEL Platform (formerly Chem21) at learning.acsgcipr.orgVisit the GreenCEL Platform (formerly Chem21) at learning.acsgcipr.org