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GCI Nexus Blog

The Nexus Newsletter is a bi-monthly newsletter designed to connect the global green chemistry community, share information, and support the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® in its mission: to catalyze and enable the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise and across the Society.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

As spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere and the vaccine rollout continues, there is much to be hopeful for in the year to come. This spring, it seems the seedlings of change in chemistry education, planted by many over the years, are also beginning to emerge. Here in the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI), our vision of influencing the way students learn chemistry in the undergraduate gateway courses (general and organic chemistry) is taking shape.  Starting in January, we began working with 36 educators from across the U.S. and Canada to develop green and sustainable chemistry (GSC) modules for these courses. Seeing these modules take shape is inspiring and exciting!

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

Contributed by Joe Sagues, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, & Matteo Grattieri, Assistant Professor, University of Bari Aldo Moro

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute and iScience are sponsoring an exciting session at this year’s GC&E conference called “Electrosynthesis of Chemicals & Fuels”, which will showcase leaders in industry, academia, and national labs. This session will bring together experts from two distinct, yet highly related fields: 1) microbial electrosynthesis and 2) catalytic electrosynthesis. The intention of this session is to exploit exciting synergies that exist between these two research areas, and to foster collaborations and future research directions in this highly multidisciplinary field. The session will address multiple challenges present in the field of electrosynthesis. These challenges include, but are not limited to, 1) C-C bond formation for C2+ compounds, 2) electrochemical wiring of bacteria and high product selectivity, 3) energy efficient processes with low overpotentials, 4) improved mass transfer of gaseous substrates, and 4) techno-economic viability & commercialization. A diverse group of researchers will be speaking with backgrounds ranging from synthetic biology, electrochemistry, catalysis, and process engineering.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

It has been a full year since most of us began working from home. The accelerated rollout of vaccines brings hope for an end to the pandemic in the near future.  In the meantime, we will continue to share our science through such virtual events as the ACS Spring 2021 National Meeting, April 5-30, and the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, June 14-18. 

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Aurora Ginzburg, Ph.D., Chemistry Education Program Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

I recently read the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report, How People Learn II (HPL2), and was struck by the many potential opportunities for education in green and sustainable chemistry to address the report’s findings on improving learning outcomes. Some of these opportunities are summarized below.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

Dr. Jonathon Moir, Program Manager, GCTLC, Beyond Benign

 

My name is Dr. Jonathon Moir and I am thrilled to be writing to you today as the new Program Manager for the Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC). The GCTLC—an online platform set to launch in 2023—is a joint initiative announced in December by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and Beyond Benign that will help revolutionize the way green chemistry educational resources are shared and further catalyze collaboration, networking and mentorship among educators, students, industry stakeholders and community members.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Prof. Dr. Jun Huang, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Sydney, The University of Sydney Nano Institute

 

Q: What sparked your passion for chemistry and engineering?

A: The significance of chemical engineering for people’s lives. Chemical engineers developed 1) fertilizer production for higher agricultural productivity to feed huge populations; 2) pharmaceuticals for diseases; 3) clean fuels and energy storage for our daily life; 4) processes to provide clean water for drinking; 5) new technologies for waste disposal and recycling; and 6) greenhouse gas reduction technology for climate change. The progress and achievement of my work in chemical engineering can benefit our society and improve our quality of life, which attracts my passion for chemistry and engineering. 

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

This January, a group of motivated educators from across the U.S. and Canada began the process of creating education modules to integrate green and sustainable chemistry (GSC) into general and organic chemistry topics. The effort is part of the ACS GCI Educational Module Development Project—a three-year project aimed at providing the resources and training for undergraduate educators to accelerate the adoption of GSC in the classroom. Fifteen teams have been formed to work on 31+ modules covering topics like equilibrium, electrochemistry, chirality, and synthetic design from a green chemistry and systems thinking perspective. We checked in with one team—Prof. Marta Guron of Villanova University and Prof. Lihua Wang of Kettering University—to hear their vision for and experience with the project thus far.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Gabriela Gastelu, Ph.D. student at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, and 2021 Heh-Won Chang Fellow in Green Chemistry

I remember the first time I entered a laboratory as a secondary school student in my home city in Argentina. Its equipment was quite basic; however, I was delighted with all the glass material and the idea of making new things just by mixing components. Yes, I know my idea of a chemist at that time was really simple! But that simple idea inspired me to decide to study chemistry at the university.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Isamir Martinez, Ph.D., PMP, Scientific Alliances & Business Engagement Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute; Stefan Koenig, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Genentech; and, Ben I. Andrews, Investigator of Chemical Development, Product Development & Supply, GlaxoSmithKline

Aiming to employ oligonucleotides (ON), which are short deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, as medical remedies has been a goal of scientists and physicians for some time.  As genetic information is carried forth from DNA through RNA, and eventually to the protein output via the central dogma of biology, there exist invaluable opportunities to address illness before it manifests itself. 

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

On January 1, the U.S. Senate passed the omnibus National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Within the NDAA Bill, Section E was the culmination of over 15 years of advocacy effort to deliver legislation that seeks to further the development of sustainable

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Aurora Ginzburg, Education Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

We are pleased to announce the student recipients of the 2021 ACS Green Chemistry Awards! Even with all the challenges that 2020 brought, there was a competitive field of applicants and the judges (external committees assembled by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute) were highly impressed!

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Aurora Ginzburg, Education Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

The U.N. reports that 2.2 billion people still lack safely managed drinking water and 1 in 4 health care facilities lacks basic services.  It’s been estimated that in 2015 alone 1.8 million deaths were caused by water pollution. The U.N. has designated targets within Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, that aim to address these issues. These challenging, expansive issues resulting from a lack of or aging infrastructure, legacy chemical pollution, drought, and water rights issues will require different solutions depending on the region. There are issues of both water purity and access, and chemists are best equipped to address the challenge of purity. In particular, Targets 6.3 and 6.A necessitate chemistry technologies:

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Mary Kirchhoff, Ph.D., Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

In my last column, I reflected on the challenges we all faced in 2020, along with the unexpected opportunities presented by the pandemic.  As we wrap up the first month of 2021, I am optimistic that the new year will bring an increased focus on, and appreciation for, the role of green chemistry in achieving a sustainable future.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Aurora Ginzburg, Education Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

This year the ACS Green Chemistry Institute selected 22 ACS Student Chapters to receive Green Chemistry Awards. Congratulations to all of the recipients! To qualify for this award, a chapter had to complete at least three green chemistry (GC) activities. These activities had to incorporate distinctly GC ideas like maximizing resource efficiency while reducing negative impacts on human/environmental health and safety.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Huang, Luterbacher, and Mauter: Winners of the 2021 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards. These awards recognize the research contributions of scientists worki

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By David Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

I’ve always had a tendency to ask questions, it’s sort of how I’m made.  For those of you who have had children, you might surmise that I never got out of the one-question-leads-to-another

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Jenny MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

As we move into our ninth month of social distancing and mask wearing, we look with hope towards the promise of emerging vaccines. We give thanks to the incredible work of teams of scientis

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Message from the Director: Reflections on 2020

“A year like no other.”  I have heard many people describe 2020 in these terms.  Few of us at the beginning of the year imagined our current state of social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The sacrifices are real:

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Stepping Stones: Building a Career as a Sustainable Scientist

By Dr. Love-Ese Chile, Founder and Technical Director, Regenerative Waste Labs

 

Since the industrial revolution, scientists have been innovating at a faster rate than ever before. These scientific discoveries and disruptions have been miracles for some, br

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Green Chemistry Activities for ACS Student Chapters

Hey, undergrads! Looking for some green chemistry activities for your ACS Student Chapter? Great news, we’ve got boatloads full of great activities that can even be done virtually. In particular, the green chemistry activities from past ACS Program-in-a-B

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Jenny MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, and Aurora Ginzburg, Education Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Are you passionate about sustainability? Do you teach a foundational lower-division chemistry course? Are you looki

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
SDG 12:  Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

By David Constable, Ph.D., Scientific Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Say you’re in the market for a new article of clothing and you start searching on the internet for what’s available from retailers you have bought from in the past.  Maybe you wa

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Nina McClelland:  Champion and Friend

By William F. Carroll, Jr., Chair, ACS Green Chemistry Institute Advisory Board

For many readers, the name Nina McClelland will not be familiar. Nina passed away at the age of 90 on August 16.  She had been an American Chemical Society activist for about 5

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
My Green and Sustainable Chemistry Journey: An Interdisciplinary and Hands-on Approach

By Prof. Jonas Baltrusaitis, Ph.D., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Lehigh University, and Awardee of the 2020 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship

 

In spite of the pandemic, the world is experiencing unprecedented economic growth t

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
A Perpetual Endeavor Towards a Sustainable Hydrocarbon World

By Feng Wang, Ph.D., Professor of Physical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (CAS) and Awardee of 2020 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship, and Ning Li, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (CAS

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Green Chemistry to Fulfill Sustainable Development Goals: A Caribbean Perspective

By Nakisha Mark Ph.D. candidate, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Often when we think of green chemistry, focus is placed on the results, such as greater sustainability, safer processes or creating environmentally-friendly products.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By Carl Maxwell, Manager, Government Affairs, Office of External Affairs and Communication

In July, both the House of Representatives and the Senate each passed the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act, bringing it much closer to becoming law

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
Pharma Roundtable Awards $300,000 in Green Chemistry Research Grants

Eight research groups benefited from the latest round of funding from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR), including two international groups.  Funded research projects cover a variety of topics, including membrane sepa

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor
ACS and EPA:  Partnering for a Sustainable Future

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary on December 2. Established during the Nixon administration, the Agency has a simple, yet powerful, mission, “To protect human health and the environment.” Over the past hal

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor

By: Sarah York & MaryKay Orgill, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

 

The start of a new school year is always an exciting time. Campus is restored and polished. First-year students are nervous and bursting with energy. Upper-class students and faculty seem re

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