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.
Sign up to receive the GCI newsletter in your inbox.
Over the last decade, a steady shift towards a more global pharmaceutical supply chain has occurred. Today, a significant portion of API manufacturing is carried out by contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), many located in Asian countries.
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR), established in 2005, is a leading partnership between the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and over 40 pharmaceutical and allied companies committed to catalyzing green chemistry and engineering in the industry.more
A team from Merck in Rahway, NJ is the recipient of the 2022 Peter J. Dunn Award for Green Chemistry and Engineering Impact in the Pharmaceutical Industry for their work, “From wood pulp to a candidate medicine: Green manufacturing technologies enable the production of investigational leukemia drug nemtabrutinib from a biorenewable commodity material.”more
Electricity has existed naturally since the beginning of time. Over centuries, humans have devised ways to capture electricity and eventually create it.
Once being able to generate electricity, there has been no shortage of ingenious ways to use it – lighting, kitchen appliances, communications and electronics of all kinds, automobiles – to name a few.
The first 19th-century use for electricity was the incandescent light bulb, devised by the great and prodigious inventor, Thomas Alva Edison. He obtained a U.S. Patent for his lightbulb in 1880. His light bulbs, attached to small generators, started to illuminate the homes of the very wealthy and heralded the ultimate demise of gas-fueled lighting.more
Contributed by Jane Murray, Ph.D., Global Head of Green Chemistry, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (MilliporeSigma)
Biomass feedstocks offer several advantages over conventional fossil-based starting materials. In addition to providing an abundant source of renewable organic carbon, its oxygenated nature, chemical diversity, and inherent chirality render biomass a highly suitable raw material to manufacture a multitude of high-added-value compounds. Furthermore, structural resemblance to nature-derived or -inspired target molecules reduces the synthetic steps required compared to their petrochemical counterparts.
By Christiana Briddell, Sr. Communications Manager, ACS GCI
Acrylamide-based polymers are the most common friction reducer used in hydraulic fracturing. In a horizontal well, friction reducers, such as polyacrylamides, reduce the energy and pressure requi... more
By Jitesh Soares, Ph.D., Director, Scientific Advancement
It’s been less than a week since I began serving as the Director of Scientific Advancement at ACS. The first thing that struck me is how Mary Kirchhoff molded this role into a force by building an achievement-based Division with a singular, deep-rooted commitment to its philanthropic mission. I am standing on the shoulders of a giant and look forward to the challenge of living up to lofty expectations with an eye on the ultimate prize – a sustainable planet!more
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute is pleased to announce the winners of the Heh-Won Chang, PhD Fellowship in Green Chemistry. This award provides international recognition for outstanding graduate student contributions to advancing the goals of green chem... more
Kimberly Hazard, Greener Solutions instructor, University of California, Berkeley
The Greener Solutions program at UC Berkeley is a unique and successful program that teaches students applied skills in green chemistry. As a former Greener Solutions student and current co-instructor, I can attest to the program’s pedagogical efficacy and the immense value it provides for students and partners.
Through the program, students have a unique opportunity to work on interdisciplinary teams and partner with companies in a variety of industries trying to identify and evaluate safer alternatives to concerning materials or less sustainable processes. Students who go through this program learn how to apply their academic skills to real sustainability challenges, and often leave inspired to shift their careers in this direction. In addition to providing students with valuable experience, the program also helps build a leadership pipeline for the next generation of sustainability.more
Glenn Ruskin, ACS GCI Contributor
Ever since humans harnessed fire over 1.5 million years ago, combustion has been at the heart of our energy creation. Fire from wood was first used by humans to cook meat, provide warmth and protection from wild animals. It wasn’t until the early 19th century, that fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) replaced wood as the primary source of energy generation. Today the vast majority, over 80%, of energy is still generated by fossil fuels, with nuclear comprising 10% and other renewable sources making up the rest.more
Dr. Jonathon Moir, Program Manager, GCTLC, Beyond Benign
Beyond Benign and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (GCI) are excited to announce that after a year of planning, strategy work, and scoping, the technical development of the new Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC) platform is underway! The GCTLC is set to launch in 2023 and will serve as an online clearinghouse of green chemistry education materials, including a searchable library of greener lab experiments, in-class activities, lecture slides, and tutorial videos, among others. The GCTLC will also be a central networking hub where members of the community (including teachers and faculty educators, students, industry stakeholders, and EH&S experts) can collaborate, create and contribute to discussion forums, share resources, give and receive mentorship, post green chemistry jobs and opportunities, and so much more.more
By Christiana Briddell, Sr. Communications Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute
A growing number of institutions are incorporating green chemistry into classes and labs, but very few currently offer an undergraduate degree in Green Chemistry. The University of Michigan-Flint launched a Green Chemistry major in 2018. Now Widener University in Chester, PA has become the first institution on the east coast to offer a B.S. in Green Chemistry.more
By Megan Arnett, Ph.D., Executive Director, Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
This past year was marked by transitions for all of us, and this was no less true for the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC). Many of you will be aware of BCGC—a home to green chemistry education, research, and outreach for more than a decade. After six years of exciting and dedicated work, my predecessor Tom McKeag stepped down last year, and in October 2021, I was warmly welcomed as the new Executive Director for the center. It is my honor to be introducing myself to all of you—many of whom have supported and partnered with the BCGC throughout the years. As a scientist, educator and concerned citizen, becoming a part of the BCGC work feels like a homecoming in many ways, and I look forward to guiding it through this next part of the journey.more
By Christiana Briddell, Sr. Communications Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®
The next generation of researchers is inspired and motivated to weave sustainable design into both fundamental research approaches and applied chemistry and engineering processes. The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (GCI) offers several awards to provide recognition for outstanding student research efforts and to provide travel support so that they can gain valuable experience presenting their green chemistry research at scientific meetings.
The seven students below—two undergraduate and five graduate level—are the recipients of the 2021–2022 Hancock, Breen, and Ciba Awards. The winners were selected by a panel of voluntary judges assembled by ACS GCI.more
Many members of our community will warmly remember Dr. Nina McClelland, who was a champion of green chemistry, a life-long advocate for environmental standards to improve the health and safety of our environment, and a true believer in the value of pro... more
By Aurora Ginzburg, Ph.D., Education Program Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute
As the year draws to a close we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the significant green chemistry research, educational initiatives, and innovations from 2021. This list is not in any particular order and is limited to 15 entries. Awards recognizing individual scientists—of which there are many in 2021—were not included. We welcome your addition of other significant achievements in the comments on this post!more
The green chemistry community lost a leader in the Pacific Northwest last month with the sudden passing of Ken Zarker—manager of Washington State Department of Ecology’s pollution prevention and toxic reduction activities. Ken was a champion of green chem... more
By Mary Kirchhoff, Ph.D., Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute
For those of you old enough to remember Bob Hope, “Thanks for the Memories” was his signature song, and the title seems appropriate as I write my last column as GCI Director. I began my 20-year career at ACS with the Green Chemistry Institute and am pleased to wrap up my time at ACS with GCI as I prepare to retire at the end of the year.more
20 Years of Scientific Breakthroughs That Both Change Patients’ Lives and Sustain a Healthy Planet
By Juan Colberg, Seda Arat, Maria Gonzalez Esguevillas, Scott France, Kailey Huot, Rajesh Kumar, Daniel Laity, Manjinder Lall, Johnny Lee, Javier Magano, Jared Piper, Paul Richardson, Philipp Roosen, Rebecca Watson.
One definition for Green Chemistry (GC) is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Pfizer has embraced this concept and applied it across the life cycle of its products, facilitating process design, manufacturing, and utilization. Green chemistry principles provide a unique framework to guide process development, which ultimately leads to an optimal chemical process from both an environmental and economic perspective.more
By Frank Roschangar, Boehringer Ingelheim
More than ever before, pharmaceutical companies are expected to assess the impact of their sustainable development achievements. However, the lack of a consistent metric system impedes the objective quantification and comparability of key sustainability indicators. One of those indicators is Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing waste, which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12—Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.more
Eight research groups received a total of $300,000 in green chemistry funding from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR) this fall. The 2021 funded research projects cover a variety of areas, including flow chemistry, greener peptide synthesis, medicinal chemistry, biocatalysis and others. New Request for Proposals in research areas that are important to the pharmaceutical industry are issued each spring. In total, the ACS GCIPR grant program has distributed over $3 million in green chemistry research funding since its inception. To find out more about the program, please visit: https://www.acsgcipr.org/advancing-research/
The 2021 awardees, who each receive $50,000 in research support, are:more
A recording of the September 22, 2021, webinar hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to educate stakeholders on the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards and the nomination process is now available. The webinar reviewed the history of the awards, the categories within the awards, eligibility requirements, and what is needed to submit a nomination.more
The 2020-2021 school year was not an easy one by any means! However, many ACS Student Chapters were able to find ways to continue their activities—and 27 succeeded in still meeting the criteria to receive a Green Chemistry Award. Winning chapters included 21 chapters from the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 6 international student chapters from Nigeria, the U.K., Mexico, India and Costa Rica.more
To encourage ACS members to get involved in sustainability policy issues, two ACS committees are collaborating to create a new ACS award. The ACS Committees on Environmental Improvement (CEI) and Chemistry & Public Affairs (CCPA) created a jointly-administered ACS ChemLuminary Award to encourage local sections and divisions to engage in projects that leverage ACS policy statements connected to sustainability. ACS units have the remainder of 2021 to organize and execute activities that will be eligible for consideration for the 2022 prize. ACS ChemLuminary awards recognize superlative efforts accomplished by ACS local sections, divisions, international chapters, or other ACS units.more
“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.” This is how the current state of the climate was described in last month’s Interg... more
On June 11, Helen Sneddon, Ph.D., Scientific Team Director in Medicinal Chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline, presented an overview of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable tools during the 25th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. A summary of her presentation below provides a quick overview of these free public resources. You can also watch Dr. Sneddon’s complete 20-minute presentation at https://www.acsgcipr.org/tools-for-innovation-in-chemistry.more
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute Oilfield Chemistry Roundtable (OCR) is seeking a one-year R&D commitment to assist the Roundtable’s discovery of friction reducers and high-viscosity friction reducers that are viable alternatives to current polyacrylamide polymers used in hydraulic fracturing.more
By Matthew Deinhardt, ACS Green Chemistry Institute
Agilent Technologies shares how they are leading the way in sustainable supply chains and instrument production from a holistic approach.
Agilent, a 2021 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference Gold Sponsor, provides analytical instruments, software, and services for laboratory workflow, from start to finish. The company focuses its services and products to meet the needs of six key markets: food, environmental and forensics, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, chemical and energy, and research. I recently had a chance to interview Agilent’s Michael Frank, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Global Marketing within the Liquid Phase Separations Division, to discuss how Agilent is improving and “greening” their processes for a more sustainable ecosystem.more
Contributed by Kendra Leahy Denlinger, Teaching Professor at Xavier University; Rebecca Haley, Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-River Falls; and Heather Hopgood, Assistant Professor of Instruction at Ohio University
Working together to connect chemistry
What do women’s health and health inequity have to do with the ability to identify a stereogenic center? This was a question we set out to answer as we began our journey with the Green & Sustainable Chemistry Education Module Development Project. Before diving into how we have attempted to answer this question, let’s go back to a scenario you may have encountered in the classroom. Every now and then, chemistry educators get the bold student who speaks on behalf of the class: “Why does this matter?” with the accompanying sigh and eye-roll. In the past, we have answered this question with some broader picture context and the obvious “you’ll need it for your next course.” This answer isn’t all that satisfying for us, or the students.more
Contributed by Jonathon Moir, Ph.D., Program Manager, Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC), Beyond Benign
As the 2021/2022 school year begins and many students have returned to in-person classes across the U.S., effective strategies for teaching and learning in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic remain top of mind amongst educators at all levels, from K-12 through to higher education. A priority remains the ability to network and collaborate with other educators (especially when in-person conferences and meetings remain uncertain), to share best practices and resources, to help support each other amid change, and to find ways to stay engaged across geographic and institutional boundaries.more