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20th Annual GC&E Sneak Peak- Part 2

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Session: Bridging Green Solvent Design, Impacts, and Application

Organizers: Lindsay Soh, Assistant Professor, Lafayette College and Aaron Scurto, Associate Professor, The University of Kansas

In regards to designing greener processes, the use of solvents comprises up to 85% of manufacturing waste streams. For the production of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals, this waste can contribute to large amounts of hazardous materials being produced with E-factors ranging from 5-50 to  25-100 respectively.  The need to find and implement green solvent alternatives is therefore highly pertinent and has the potential to have significant impact.

Current research in the field of green solvents ranges from design at the molecular scale to finding applications for emerging solvent alternatives such as CO2 and ionic liquids.  Further development of metrics on what actually makes a solvent or process green by both understanding the inherent hazard/toxicity and the full life cycle impacts is also necessary to ascertain the impacts that alternatives may have.  The intention of the proposed symposium will therefore be to bring together disciplines related to the development, impacts, or applications of green solvent research and application from a variety of perspectives in order to have progressive conversations regarding green solvent viability.  The session seeks to address the discrepancy between the solvent applications that are being developed with those that have the most potential from an environmental and applications perspective.  Further we seek create and interactive session that will open up dialogue between chemists, engineers, toxicologist, industry, etc in order to allow for conversation that can reveal gaps in the current knowledge and can also help to guide further research and collaboration.

NWGC.pngSession: Green Chemistry Design for a Rainbow of Colorants

Organizers: Amelia Nestler (Consulting Project Manager, Northwest Green Chemistry), Saskia van Bergen (Green Chemistry Scientist at Washington State Department of Ecology) and Lauren Heine (Executive Director, Northwest Green Chemistry)

Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC) is organizing a session at ACS GCI’s 2016 Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, Green Chemistry Design for a Rainbow of Colorants.  Colors augment materials across all industries, from aerospace and electronics to the built environment, apparel, footwear and packaging.  Modern-day dyes and pigments are expected to adhere to exacting product standards such as color fastness, yet many of these same requirements lead to the production of hazardous byproducts at some point in their life cycle.  For example, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), generated as byproducts during the production of many pigments, are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.

Our eight excellent speakers represent a cross-section of industry, non-profit organizations, and academia, beginning with an introduction to pigments, dyes, and human & environmental health hazards, particularly PCBs.  A series of presentations and a discussion with industry experts follows, with a focus on clearly defining the innovation needs in order to achieve green and sustainable colorants with high performance standards.  Next, a toxicologist tackles the application of modern toxicological methods, including concepts such as a positives lists and utilization of GreenScreen and Design for the Environment.  We conclude with a series of presentations on new innovations in colorants, include colloidal structural color, the utilization of alternative feedstocks, and the intelligent design of safer synthetic pigments.

We at Northwest Green Chemistry are committed to enhancing human and environmental health by fostering innovation and economic opportunities through sustainable and green chemistry and engineering solutions.  As such, our session challenges chemists, including researchers from academia and industry as well as current students to design solutions that provide color using green chemistry and green engineering principles and practices. This includes challenging chemists to focus on manipulating chemical structure to enhance performance while reducing toxicity and bioavailability across the life cycle of products.  The student workshop is also focusing on pigments, and includes a workshop portion that some of our speakers are assisting with.  Please sign up for our newsletter for regular updates, and join us at GC&E 2016.

Session: Sustainable Strategies for Next Generation Biologics and Therapeutics

Organizer: Kristi Budzinski, Green BioPharma Program Manager, Genentech

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (GCIPR) is hosting a biopharmaceutical-focused session at the 2016 ACS Green Chemistry and Engineering conference to highlight efforts in biologics process research and development to incorporate green chemistry and engineering principles.

In the Sustainable Strategies for Next Generation Biologics and Therapeutics session, industry experts will discuss the current environmental impact of biologics production and methods and technologies that can reduce the impact. Typically manufactured by living cells, biologics present a very different set of environmental challenges from small molecule pharmaceuticals. Biologics generate less chemical waste but consume large quantities of water and energy and significant volumes of single-use plastics and filters. Sa Ho, Pfizer, will present initial Process Mass Intensity (PMI) results from a benchmarking study conducted by GCIPR. The PMI calculation takes into account the water, raw materials, and consumables used to produce a biologic. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has also been used to evaluate the environmental impact of biologics production. Bill Flanagan, GE, will discuss the results of LCA studies comparing the traditional stainless steel production train against newer single-use production trains. Phil Dahlin, Johnson and Johnson, will share the learnings from an LCA study on the biologics value chain which identified hot spots companies should be targeting to reduce environmental impact.

The session will also feature presentations on innovative engineering processes and technologies that can reduce energy and water usage, minimize waste generation, and reduce toxicity across the production chain. Rory Finn, Pfizer, will focus on improvements in bioconjugation techniques that shorten process times and increase yield while reducing material consumption. New environmental data on ancillary process substances will be presented by Russel Shearer, Genentech, which can be utilized by development scientists and engineers to choose greener alternatives. Participants in this session will take away a better understanding of the environmental impact of biologics and new technologies and methods that can reduce the impact of this growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry.

Leeanne.jpgDesign Strategies to Maximize the Net Environmental and Human Health Benefit of Emerging Approaches to Environmental Challenges

Organizer: Leanne Gilbertson, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference to be held in Portland, OR June 14-16.  The overarching theme of the conference is Advancing Sustainable Solutions by Design and promises an exciting line up of plenary lectures and concurrent sessions. Leanne Gilbertson, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, is chairing a session aimed at inspiring and engaging in discussion on how we design chemicals, materials and processes in a way that i) provides an innovative solution to current environmental challenges while ii) ensuring realization of a net benefit to the environment and/or human health (E&HH).  Historically, the success of new technologies has been directly tied to an enhanced or novel functionality.


Design through the Principles of Green Chemistry & Engineering aims to harness the performance advancement in a way that precludes potential adverse E&HH consequences.  On Thursday June 16, there will be two sessions on Design Strategies to Maximize the Net Environmental and Human Health Benefit of Emerging Approaches to Environmental Challenges. The morning session will focus on progress in the design of chemicals, materials, and products, while the afternoon will focus on methods and strategies for quantifying tradeoffs across the life cycle. The presentations will provide diverse perspectives ranging from technical, at the bench, design to design inspired by nature, consumers, and evolving regulations.

phillip white.jpg

We are lucky to have three invited speakers participate in the session that will offer unique and thought provoking perspectives that place the work of scientists and engineers in the lab within a broader context. Kiersten Muenchinger, Associate Professor and Chair in Materials Studies and Product Design, and Director of the Product Design Program at the University of Oregon, will kickoff the morning session with her talk entitled, Sustainable Design Strategies that Consumers Recognize in Polymers.  The afternoon session will continue with a presentation entitled, Designing with Okala Metrics, from Philip White, Associate Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.


Timothy Malloy, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Sustainable Technology and Policy Program at UCLA, will wrap up the session offering a regulatory perspective with his talk entitled, Difficult Choices: Evaluating Green Decision-Making in the Regulatory Domain.  Both sessions will include technical talks presented by representatives from within (UC Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, Clemson University, Northeastern University, Purdue University, Queens University, and the Center for Green Chemistry and Engineering at Yale University) and outside (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Biomimicry 3.8) of academic labs.

More information about the GC&E Conference program and the session described herein can be found at

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