Category: Green chemistry

The Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community

Read the full post at the GCI Nexus blog. I’m a proud member of the leadership committee for this project.

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.

Pharma sets a foundation for greener API manufacturing

Read the full story at PharmaTech.

Drug makers are going beyond continuous improvement and green chemistry to increase the sustainability of small-molecule manufacturing.

Partners open source PFAS alternative for food packaging

Read the full story at Waste360.

The clock is ticking for food manufacturers and consumer packaged goods companies who use per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS)-containing materials. By January 2024 these toxic “forever chemicals” will be prohibited in the manufacturing of food contact packaging. In response, specialty chemical company Solenis and Zume, who supplies sustainable substitutes for single-use plastic, developed and open sourced what they call their recipe and manufacturing process for PFAS-free thermoformed molded fiber food service applications.

‘Elegant’ catalysts that tell left from right scoop chemistry Nobel

Read the full story in Nature.

Benjamin List and David MacMillan share the award for developing cheap, environmentally friendly organic catalysts.

Turning plastic garbage into valuable lube oil

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Bottles, bags, and other types of plastic garbage are accumulating rapidly in landfills, oceans, and the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the world’s dependence on plastic packaging is increasing. Converting plastic waste to useful products could help mitigate the problem. Until now, however, little progress has been made converting one of the most widely manufactured polymers—polypropylene.

Chemists may have just come up with a solution, according to research presented on Wednesday at ACS Fall 2021, a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Speaking at a session in the Division of Catalysis Science and Technology, Pavel A. Kots reported that in the presence of a ruthenium catalyst, polypropylene can be converted in high yield to valuable lubricant oils for automobile engines.

Ineos debuts recycled-content styrene resins

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

The Ineos Styrolution business unit of global petrochemical firm Ineos is introducing its Novodur ECO ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and Novodur ECO High Heat resins at a trade fair in Germany this week.

Twelve and LanzaTech partner to produce the world’s first polypropylene from CO2

Read the company news release.

Carbon transformation company Twelve and biotechnology company LanzaTech have partnered to transform CO2 emissions into polypropylene, a key polymer used for medical devices including syringes and IV bags, as well as for large-scale applications in automotive, furniture, textiles and other everyday products.

Twelve’s carbon transformation technology converts CO2 into materials that are traditionally made from fossil fuels. The company helps brands eliminate emissions by replacing the petrochemicals in their products and supply chains with CO2Made® carbon negative chemicals and materials, as well as carbon neutral fuels.

LanzaTech’s carbon recycling Pollution To Products™ technology uses nature-based solutions to produce ethanol and other materials from waste carbon sources. The partnership will bring together the two platform technologies to enable additional product development from CO2 streams, representing just one of many pathways to scale carbon transformation solutions.

Bachem and Novo Nordisk redesign SPPS for green chemistry

Read the news release.

At Bachem, we are committed to sustainability by taking responsibility towards our employees, the society, and the environment. We aim to redesign our processes to minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances, and reduce the environmental impact. In the pharmaceutical industry, solvent consumption generates a significant environmental footprint. Research is conducted to decrease solvent volumes or for substituting them by environmentally benign solvents. Both represents an impactful innovation in API production processes. We are a leading company in the development and manufacture of peptide and oligonucleotide APIs. In peptide manufacturing, our most important technology and core expertise is the solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS), a well-established method for peptide production.  

In the attempt to make the SPPS a greener technology, we conducted, in collaboration with our partner Novo Nordisk, two studies to propose solvent alternatives to replace the reprotoxic N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), dichloromethane (DCM) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). These solvents are the gold standards in SPPS processes for academic research and industrial production facilities alike. They have excellent solubilization and stability properties for reagents and are the best choice in terms of resin swelling. Yet they are to be restricted by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) due to their hazardous nature. Replacing DMF, DCM and NMP for a greener alternative represents a huge challenge, but a great improvement towards reduced environmental footprint processes.

Illinois material startup aims for industrial energy and emissions reductions

Read the full story at Centered.

Skokie, Illinois-based chemistry design startup NuMat Technologies announced a new partnership with Japanese chemical company Sumitomo Chemical to develop more energy-efficient and cost-effective chemical separation technologies.

Pilots needed! Help enhance the new green and sustainable chemistry modules

In 2015 and 2020, the ACS GCI surveyed ACS members in higher education to evaluate the status of green and sustainable chemistry topics in the chemistry curriculum. The results from both surveys indicated substantial barriers to incorporating green and sustainable chemistry in the classroom. Some of the key findings in 2020 were:

  • The most common challenge that faculty reported facing in teaching green and sustainable concepts, besides lack of funding, was a crowded/full curriculum (74%). Additional barriers were a lack of knowledge about content area (39%) and a lack of textbooks and lecture materials (32%).
  • Among green and sustainable chemical concepts taught, faculty reported feeling least prepared to teach sustainability (42% somewhat/very unprepared).
  • When making changes to their curriculum, the top resources respondents were looking for were in-class activities (72%), lab experiments (70%), and homework activities (54%).

To address some of these challenges and needs, the GCI has been working with educators from institutions across the U.S. and Canada to develop modules for general and organic chemistry lecture courses. These modules are intended to lower the barriers for bringing green and sustainable chemistry into higher education classrooms. We are currently recruiting additional institutions and educators to participate in these pilots in 2021 and 2022.

These modules are designed to teach a foundational chemistry topic from the undergraduate curriculum using a green and sustainable chemistry lens. To do this, the modules explicitly incorporate green chemistry approaches, systems thinking, and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each module is expected to cover approximately one week of class and include sufficient core chemistry content such that it can be readily implemented into the classroom. That said, we recognize that flexibility is critical and that the modules will need to support a wide array of course formats, sizes, and content structures. Each module will include instructional materials and notes using a variety of pedagogical strategies, a summative assessment, formative assessments, and out-of-class work. These units can be adopted as a whole or taken piece-by-piece to fit the needs of a given educational context.

While the module developers will be piloting the modules in their own courses, we are putting out this call for additional instructors who would be willing to pilot a module or two in their own general or organic chemistry class. During the development process, each module will be evaluated against a rigorous rubric prior to classroom piloting. The more feedback the module developers get, and the wider the variety of institutional settings and locations these modules are tested in, the more robust the final open-access materials will be.

Educators who pilot these modules will play an integral role in the module development process and will be acknowledged for their contributions. Prior to piloting, the GCI will meet with volunteers to train them on how to use a module and provide the most useful feedback for module revisions. 

To volunteer for piloting, please fill out this Google Form.

Below is a list of modules that will be ready for piloting in 2021 and 2022. You will have an opportunity to indicate which modules you would be most interested in piloting in the Google Form.

Note that there is an entire module on systems thinking that has activities appropriate for both general chemistry and organic chemistry courses. This is a stand-alone module and is not required to use the other modules, but instructors may find it helpful for introducing students to systems thinking.

General Chemistry

  • Introduction to systems thinking
  • The periodic table and sustainability
  • Reaction stoichiometry applied to evaluations of combustion reactions
  • Solutions chemistry through the lens of water as the universal solvent and contamination issues
  • Thermochemistry in the context of home energy use and energy sources
  • Introduction to equilibrium reactions using the Haber-Bosch process as a theme
  • Reaction kinetics in relation to plastic synthesis and decomposition
  • Intro to d-block elements and their applications in chemical synthesis and biological systems
  • Electrochemistry in the context of affordable and clean energy
  • Intro to organic chemistry – relating molecular structure to toxicity and environmental fate

Organic Chemistry

  • Introduction to systems thinking
  • Chirality and pharmaceuticals
  • Structure-property relationships for fuel additives
  • Solvent selection for greener SN1 and SN2 chemistry
  • Alcohol structure, reactivity and applications
  • Molecular evaluations of ethers and their industrial use
  • Aromatic substitution reactions for greener antiviral synthesis
  • Alkene and alkyne addition reactions
  • Pericyclic reactions using synthetic chemicals and biosynthesis
  • Green chemistry and sustainable synthetic design
  • Comparing traditional pharmaceutical syntheses to alternatives that employ greener reagents or take a biological approach.
  • The life cycle of polymers
  • Organometallic reactions and alternatives assessments

More modules are in the early stages of development and will cover additional content from these courses. Stay tuned to learn more about those! To see a full list of the educators involved in this project, and read supporting documents, please check out the Module Development Web Page.

This story originally appeared on the GCI Nexus Blog. Read the original post.

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