Denim and beyond: Huue’s pursuit of ‘clean color’ dyes

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Biotechnology company Huue (pronounced hue) is on a mission to mimic and replicate nature’s rainbow without the use of toxic chemicals.

Paul Anastas and his crew are coming to green up your world

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Paul Anastas is matter of fact about the influence he and his collaborators have had on science. It was always their intention to change the world through green chemistry.

An organic chemist by training, Anastas maintains an active research program at Yale University that spans chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental sciences, epidemiology, and related disciplines. He also codirects the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.

Academia is only part of his story. He spent almost 20 years in government service, culminating in a 3-year appointment by former president Barack Obama to lead R&D at the US Environmental Protection Agency. He’s active in the business of chemistry, including holding founder, adviser, and board roles in start-ups such as the personal care ingredient maker P2 Science and the carbon dioxide-to-chemicals firm Air Company. He also has consulting contracts with Fortune 100 firms. As an advocate, he’s championed federal legislation encouraging the adoption of green chemistry principles in government-​funded research.

On Sept. 1, Anastas and frequent collaborator John Warner received the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Commemorative Medal from Germany’s chemical society in recognition of the lasting impact of the pair’s 1998 book Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, which laid out the 12 principles of green chemistry, and their subsequent work fleshing out those concepts. C&EN interviewed Anastas via video call in mid-July. This conversation was edited for length and clarity.

Can silkworms take a bite out of petrochemicals?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The Activated Silk solution can be sprayed onto leather to create a protective coating that repels moisture, replacing the need for the thin polyurethane films.

Using CO2 to create carbon-negative chemicals

Read the full story at Azo Cleantech.

AZoCleantech speaks to Dr. Melis Duyar from the University of Surrey about their contribution to clean technology research. Duyar has worked with her team to develop materials and processes to capture carbon dioxide, perform a chemical transformation of the captured carbon dioxide with hydrogen, and release the final product, which would be a carbon negative chemical.

Unlearning what we know about chemistry

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

I watched the livestreamed portion of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s annual summit as a salve from the sting of not being able to attend in person. First things first, it didn’t work — I’m still quite disappointed I couldn’t attend. 

I will say, though, that the hourlong session, “Design turns ambition into action,” had a great lineup of speakers. For anyone who missed the livestream, I’d encourage you to give it a view. 

When you live and breathe circularity, it can often be difficult to be wowed by content. Even in such a new area, a lot of ideas can feel incremental, derivative and chipping away at the edges of the problem. The overall lack of “wow” ideas often does, but should not surprise us. After all, most folks working on circular economy innovations have been part of the existing linear economy their whole lives. It can be hard to ignore the current reality and think about a better future. Therein lies the key takeaway I had after watching the EMF Summit 22 livestream:

We need to unlearn much of what we’ve internalized over the course of the last century to make the progress we need to see.   

Mechanochemists want to shake up industrial chemistry

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Using mechanical force to drive reactions offers greener routes to molecules, but chemists need to demonstrate that mechanochemistry can work on industrial scales

USC chemists create greener research labs

Read the full story from the University of Southern California.

Professors are implementing sustainable processes and using equipment that generates less heat — and that’s just the start.

Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals policy papers

The Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals is a roadmap to transform chemical industry. It consists of a preamble vision statement and ten platform planks that lay out the principles that must guide this transition. These policy papers provide more background on each Charter plank and provide specific policy directions and recommendations to put them into practice.

The following papers are currently available:

We need to simplify the chemistry industry to make it sustainable

Read the full story at TechXplore.

Like many industries, the chemical industry needs to become more sustainable and, among other things, reduce its carbon footprint. But the situation is particularly complicated in the chemical industry, because in addition to its carbon or climate footprint, its toxicity footprint is also significant. This represents the toxic effects of chemicals released from chemical production processes and from chemical products. Examples of such substances are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its alternative product, GenX, which are used in the production of fluoropolymers such as Teflon, as well as plasticizers and UV absorbers for plastics, flame retardants, or UV filters in sun creams.

So far, the toxicity footprint hasn’t stood at the center of the sustainability debate. Over recent decades, it has even increased. Moreover, the carbon footprint and the toxicity footprint have only a limited connection with each other. If in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint the chemical industry uses fewer fossil raw materials and makes production processes more energy efficient, this does not necessarily lead to a reduction in the toxicity problem.

But how can these two footprints still be reduced together? One way is to reduce the amount and number of chemical products on the market.

Will your plastic be part of a safe and sustainable economy? You’ll need to pay attention to the additives.

Read the full story at Chem Forward.

As companies work to transition to a more sustainable, circular plastic economy, toxic additives are a barrier as their presence in waste is not labeled. They risk being recycled into new products, where they could pose significant threats to human health and the environment. Overcoming this challenge is  a critical part of achieving circularity in plastics, which is itself key to tackling multiple problems presented by plastic products and waste. Making plastic packaging less toxic to people coincides with making it less polluting to the natural world. Let us explain  how.