23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry | June 11 - 13, 2019

Author Archive

Implementation Strategies for Green Chemistry in products – What are the barriers, opportunities, and key elements for making sustainable consumer goods?

Organizer: John Frazier, Senior Technical Director, Hohenstein Institute America
Session Room: Atrium Ballroom

Why it is critical for green chemistry innovation to have champions?

Bringing greener chemistries to the market is not as simple as having a great idea and watching it take flight. Reality is that good ideas need to have a good plan as well.
During this session attendees will be asked to think thru how to bring a promising greener chemistry to market. How do we tell the story and how do we leverage the power of the brand, the manufacturing skill of suppliers, and the innovation potential of a chemical company? If we miss any one of those considerations, the road to market can be far longer than we anticipate.

Session attendees will leave better understanding how to negotiate the challenges a new greener chemistry might have coming to market.

Metrics – Advances and Limitations in Determining the Greenness of Drug Manufacturing

Organizer: Frank Roschangar, Director, Boehringer Ingelheim
Session Room: Galleria South

While numerous green chemistry metrics have been applied to pharmaceutical drug substance manufacture, significant gaps still remain in this area. The widely varying complexity of pharmaceutical targets, coupled with fragmented application across the industry still represents a significant barrier to green chemistry. Furthermore, nearly all mass-based metrics completely overlook safety considerations, while LCA approaches are often too resource intensive to apply during early development, which is when the majority of choices are made that impact the drug’s long term environmental footprint.

This session will explore some of the key limitations of current green chemistry metrics and introduce some state-of-the-art concepts that are being used to begin to address these gaps. A number of tools and strategies have been developed by various companies and industrial consortia, which represent important steps in the right direction, but limitations still remain. The goal of this session is for the community to engage in a debate around the advantages and disadvantages of these new tools and strategies, and to produce new ideas and suggestions to continue to drive this area forward towards the ultimate goal of a unified and holistic set of green chemistry metrics for pharmaceutical manufacture.

Session attendees will leave with an understanding of the state-of-the-art in green chemistry metrics for pharmaceutical manufacture and a keen awareness of their limitations. They will be exposed to a number of new tools and strategies that they can take away from the meeting and apply to their own work, be it in pharma or other related industries.

Beyond actives – Increasing personal care product sustainability by holistic design

Organizer: Richard Blackburn, Associate Professor, University of Leeds
Session Room: Skyline I

Although great strides have been made in recent years, many cosmetic and personal care products still come under scrutiny for their adverse impact on the environment, particularly considering that the majority of the formulation of many cosmetic products are vehicles to deliver an active ingredient, which is typically present at levels of under 5% by weight. Current news has also highlighted issues in marine ecosystems, raising concerns about cosmetic ingredients such as polyethylene microbeads, plastic glitters, and sunscreens. There is growing consumer pressure on brands to reduce packaging in cosmetic and personal care products. Eco-design approaches are being made, but does how do changes in packaging materials affect the overall environmental footprint and are bio-plastics a sustainable alternative. Green chemistry innovation is also needed in cosmetic delivery systems, particularly aerosols where pressurized organic solvents are used, which present both environmental and toxicity issues. Consideration should also be given to the environmental cost of transporting products which by weight are often mainly water.

In this session, participants will be challenged to use green chemistry principles to design a whole product system for delivery of an active ingredient (1% w/v) extracted from a natural resource. This will require expertise from different fields to solve this problem through a team approach. The teams will need to balance function and aesthetics with sustainability and economics.

Session attendees will leave with an understanding of why it is important to consider every aspect of product design in trying to achieve true sustainability, which goes beyond one magic ‘green’ ingredient.

Systems chemistry: An introduction to systems thinking in green chemistry education, research and innovation

Organizer: James E. Hutchison, Professor, University of Oregon
Session Room: Galleria North

What distinguishes green chemistry from the traditional practice of chemistry? Principally, green chemistry seeks to reduce the impacts of the production and use of chemistry on health and the environment, which are complex systems. Thus, the consideration of systems is one of the attributes that defines green chemistry. In green chemistry, one often encounters tradeoffs and unintended consequences that can best be addressed by taking a broader view of the problem. An emerging opportunity is to view chemistry within the context of systems thinking – systems chemistry.

This workshop aims to introduce participants to the application of systems to the practice of chemistry, introducing key concepts, terminology and examples of the advantage of systems thinking in chemistry. Participants will engage in exercises that help them evaluate alternative approaches and/or design new solutions in the context of systems thinking. Examples will address systems chemistry in teaching, research and innovation. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have new strategies, approaches and resources that they can use to infuse systems thinking into their green chemistry efforts.

Minimizing Ecotoxicity and Persistence in Chemicals and Materials

Organizers: Robert L. Tanguay, Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University; Adelina Voutchkova, Assistant Professor, George Washington University
Session Room: Broadway I/II

Rational design of functional, safe and biodegradable chemicals and materials is not only critical for sustainability, but also a valuable source of competitive advantage for industry. However, there is still a pressing need to train chemists how to qualify the terms “safe” and “biodegradable”, and how to apply tools and expert judgement to be able to predict and/or measure thresholds associated with toxicity and persistence. This alternative program will aim to develop fundamental knowledge needed to specifically assess ecotoxicity and persistence of chemicals and materials, and to design new substances with minimal hazard to the environment.

In the first part of the program the participants shall be presented with some background information in the form of case studies on (i) experimental determination of biocompatibility; (ii) predictive modeling of ecotoxicity and (iii) quantification of biodegradability/persistence of chemicals and materials. Comparative examples from the pharmaceutical industry shall be used to illustrate the power of advanced tools in tailored design for function and environmental performance. In the second part, participants will engage in applying the concepts acquired to the design of new chemicals/materials, identifying appropriate tools and methods that can be applied at different stages of the process.

Building Green Businesses

Organizer: Marty Mulvihill, Co-founder, Safer Made Venture Capital
Session Room: Broadway III/IV

Learn what it takes to translate your green chemistry breakthrough from basic science to into a commercial reality. Practice expressing your ideas in ways that will resonate with commercial partners and investors. After this session participants will be able to better understand and evaluate the business potential for green technologies. We will discuss funding sources (grants, SBIR/STTR, accelerators, venture capital, joint development, contract research, and licensing) and the role that each can play in getting a new technology to market. This workshop will be taught through a series of case studies that highlight the different ways which technologies can make it to market. We will include a brief introduction to technology licensing, startup formation, and business development. Then participants will work in groups to evaluate a technology and propose realistic next steps for bringing it to market, including what the development of a timeline for technical benchmarks and the identification of potential partners. Participants in this session will leave with a plan to move their own research toward commercialization.

Supplanting Petroleum with Renewable Carbon

Session Organizer: Andrew Sutton, Team Leader – Chemical Energy Storage, Los Alamos National Laboratory

In attempts to “replace the whole barrel” and drastically reduce our petroleum dependency, it’s important to consider what a barrel of oil is used for. In the US, 76 % is used to make fuel and 16 % is used for chemicals, but with both markets having similar economic value a typical initial focus is the small volume, higher profit chemicals market. However, in order to have the most effect on environmental impacts (such as reducing CO¬2 emissions), the larger fuel market must not be neglected as a long-term focus. In order to develop technology that is truly sustainable, evaluation using both techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life-cycle analysis (LCA) are key to understanding the overall impact. This session will highlight new advances and technology involved in replacing petroleum with renewable carbon sources in the context of TEA and LCA.

Green Chemistry: Environmental Justice to Social Equity

Session Organizers: Edward Brush, Professor, Bridgewater State University; Grace Lasker, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington Bothell

Green Chemistry is the science of making smart choices in how we design, make, use and dispose of chemicals and chemical products. Chemicals provide the function we demand in consumer products. However, chemists also need to be aware of the potential unintended consequences of chemicals on human health and the environment. Hazardous chemicals have disproportionately impacted children and adults in low income, minority neighborhoods, while the presence of naturally-occurring and human made chemicals effect access to clean air and water. This violates our definition of social and environmental justice where all people, regardless of race or economic status, have the right to live, work, play and learn in healthy, safe environments.

This symposium will build on the engaging and energetic discussions at the 2016 and 2017 GC&E conferences by expanding our current knowledge in defining, identifying and understanding these issues. This will be accomplished through contributed papers and workshop-style discussions aimed at: (1) sharing knowledge across disciplines and fields; (2) determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and (3) developing educational resources and research collaborations. We are also planning to offer a unique workshop-style discussion over dinner.

Separations Innovation for Sustainable Products (Invited Presenters Only)

Session Organizers: Robert Giraud, Director, The Chemours Company; Vince Shen, Chemical Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Dave Sullivan, Senior Scientist, Kraton Chemical, LLC

Using greener chemistries requires greener chemical processes. At the heart of virtually every chemical process is a chemical separation. These separations account for over 40% of the energy consumption and over 50% of the capital investment of chemical processes because they almost exclusively rely on today’s energy-intensive approaches such as distillation. Emerging mass separating agent (MSA)-based approaches offer the ability to perform the same separations for a fraction of the energy consumed by distillation. However, despite offering significant improvement in environmental performance (especially carbon footprint), application of membranes and adsorbents for chemical separations faces a number of innovation challenges. Sustainable products depend on sustainable processes, and sustainable processes depend on sustainable separations. Simply put, product innovation using greener chemistries necessitates innovation in separations technology. Nowhere is there more true than in organic chemical separations from dilute aqueous solution required to produce the bio-based platform molecules of the future, chemicals production via organic reactions in water, and home and personal care products requiring impurity removal.

The session will concentrate on the main ALTSEP-identified R&D needs to drive discussion toward a deeper understanding across the range of relevant disciplines of the research required to meet these needs.

Industrial Applications of Green Chemistry & Engineering Principles

Session Organizer: Samy Ponnusamy, Fellow, Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma

This session will highlight industry innovations based on green chemistry and engineering principles, focusing on the development and design process. Case studies will be presented to illustrate how companies in different sectors have successfully implemented green chemistry and engineering principles into their processes. These examples will describe the design and development process, the challenges faced, and how these barriers were overcome. Additionally, this session will discuss the important collaborations along the value chain and with the academic community. From the session, attendees should be able to understand at a high level how industry develops products and processes, and the many factors that contribute to the launch and commercialization of new green technologies. Presenters will be from industry and academia in order to share the valuable insights of a diverse group on the challenges and opportunities in bringing sustainable chemistries and processes to market.