21st Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference | June 13-15, 2017 | Reston, Virginia


Call for Papers Is Now Open

Abstract submission closes at 11:59 p.m. EST, February 13, 2017.

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Browse Conference Themes

Click on a title below to reveal the technical sessions associated with each theme.

Bringing Greener Products to Market

Bringing Greener Products to Market

Bridging the Gap: The Diverse Paths from Academic Discovery to Industrial Implementation for Innovations in Green Chemistry

Symposium Organizer: Paul Thornton, GreenCentre Canada

Academic innovations must be adopted by industry in order to make a real impact in sustainability. However, there are numerous and immense challenges in transferring new technologies from the benchtop to an industrial setting. For academics, the effort in navigating relationships with industrial partners and technology transfer offices, creating intellectual property, and work in scaling and “de-risking” the chemistry can often be prohibitive. Industry researchers are often averse to pursuing risky early-stage technologies and must even make convincing arguments for investing valuable development resources into the most promising of innovations. The route from academic invention to successful industrial adoption is further complicated by the challenge of finding the most viable application for a product or process in the vast and diverse chemical enterprise.

This symposium will highlight sustainable technologies that have originated from academic laboratories and are now at various stages of commercial deployment. The challenges and risks that were overcome in developing these innovations will be detailed both in terms of technical feasibility and market viability. This session is an opportunity to bring together different stakeholders in the commercialization process for an exchange of perspectives and strategies for bridging the development gap from benchtop to industrial application. Academic scientists and industry researchers, intellectual property experts and entrepreneurs are invited to share their challenges and successes in the effort to bring sustainable chemistry innovations to the marketplace.

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Making a Circular Economy

Making a Circular Economy

Green Chemistry: Inventing for a Circular Economy

Symposium Organizers: John Warner, Chief Technology Officer, The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry; Jennifer Ludwig, Scientific Communications Specialist, The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry

The circular economy has arisen as an ambitious and necessary alternative to the current “take, make, dispose,” linear economy. Although the fundamentals of the circular economy are clear, technical feasibility remains as a major obstacle. Most products in circulation today were designed with materials that are not easily degraded or reworked, making it difficult or impossible to integrate them into a truly circular system. Because of the technical limitations posed by modern materials, there is a demand for new materials designed to degrade or be reworked from the beginning. Green chemistry supplies scientists with the tools to invent these crucial materials. This symposium centers on using green chemistry as a philosophy to guide the invention of materials for the circular economy. Success stories from industry and current challenges will be discussed.

Role of Recycling – Building a Sustainable Tomorrow

Symposium Organizers: Robert Peoples, Executive Director, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE); Matthew Realff, Professor, David Wang Senior Faculty Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology

Ultimately science and technology will develop and deploy sustainable materials, manufacturing and recycling platforms that mimic nature, reduce our carbon footprint and dramatically reduce the demands for virgin feedstock mined from the earth. That scenario is well into the future so in the meantime, human-kind will be in a transition phase. We must learn to better manage those commodities in the marketplace today that represent a reservoir of potential starting materials and which will require many decades, in some cases up to half a century to deplete. As early at the mid-80s organizations and corporations begin to think about recycling and design or recycling. Today we talk about the circular economy and just as technology evolves, so does our constructs and conceptual approaches. Many of these concepts have now been commercialized. From a technical perspective we have witnessed much innovation and success, however from an economic perspective, the landscape looks quite different. Recent developments in terms of collapsing oil prices and their impact on virgin feedstocks has sent shock waves through the recycling world. This is true as well for global supply/demand shifts due to new capacity coming on line and having serious negative consequences for the global recycling community.

At the same time there exists a huge gap today between the world of recycling and green chemistry and engineering. Education and deployment of the principles in the recycle world will accelerate not only the path to sustainable design and closed loop systems thinking, but tap an audience who fundamentally do what they do because of their desire to save the planet. This is a two-way opportunity in terms of educating the recycling world on the tools and concepts while also raising awareness of the green chemistry community to the important role recycling can and will play in our journey.

This all day symposium will bring together a cross-section of recycling leaders in search of common ground – what is working and what has not been successful. The first half of the symposium will focus on a variety of recycle streams, their technology platforms, market outlets and economics. A key question for speakers to address will be how these approaches advance and are enabled by the principles of green chemistry and engineering. The second half of the symposium will take a closer look at a systems level and ask questions regarding the role of market-based approaches vs extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs, greenhouse gas impacts of recycling vs virgin production and with a goal of seeking audience feedback in a moderated questions and answer session. The desired outcome of this symposium will be a set of potential linkages, learnings and actions which can help accelerate our progress toward a circular economy.

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Making Catalysis Greener

Making Catalysis Greener

Advances in base metal catalysis: powerful tools for sustainable chemistry exploration

Symposium Organizer: Jared Piper, Pfizer 

Catalysis is a cornerstone of sustainable chemistry, but traditionally has relied on expensive, rare, and sometimes toxic metals to accomplish bond forming transformations. This session will explore the design and development of new non-precious metal mediated manifolds and their application to green and sustainable chemical synthesis.

Development of Novel Enzymes for Efficient Synthesis

Symposium Organizer: Jim Lalonde, Codexis

There has been tremendous advancement over the last 5 years in our ability to develop enzymes that can perform non-natural reactions desired by chemists and are capable of acting on non-natural substrates. These engineered enzymes can catalyze such reactions with high volumetric productivity. The progression of biocatalysis from hydrolytic enzymes for kinetic resolution, through functional group transformation enzymes, to ones capable of convergent couplings has led to increasing utility of biocatalysis in efficient synthesis.

New chemistry through catalysis

Symposium Organizer: Adelina Voutchkova, The George Washington University

Catalysis is a fundamental tool for development of new synthetic transformations that advance the toolbox of green chemistry. Homogeneous catalysis continues to have an integral role in the development of more sustainable chemical syntheses by allowing rational design of pre-catalysts with high selectivity and activity. Heterogeneous and supported catalysis, on the other hand, have the potential to decrease the need for precious metals and expensive ligands, provided heterogeneous catalysts can be designed to afford high selectivity, activity and stability. This session will convene researchers developing catalytic processes that afford new transformations and conform to the principles of green chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the use of recyclable homogeneous catalysts, catalysis using non-precious metals and processes that use heterogeneous catalysts to minimize consumption of precious metals.

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Making Changes in Education

Making Changes in Education

Breaking the Silos: Public-Private Sector Collaborations to Advance Green Chemistry

Symposium Organizers: Saskia van Bergen, Green Chemistry Scientist, Washington State Department of Ecology; Dr. Amy Cannon, Executive Director, Beyond Benign; Jeffrey Whitford, Head of Corporate Responsibility, MilliporeSigma

“Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnership, and collaboration…”
– Simon Mainwaring

Collaborations allow one to leverage resources, strengthen ideas and develop larger projects.  They are common between faculty from different universities that work in similar disciplines or companies from similar industries working together to remove redundancy. But collaborating within these silos often limits the perspectives, ideas, and skill sets that participants bring to the table.

Collaborations between different sectors, industries, or academic disciplines create opportunities to develop better products and create more dynamic practical learning experiences. These types of collaborations are more challenging and less common. Breaking out of this silo takes effort—it requires resources, coordination, and solid communication.

In this session, groups from Academia, Industry, Government and Non-Profits will discuss their collaborative models, what resources have been applied, and the outcomes including the added value and challenges the collaborations provided.

Empowering the Next Generation of Sustainable Scientists and Engineers

Symposium Organizers: Natalie O’Neil, Executive Director, Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientists & Engineers (NESSE); Amy Cannon, Executive Director, Beyond Benign; Allison Paradise, Executive Director, MyGreenLab

Scientists are a vital part of the solutions needed to more effectively meet global human needs and providing sustainable access to the world’s resources for current and future generations. Early-career scientists are often directly responsible for developing and implementing novel solutions through their research projects, discovering new ideas and projects, and training and teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Therefore, they have the potential to hugely impact the development and implementation of green and sustainable practices within science and technology. This session will focus on highlighting resources aimed specifically at this group to give them the knowledge to implement green chemistry and sustainable science solutions in their work, to network and communicate with others in related fields, and to gain peer support for tackling obstacles. Attendees will leave with a clear idea and written plan on how they can use the information presented in the session in their professional careers.

Making Green Chemistry an Essential Component of Chemical Education:  Rapid Fire Session

Symposium Organizers: Prof. Jane E. Wissinger, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota

This fast-paced and engaging symposium will provide educators of all levels with the opportunity to share their innovations in making green chemistry content in lecture, laboratory, and outreach an important topic in teaching chemistry. The interdisciplinary nature of green chemistry opens the door to illustrating how greener organic synthesis, inorganic/enzymatic catalysts, renewable/degradable polymers and materials, biotechnology, toxicology, and more can be used to design more sustainable processes and products. Abstracts are welcome which share how instructors are integrating these technologies in their curriculum to both inspire and prepare students for their future careers. The rapid-fire session format will allow presenters up to seven minutes to present the highlights of their work with three minutes for questions. Speakers must be willing to then participate in a panel discussion at the end of the session to create a forum for exchange of ideas and provide additional details according to the interest of the audience. More than one submission by an author will be allowed to in order to include a breadth of topics.

Toxicology for Chemists: Unique approaches for integrating toxicology into chemistry courses and programs

Symposium Organizers: Dr. Amy Cannon, Executive Director, Beyond Benign; Dr. Karolina Mellor, Program Coordinator, Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering, Yale University

Green Chemistry principles have been adopted by researchers and educators throughout academia, industry and government. Despite the wide adoption of green chemistry principles, there remains a key missing piece to a chemist’s education, that of understanding molecular hazards and toxicology. For Green Chemistry to be successfully integrated into research programs, both academic and industrial, the scientists must have a mechanistic understanding of how chemicals impact human health and the environment. Through this mechanistic understanding, scientists can design molecules that have reduced hazards to human health and the environment and ecosystem, an approach that is the best method for pollution prevention and avoiding the use and generation of hazardous chemicals.

Today, there is a movement towards teaching toxicology concepts to chemistry students within chemistry courses and programs. Some institutions have begun efforts to create their own courses on toxicology, or weave concepts into existing courses. Many institutions have shown interest in this area, but do not have the resources or knowledge-base to implement toxicology within a chemistry course or program. This symposium will highlight unique approaches for integrating toxicology and related topics into chemistry courses and programs. Faculty members will share model courses on toxicology and techniques for including toxicology concepts within existing chemistry courses. As more and more chemistry departments seek to integrate toxicology concepts into their courses and programs, there is a growing demand for educational materials and models for adoption. This symposium will serve as a means for sharing best practices, techniques, and resources to faculty looking to fill these gaps through their own curriculum and coursework.

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Making Chemistry Greener for Societal Benefit

Making Chemistry Greener for Societal Benefit

Green Chemistry = Social and Environmental Justice: Theory and Practice

Symposium Organizers: Ed Brush; Grace Lasker

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, we also need to be aware of the unintended consequences of chemicals on human and environmental health. Hazardous chemicals are disproportionately impacting children and adults in low income, minority neighborhoods, while the presence of naturally-occurring and human made chemicals effect access to clean 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.

The goal of this symposium is to establish the future directions for this discussion by expanding our current knowledge in defining, identifying and understanding the issues. This will be accomplished through: (1) sharing knowledge and experiences across disciplines and fields; (2) discussing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and (3) learning about educational strategies and resources.

Products as Solutions to Real-World Sustainability Challenges: Incentives and Barriers

Symposium Organizers: Anthony M. Noce, ACSF, Principal Consultant, Operations Risk & Compliance, Haley & Aldrich, Inc.; Lauren Heine, Ph.D., Executive Director, Northwest Green Chemistry; Amelia Nestler, Ph.D., Consulting Project Manager, Northwest Green Chemistry; Ray Garant , Director of Public Policy, American Chemical Society

Many chemists are inspired to use their skills to address real world challenges to human health and sustainability. To work on basic and/or applied research challenges that are linked to such challenges is very different from bringing products to the marketplace that actually become sufficiently successful to provide the desired benefits. The benefits may be novel or they may be designed to replace other products because of their impacts on natural resources, due to the generation or use of toxic substances, or because they generate poorly managed waste in a linear “take, make, waste” system of industrial production. In this session, we explore both the drivers and barriers for new green chemistry and engineering technology development, as well as strategies to enhance the drivers while overcoming the barriers. Drivers are diverse and may or may not be in alignment. Examples include environmentally preferable procurement, regulation, research support, scale up support, voluntary supply chain initiatives, technical standards and/or ecolabels, awards and prizes, preferential government purchasing, and so much more. In contrast, there are many obstacles, including lack of funding, lack of access to entrepreneurial or business expertise, limited market awareness, entrenched products with dominant market share, procurement experts with limited understanding of alternative technologies, standards that prefer older technologies driving incremental improvements rather than real innovation, regulatory requirements, lack of access to scale up resources, cultural inertia, and more.

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Making Greener Coatings

Making Greener Coatings

Making Protective Coatings for Bridges, Boats, and the Future

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

Virtually all manufactured products are protected by coatings, whether they are anti-corrosive, anti-bacterial/anti-fouling, or water/vapor barriers. These coatings provide significant sustainability, environmental, and human health benefits by preventing infection (e.g. antibacterial coatings on implanted medical devices or on hospital surfaces), increasing product life-span (e.g. anticorrosive bridge coatings), and improving performance (e.g. antifouling boat paints help maintain high fuel efficiency). Biofilms—aggregates of microorganisms that adhere to each other, a surface, and/or a self-produced extracellular matrix—drive the need for many of these protective coatings due to their unique resistance to exterior disruption and their ability to cause infection, corrosion, and bio-degradation of materials. A full understanding of the chemistry and biology underpinning biofilm formation and growth is necessary to guide the development of state-of-the-art protective coatings.

Unfortunately, the protective benefits provided by these coatings come at a cost. Many antibacterial and antifouling coatings have significant off-target effects. For example, copper is commonly used for antifouling boat paints, but even low concentrations of copper significantly decrease salmon olfactory senses, preventing salmon from avoiding predators and locating their home stream in order to reproduce, and higher concentrations are toxic to other marine life forms. Many coatings are based on C6 or C8 fluorocarbon technology, and while this does provide a reasonably durable, super-slick coating, the ingredients are persistent, bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs). For some antifouling coatings to function, the antifouling chemical must be released into the environment at a steady leach rate, further complicating the selection of an appropriate durable matrix for the coating. Coatings can interfere with managed end-of-life systems, particularly composting and recycling.

We will open our session with a biofilm expert who will describe the chemistry and biology of biofilm formation and growth, and relate this to current coatings. This will be followed by a case study looking the Washington State Antifouling Boat Paint Alternatives Assessment (AA), framing the session with example metrics for evaluating and comparing both existing and emerging alternatives. From there, we will explore innovations in coatings, including novel nanomaterial-based coatings, coatings based on biomimicry, antibacterial/antifouling chemicals with low off-target toxicity, and disruptive innovations such as ultrasound-based antifouling that could replace some coating needs.

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Making Greener Composite Materials

Making Greener Composite Materials

Green Chemistry in Composite Materials and Manufacturing

Symposium Organizer: John Dorgan, Chem. Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University
(Present affiliation: Chem. Eng. Dept., Colorado School of Mines)

Composite materials are playing an important role in addressing sustainability metrics. For example, wind turbines are constructed of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs). Accordingly, FRPs play a leading role in one of the most economic sources of clean renewable energy generation. Similarly, light-weighting of vehicles through incorporation of high-tech carbon fiber (CF) to meet stricter CAFÉ standards is undergoing intensive development. Despite the overwhelmingly positive environmental benefits of using light-weight composite materials, the materials and manufacturing processes can be improved through application of the principles of Green Chemistry. For example, alternative matrix materials can facilitate end-of-life recycling. In addition, biobased resins and biobased fibers can be produced with inherently lower embedded energy content. Contributions are sought containing the topical theme of Green Chemistry and Manufacturing. Topics of interest include but are not limited to alternative resin chemistries, thermoplastic matrix materials, styrene-free unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester systems, alternative manufacturing routes to carbon fibers, and others.

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Making Greener Industrial Processes

Making Greener Industrial Processes

Advances in Continuous Chemistry

Symposium Organizer: Dr. Michael E. Kopach, Research Advisor, Eli Lilly and Company

For many decades flow chemistry has been used extensively in the petrochemical industry for its increased safety, efficiency and product quality. Many of these benefits are also directly applicable to orthogonal industries. For these reasons continuous chemistry has recently been gaining interest in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. This session will focus on development of novel continuous chemistry designed to improve safety, quality and efficiency.

Papers for this session should address these type of themes:

  • New chemistries which are operated optimally in continuous flow mode
  • Gas phase reactions in explosive regimes
  • Highly exothermic, high temperature or cryogenic processes
  • Integrated synthesis, work-up and analysis
  • Case studies with a focus on process safety and material efficiency
  • Comparative analyses using metrics which measure sustainability; these include Process Mass Intensity (PMI) and Global Warming Potential (GWP)

Expected participants / contributors: academic researchers and industrial scientists engaged in developing continuous chemistry.

How Green is Green? Metrics Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Symposium Organizer: Frank Roschangar, Boehringer-Ingelheim

Green chemistry metrics aim at raising environmental awareness and lowering footprint by measuring what we care about. They inspire desired behaviors and enable green chemical process design with minimal waste and hazards. This session will explore development and application of effective metrics in the past, present, and future.

Separations for Sustainable Manufacturing: The Road Ahead

Symposium Organizer: Robert Giraud, Principal Consultant, The Chemours Company

Making our way to a sustainable tomorrow requires us to rethink the way we make many of the products that modern society depends on. The production of over 95% of manufactured goods in our economy relies on chemical processes. In turn, the manufacture of chemicals and chemistry-enabled products depends on separation processes. The conventional methods to effect these molecular separations account for over 10% of energy use globally. But the existing technology infrastructure of the chemistry enterprise broadly favors incumbents like distillation and evaporation. Realizing the need for change and capitalizing on NIST AMTech funding, forward-thinking groups like the ACS GCI Chemical Manufacturers Roundtable and the Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance have led development of technology roadmaps to chart the road ahead for sustainable separations. Collaboratively developed by innovators from the chemical and allied industries, separation process technology suppliers, universities, and government, the resulting roadmaps identify and prioritize research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects needed for widespread industrial deployment of energy-efficient separation processes. These projects focus on putting the green chemistry principle on design for energy efficiency and the green engineering principle on design for separation into practice. Manufacturing-scale application of sustainable alternative separation (ALTSEP) processes is expected to build on a deeper understanding of the intrinsic molecular properties whose differences drive efficient and effective separations and on innovative techniques for process simulation and design.

This session will share the results of these roadmapping efforts with the green chemistry community and highlight innovative approaches to transform roadmap-identified needs into technology advances. Invited presenters will include the prominent academic and government researchers, the executive director of the Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, and industry leaders in the development of the ALTSEP roadmap. Depending on the time allocated for the session, a panel discussion will be held for the presentations.

Sustainable Process Design – The Key to Minimize Environmental Impact, Maximize Cost Efficiency and Drive Innovation

Symposium Organizer: Ingrid Mergelsberg, Merck

While efficient, concise and convergent synthetic routes to complex molecules are essential for their sustainable production; of equal importance is the efficiency of individual processes that comprises each step along the synthetic route. Thus excellent and innovative process design enables sustainable chemical synthesis on industrial scale. This session will explore how improved synthetic methodologies, prediction tools, High Throughput Screening, catalysis, solvent selection, recycling, and minimization of unit operations play a vital role in process chemistry to minimize the environmental impact, to maximize cost efficiency and to drive innovation.

The chemistry of hydraulic fracturing: Designing for sustainability

Symposium Organizers: Julie Manley, ACS GCI Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable

Hydraulic fracturing is a significant contributor to US energy production, and plays an important role in carbon reduction in the foreseeable future, making our way to a more sustainable tomorrow. To address the needs for more sustainable hydraulic fracturing, it is imperative to identify the scientific challenges as well as to develop collaborations to address them. This session intends to address scientific challenges as well as promising research advances to enable more sustainable hydraulic fracturing. The goal is to disseminate scientific information related to green chemistry and engineering principles in the chemical supply chain for hydraulic fracturing and to enhance collaboration with industry, government, and other organizations to address the needs for more sustainable hydraulic fracturing.

Note: This symposium is focusing on the chemistry of hydraulic fracturing, and is not intended to address policy or political perspectives.

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Making Greener Nanomaterials

Making Greener Nanomaterials

Green routes to nanomaterials synthesis and understanding mechanisms

Symposium Organizers: Dr. Marc R. Knecht, Department of Chemistry, University of Miami; Cory Jensen, Colorado School of Mines

Inorganic nanomaterials are widely used in a variety of applications. The E-factor analysis revealed that the current nanomaterials production methods are up to 10,000 times more wasteful when compared to the production of bulk chemicals. These figures clearly stress an urgent need to develop green synthesis methods for nanomaterials, which require less energy and produce less waste (i.e. eco-friendly), yet are cost-effective and can allow greater control over materials properties.

This session invites contributions on fundamentally new green routes to the synthesis of nanomaterials. These can include biomineralization and biologically inspired eco-friendly methods for nanomaterials synthesis. Of interest will be the advances to increase efficiency and reduce waste by investigating the reaction chemistry, novel solvents, and downstream processing (separations and purification). Further, given that some of these methods are very recent, the symposium is also keen to feature studies on the mechanistic understanding of the particle formation pathways. These include information obtained from both theory and experiments pertaining to molecular-level phenomena, catalysis leading to particle formation, nucleation and growth mechanisms, etc.

Evaluating and predicting the impact of nano-products will be embedded within this session. This session will focus on the question, how nanomaterials contribute to the overall sustainability of products. Contributions identifying novel approaches to holistic improvements in product innovation utilizing nanotechnology as well as metrics, modelling, and/or informatics-based evaluation and prediction of impacts are of particular interest. Discussion generated will be geared towards identifying near-term, mid-term, and long-term goals for making new nanotechnology products inherently more efficient.

Scale-up, manufacturing and commercialization of green nanomaterials

Symposium Organizers: Dr. Siddharth Patwardhan, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield; Nastassja Lewinski, Ph.D., Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University

The green manufacturing of nanomaterials has received little attention. Various recent reports have recommended that achieving green manufacturing by 2020 is the “holy grail” and it can help deliver efficient large-scale industrial processes. This session will focus on tools and methods to develop scalable green processes for manufacturing nanomaterials. Contributions focussing on fundamentals of scale-up new green routes and ways for their implementation into industrial manufacturing will be of interest. Key topics include reactor technology, effects of mixing and fluid dynamics, modelling simulations, techno-economic analysis, and product and process design.

Evaluating and predicting the impact of nanomaterials manufacturing will be embedded within this session. This session will focus on the overall sustainability of processes. Contributions identifying novel approaches to holistic improvements in manufacturing as well as metrics, modelling, and/or informatics-based evaluation and prediction of impacts are of particular interest. Discussion generated will be geared towards identifying near-term, mid-term, and long-term goals for making new nanotechnology products inherently more efficient.

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Making Greener Polymers

Making Greener Polymers

Design and Routes for Sustainable Polyurethanes

Symposium Organizers: Dr. Sylvain Caillol, Institute Charles Gerhardt, University of Montpellier; Prof. Henri Cramail, Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques, University of Bordeaux

Polyurethanes rank 6th among all polymers with a global production of 18Mt in 2015. The business of polyurethanes is a $71.9 billion enterprise and a key element of the U.S. economy. The industry directly employs more than 235,200 Americans and operates in more than 1,000 locations across the United States. Polyurethanes are highly versatile materials capable of solving many problems and are used in the construction, furniture, bedding, automotive, binder and many other industries. They are used as insulators, adhesives, sealants and binders in a variety of construction products and in numerous other uses. The desire and need for more sustainability and more energy efficient materials has encouraged the use of more bio-based chemicals. Hence, lots of bio-based polyols are developed from vegetable oils or sugar derivatives to yield bio-based polyurethane products. However, to prepare these polyurethanes, isocyanates are still required. The issue with isocyanates is mainly due to their toxicity. Therefore various routes for the synthesis of isocyanate-free polyurethanes have recently gained increasing attention from both scientific and industrial communities. These non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPUs) are really promising polymers that could be used in various application sectors. We propose in this symposium “DESIGN AND ROUTES FOR SUSTAINABLE POLYURETHANES” to gather the most high-level contributions from academic and industrial community on the remaining challenges for sustainable PUs and NIPUs.

The objective is to address issues and gaps concerning:

  • Innovative and promising bio-based monomers for industrial PUs and NIPUs
  • Monomer reactivity and molar mass issues for non-isocyanate PUs
  • Access to NIPU foams
  • Water borne NIPUs
  • Life cycle assessment on PUs and NIPUs
  • NIPUs up-scaling
  • Characterizations, derivatizations and promising applications for NIPUs
Sustainable Design of Polymers and Polymer Composites from Xylochemicals

Symposium Organizers: Joseph F. Stanzione, III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Rowan University; John J. La Scala, Ph.D., Associate for Science & Technology, Weapons & Materials Research Directorate, Department of the Army, U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Polymers and polymer composites are utilized ubiquitously in today’s society for a wide variety of applications. Unfortunately, most of our polymers and polymer composites are derived from non-renewable resources, namely petroleum. However, over the past two decades, the green chemistry and engineering scientific community, including those in government, academia, and in the private sector, has made significant strides in fundamentally understanding, designing, developing, and commercializing chemicals and materials from renewable resources.

In order to increase this momentum and aid our society in transforming itself from a largely petroleum-based, linear economy to a renewable-based, circular economy, both industrial and satellite second-generation lignocellulosic biorefineries have been envisioned and are slowly becoming active. Both biofuels and bio-based chemicals are being generated and sold from these plants, which largely depend on agricultural waste and/or agriculturally grown food as their primary renewable-based feedstocks.

Fortunately, much research is currently being conducted in the design and development of lignocellulosic biorefineries that utilize woody-biomass as the primary renewable-based feedstock. Sustainably harvested trees, green processes, and wood-based fuels and wood-derived building blocks (xylochemicals) for materials are the focus of these industrially, socially, and economically transformative facilities. Thus, the sustainable design of polymers and polymer composites from xylochemicals is imperative to advancing our society while significantly reducing our environmental impact and carbon footprint. This session will focus on highlighting our progress toward this endeavor, on identifying major hurdles and obstacles that must be overcome, and will contain presentations from leading experts in the field.

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Making Greener Processes and Products

Making Greener Processes and Products

Breaking the Silos: Public-Private Sector Collaborations to Advance Green Chemistry

Symposium Organizers: Saskia van Bergen, Green Chemistry Scientist, Washington State Department of Ecology; Dr. Amy Cannon, Executive Director, Beyond Benign; Jeffrey Whitford, Head of Corporate Responsibility, MilliporeSigma

“Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnership, and collaboration…”
– Simon Mainwaring

Collaborations allow one to leverage resources, strengthen ideas and develop larger projects.  They are common between faculty from different universities that work in similar disciplines or companies from similar industries working together to remove redundancy. But collaborating within these silos often limits the perspectives, ideas, and skill sets that participants bring to the table.

Collaborations between different sectors, industries, or academic disciplines create opportunities to develop better products and create more dynamic practical learning experiences. These types of collaborations are more challenging and less common. Breaking out of this silo takes effort—it requires resources, coordination, and solid communication.

In this session, groups from Academia, Industry, Government and Non-Profits will discuss their collaborative models, what resources have been applied, and the outcomes including the added value and challenges the collaborations provided.

Challenges, Tools, and Innovation in the Apparel and Footwear Sector

Symposium Organizer: John Frazier, Senior Technical Director, Hohenstein Institute America, ACS GCI Governing Board

The apparel and footwear industries are confronted with a number of challenges as they supply product to an expanding global population. Green chemistry and engineering innovation is increasingly seen as the way for industry to deliver high performance materials and product while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact. These sessions will highlight efforts and tools used by textile and polymer chemical suppliers, apparel manufacturers, footwear manufacturers, and brands to deliver on the demands for product performance while preserving constrained resources.

Connecting the Green Chemistry Supply Chain to Design in the Electronics Industry

Symposium Organizers: Michael Kirschner, Design Chain Associates, LLC Member, ACS GCI Governing Board; Leo Kenny, Planet Singular

The products of the electronics industry are rarely associated with green chemistry, but the amount of chemistry that goes into a given product is, of course, enormous. However, the vast majority of it occurs far upstream of the brand of the product on the shelf, so the focus on the upstream impacts of material design at the brand level is generally low, particularly in small and medium sized organizations. This lack of chemistry and chemical engineering expertise in the downstream electronics industry means the industry is simply unprepared to know when and where green chemistry can and should be driven back upstream. Given the severe challenges and impacts of e-waste, as well as the opportunities it presents, existing systems are clearly inadequate to address these issues. In this symposium, we will explore what additional strategies could enable a more proactive lifecycle approach for electronics.

The goal of this session is to focus on how and where the concepts of green chemistry and engineering, along with Alternative Assessment frameworks, methodologies and tools, can be used across the electronics technology lifecycle, from design through end of life. Therefore, these technical sessions will strive to highlight examples that demonstrate the value of taking a proactive, comprehensive and long term view of these issues that involves all key stakeholders.

At the outset of the symposium, we will highlight the current regulatory landscape, key gaps and trends. During the symposium, the questions we hope to address include the following:

  • In a major driver of new material innovation like the electronics industry, how is green chemistry positioned? How can we drive its use in emerging technology development of novel sensors, SOCs, and generally for IoT device applications?
  • How is it understood by those specifying performance requirements (which is what the electronics manufacturers often specify, rather than specific materials)?
  • What forces are driving the need for green chemistry in technology innovation?
  • What expertise is needed today and in the future, and where?
Facing Forward: Designing sustainable cosmetics & personal care products

Symposium Organizers: Richard S. Blackburn, Head of Sustainable Materials Research Group, University of Leeds; Julie Manley/ACS GCI Formulators’ Roundtable/President, Guiding Green LLC

Cosmetics and personal care products include deodorants, hair dyes, hair styling products, make-up, sunscreens, nail colorants, skin & hair care products, and skin & hair cleansing products, among others. We use these products as part of everyday life to maintain personal hygiene and define who we are. Cosmetics are big business and rising consumer incomes and changing lifestyles are driving the global beauty care products industry, which is forecast to reach around $265 billion in 2017 (Mintel). Reportedly, 10,000 components are used as raw materials in this industry (ScienceDaily), hence the opportunity for green chemistry innovations is evident, and there is increasing interest among consumers in more sustainable and natural ingredients.

Manufacturing more sustainable and/or naturally-derived products may potentially reduce pollution and consumption of non-renewable materials, and current technological innovations are aimed at the development of innovative cost-effective product lines. But in a high-value, high profit industry are innovations true green chemistry or simply marketing greenwash? Many green materials are plant-based, produced either by cultivation or from wild harvesting, but the cosmetics industry needs to consider alternative sources of green materials if it is to avoid competing with food crops. Possibilities include marine ingredients, microalgae, bacteria, and food waste.

Cosmetic and personal care products 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. 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.

This full day session is co-organized by The University of Leeds (Richard Blackburn) and The ACS GCI Formulators’ Roundtable (Julie Manley) and seeks to include global perspectives from companies and academic seeking to use green chemistry to make cosmetics and personal care products more sustainable.

Practice gaps to be addressed during the symposium
We are looking for speakers from academia, industry, government, NGOs that can address the following of key issues:

  • the growth of more sustainable and ‘natural’ cosmetics and whether this industry represents true green chemistry or a marketing opportunity;
  • application of green chemistry for the sustainable synthesis of novel actives and formulation ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products;
  • the increasing use of natural extracts, the perception of their inherent safety, and whether this presents toxicology concerns;
  • extraction of naturally derived extracts for cosmetic application using green chemical processes
  • source materials for cosmetic ingredients: synthesized from petrochemicals vs. derived from plants specifically grown for cosmetics vs. recovered from other sources, such as waste and by-products. Which is best?
  • how green chemistry can aid in the manufacturing, packaging and marketing of cosmetics.
Innovating for Today: Applications of Green Chemistry & Engineering Principles in Industry

Symposium Organizers: Laura Hoch, Ph.D., Technical Fellow, Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3); Ettigounder (Samy) Ponnusamy, Ph.D., Fellow, Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma; Sharon Papke, Head of CAS NAFTA Advocacy and Business Support, Covestro LLC

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.

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Making Molecules Safer

Making Molecules Safer

Advancing the Design and Selection of Safer Commercial Chemicals: How do We Begin?

Symposium Organizers: Stephen C. DeVito, Chief, Data Quality & Analysis Branch, Toxics Release Inventory Program, United States Environmental Protection Agency; Stanley P. Kolis, Research Advisor, Small Molecule Design and Development, Lilly Research Labs, Eli Lilly and Company

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) has identified 90 commercial chemicals that, because of their hazard or exposure potential, warrant further in-depth assessment and possible risk management action. According to the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database, the barrier reported most frequently by industrial facilities to implementing pollution prevention measures on most of these chemicals is “No known substitutes or alternative technologies”. Moreover, many of these same chemicals are used commercially throughout the world, and are released to the environment or otherwise managed as waste in large quantities each year globally.

The good news is that a wealth of experimental toxicity, pharmacokinetic, high-through-put screening (HTPS), and other data exists on many of these problematic chemicals. Much insight could be gained from an analysis and integration of these data, with the intent of elucidating structure-toxicity relationships and inferring rules that can be used to design new chemicals of reduced toxicity that may serve as viable substitutes. To this end, a concerted effort on the part of the federal government, academia, and industry is needed to identify safer alternatives to the problematic chemicals, or alternative technologies that obviate their need.

This session will focus on the prioritization of toxic chemicals that are used in commerce globally, and foster discussion on how available pharmacokinetic, toxicity, toxic mechanism, structure-activity relationship, HTPS, and other data can be used with alternatives assessment constructs to design safer and more sustainable substitutes. The session will be divided into two parts. In the first part, recognized speakers from industry, academia and governmental/non-governmental organizations will give presentations that will cover the following themes:

a) Commercial chemicals that are used globally and for which governmental agencies and/or non-governmental organizations have identified as potentially problematic;

b) Development of new green chemistry or engineering approaches by academic and industrial scientists/engineers for the substitution or removal of commercial chemicals that are used globally and of concern to environmental authorities throughout the world. (These presentations will cover both developmental and applied/practical research.)

A panel discussion will follow the presentations with the title “How Can Industry, Academia, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) use Available Information, Technology and Regulations to Decrease the Use of Chemicals of Toxic Concern?” The panel will serve as a platform for an interactive discussion, and will consist of well-known representatives from industry, academia, governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Forum: Developing sustainable chemical products and communicating with consumers

Symposium Organizers: Clement Choy (ACS GCI Formulators’ Roundtable), Sr. Director R&D, 7th Generation; Daniel Pedersen, Ph.D., VP of Science and Standards, Green Seal; Christopher Helt, Ph.D., Research Manager: Formulated and Manufactured Goods, The Sustainability Consortium

Meeting the continuously rising bar of consumer and I&I performance requirements while consistently improving sustainability presents a challenge for product formulators. Driven by safety concerns from various stakeholders, formulators have focused on green chemistry solutions, which requires them to develop innovative, effective, and cost-comparable components with reduced toxicity, increased biodegradability, and overall increased sustainability. Retailers and brand manufacturers, on the other hand, have focused on identifying high priority chemicals, disclosing these chemicals to consumers, and encouraging safer ingredient choices through assessment of alternatives and informed substitution.

Current market tensions between manufacturers and consumers exist due to major gaps in transparency and communication regarding the approaches to greener ingredient/product development and formulation. An open conversation on the best practices in the field is one approach to bridging these gaps; improved communication through the supply chain would help create mutually beneficial solutions. These conversations are still in their initial stages, and an open exchange of information across the sectors involved has still not been realized. As part of this conversation, mutually beneficial solutions may take the form of hazard avoidance and robust risk assessment coupled with environmental certification and/or eco-labeling (e.g., USDA BioPreferred Program, US EPA Safer Choice, Green Seal, ULE, EU Ecolabel, EcoMark).

This session is intended to provide a forum to share the needs and developments for more sustainable formulated cleaning products and ingredients and will:

  • explore the development of alternatives for various ingredient classes (e.g., antimicrobials, solvents, small amines, chelants & sequestrants, boron replacements, fragrance raw materials, corrosion inhibitors, alkanolamide replacements, surfactants)
  • present current challenges and solutions in developing green cleaning-product ingredients
  • review current approaches for ingredient selection for home and personal care products
  • discuss tools for communicating hazard/risk assessment approaches throughout the entire value-chain
  • provide an update on the progress of the Common Chemical Criteria Task Force to enhanced communication on chemical safety
  • apply these methodologies and communication tools to a specific case-study
  • discuss needs, methodologies and communication of sustainable ingredients in an interactive forum
Green Fluorine Chemistry: Development of Efficient Green Methods and Reagents for Fluorination

Symposium Organizer: Dr. Thomas Mathew, Research Scientist, Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California 

Introduction of fluorine significantly alters the physical, chemical and biological properties of a compound. Presence of fluorine has shown profound changes in the pharmacological properties of many important therapeutic drugs. Currently, about 20-25% of the drugs in market contain fluorine. Therefore, for the synthesis of many effective compounds in the agrochemical, pharmaceutical and material science arena, development of reagents and methods for the feasible introduction of fluorine is of great significance. Synthesis of these fluorinated organics often involves the use of reagents which are corrosive and toxic (such as HF) or those having low “F” content (such as Selectfluor®, resulting in low atom economy). However, during the past two decades intense efforts in developing safer reagents and sustainable reaction protocols have been reported. In the symposium titled “Green Fluorine Chemistry: Development of Efficient Green Methods and Reagents for Fluorination”, recent studies on fluorination and fluoroalkylation with tamed fluorinating agents and reagents with greater atom economy under environmentally benign conditions will be presented.

Sustainable chemicals: techniques for modeling hazard/risk assessment

Symposium Organizers: Hans Plugge, 3E Company; Longzhu Shen, Yale University; Alexandra Maertens, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Introduction of sustainable chemicals in the marketplace occurs through identification of “Greener Chemicals”, either from the existing library of chemicals or from de novo synthesized green chemicals. Often, assessing a new chemical for toxicological concerns comes after the R&D phase. A “green toxicology” seeks to change this by providing screening tools for a rapid, preliminary assessment during the design phase. Information derived from a combination of mechanistic and computational toxicology forms the nexus between toxicology and green chemistry. Emerging medium- and high-throughput in vitro methods as well as “big-data approaches” – the hallmarks of 21st century toxicology – will enhance our ability to rapidly assess the toxicity of candidate chemicals and enable further investment to be focused on chemicals with low toxicity.

Currently, Hazard and Risk assessment of all chemicals suffers from a paucity of real data, whether in vivo or in vitro. A paucity of “real” data implies that an immediate detailed (hazard) assessment is not likely to occur. Hazard screening techniques however can be applied and automated.

Various techniques have been deployed over the years to fill in these gaps in the in vivo and in vitro data: Read-Across, QSAR, computational toxicology, High Throughput Screening, and so on. All of these have deficiencies most notably with regard to accuracy/reliability: 70% is typical with an occasional 80%, other endpoints/techniques struggle to achieve 50%. .
A number of these alternative techniques do not result in classical toxicology endpoints, e.g. acute LC50’s, but rather act as flags. Interpreting these “flags” has proven difficult–especially in view of the often surprising results.

Data curation is a common strategy to reduce uncertainty and thus enhance data reliability. . Integrating data curation techniques with the data gap techniques should improve reliability while at the same time indicating where research is still needed to improve the accuracy/reliability.

Topic areas of interest include:

  • Automated hazard assessment/screening techniques including mixtures/products
  • In vitro tests for data gap filling
  • Existing computational toxicology – approaches
  • Estimation of data uncertainty and model accuracy/reliability
  • Predictive modeling for de novo molecule design
  • Integrated approaches to hazard/exposure/risk assessment
  • Data curation techniques

Instructions to Authors:
For these sessions we are looking for novel approaches to hazard assessment, molecular /predictive toxicology (both health and ecological) and filling data gaps. Papers on both theoretical and practical approaches are encouraged. Presentations on integration of various data gap filling techniques are especially welcome. Presenters are expected to provide a draft presentation at least 10 days prior to the conference so as to allow the chairs to focus both introductory and summary reviews.

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Making Starts with Alternative Feedstocks

Making Starts with Alternative Feedstocks

Biomass processing: towards an integrated biorefinery

Symposium Organizer: Adelina Voutchkova, The George Washington University

The next generation of processes for biomass conversion will have to accommodate complex functionality present in the renewable biopolymers, provide high selectivity for products, and allow flexibility for types of feedstocks. The sustainability equation for renewables will be highly dependent on the ability to utilize all the components of agricultural and forestry waste materials, including lignocellulose, triglycerides and others. This session will highlight advances in the biomass processing field that allow depolymerization, (partial) defunctionalization and selective bond cleavage reactions.  It will further seek to identify advances that are most relevant to the design of the so-called “Integrated Biorefinery”,  which is designed to produce various combinations of renewable fuels, power, heat, steam, and chemicals from biomass. This emerging technology could provide new market opportunities for medical, forestry, agricultural, and fishing industries as we move toward a more sustainable biomass-based economy.

CO2 Utilization

Symposium Organizers: Prof. Philip Jessop, Department of Chemistry, Queen’s University; Prof. Bala Subramaniam, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Kansas

Recycled CO2 is sustainable, renewable, essentially non-toxic, nonflammable, inexpensive, abundant, and doesn’t cause cancer, smog, ozone depletion, endocrine disruption, eutrophication, or resource depletion. It’s a dream chemical, despite the fact that it is widely reviled for its role in global warming. Fortunately, the use of CO2 doesn’t contribute to global warming because the CO2 that is used (and possibly released, depending on the application) is usually already-existing CO2, recycled from the wastes of power plants or beer manufacture. Thus green chemists and engineers delight in finding applications for CO2.

This symposium will be an exploration and a celebration of current research on applications of CO2, including CO2 as solvent, acid, stimulus for switchable materials, plant/algae grown enhancer, carbon source for fuels, and synthetic feedstock.

While CO2 utilization may appear to be a potential strategy for combating global warming, this is in most cases a mirage. The real environmental advantages of CO2 utilization are those describe above: its extraordinarily benign nature compared to those materials or reagents it can replace. Similarly, processes involving CO2 can be more benign overall than processes that they replace. Thus speakers in this symposium are encouraged to focus on the environmental, health, and other practical advantages of CO2 or CO2-based processes as substitutes for more harmful materials or processes. Speakers are also encouraged to make the comparison clear, including specific mention of the material or process being replaced, the advantages AND disadvantages of their use of CO2, and potential strategies for overcoming the disadvantages. In this context, advantages supported by life cycle analysis are particularly encouraged.

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Making Synthesis Greener

Making Synthesis Greener

The Wild “Green” Yonder: Emerging Technologies to Enable Sustainable Organic Synthesis

Symposium Organizer: Brian Sparling, Amgen

Across academia and industry, new technologies are being developed to expand our chemical repertoire and to accelerate the pace of discovery, both in the realm of reaction methodology and directed organic synthesis. It is likely that the application of these technologies will have a positive impact on the sustainability of the field in a variety of ways. The aim of this session is to provide snapshots and to highlight potential green impacts of several of these emerging technologies. 

Greener Peptides, Oligonucleotides, and ADCs

Symposium Organizer: Subha Mukherjee, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Peptides, Oligonucleotides, and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are an area of significant growth within the biopharma industry. However, the current state of the art in peptide and oligonucleotide syntheses utilize primarily legacy technologies, with little focus on green chemistry and engineering. Waste generated from current peptide and oligonucleotide processes ranges from 3,000-15,000 kg/kg API (10-50 mer products) with multiple usages of highly hazardous reagents and solvents. Contributing to the poor environmental profile is the pervasive and extensive use of chromatography to produce peptide and oligonucleotide products with required quality attributes. This session will explore how improved synthetic methodologies, safer coupling reagents, solvent selection, and the minimization of chromatography play a vital role in improving the green chemistry profile for peptide and oligonucleotide processes. This session will also explore greener approaches to ADCs, which are complex macromolecular therapeutic agents. In ADCs, antibodies are tethered to cytotoxic payloads via linker molecules to provide dual benefit of excellent target specificity of antibodies and high potency of small molecule payloads. However, this complex architecture presents profound green chemistry challenges. This session will explore the complexity of linker-drug process chemistry.

Green Organic Chemistry Research in Academia: Accelerating the Pace of Industrial Adoption

Symposium Organizer: Dave Leahy, Principle Scientist, Bristol-Myers Squibb

The development of new synthetic methodologies and strategies has been the cornerstone upon which sustainable industrial processes are built. The pure research advances arising from academia fuel the world’s industrial innovation, while also training the scientific leaders of tomorrow. This special session highlights the research of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows across the broader organic chemistry community which has the potential to impact sustainable industrial chemistry.

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable will provide 16 travel grants of up to $1000 to attend the conference and provide a 20 minute oral presentation during this session. A poster session will accommodate additional presenters. All presenters will be invited to attend a graduate student workshop, and the ACS GCI Industrial Roundtable Poster reception during the conference.

To apply, please submit a detailed abstract of your presentation, including an explanation of why this work is greener than conventional approaches, to the conference MAPS system. Please accompany your abstract with a single page CV for the primary author. This session is open to any academic institution globally, but is limited to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

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Poster Session

Poster Session

The GC&E Poster session will feature posters from each of the thematic categories. The poster session features a light reception and there are no oral sessions overlapping so everyone can attend. There is a student poster competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Top posters will receive awards.

Poster abstracts are accepted based on the following criteria: Meets the definition of green chemistry or green engineering, potential impact on the field, development of the idea, originality, and conclusions supported by data.

General Green Chemistry & Engineering

Poster abstracts are accepted based on the following criteria: Meets the definition of green chemistry or green engineering, potential impact on the field, development of the idea, originality, and conclusions supported by data.

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Our 2017 Keynotes

Paul Chirik

Paul Chirik

Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry, Princeton University

Jillian Buriak

Jillian Buriak

Editor-in-Chief, Chemistry of Materials; Professor of Chemistry, Canada Research Chair of Nanomaterials for Energy, University of Alberta