In 2014, the conference theme, “Advancing Chemistry, Innovating for Sustainability,” highlights innovations in the science and application of greener chemistry & engineering needed to build a more sustainable future. Over three days, a wide array of topics will be covered—with 5 concurrent sessions every morning and afternoon plus a poster session.

The 2014 GC&E Conference will be organized around the track themes listed below. Each theme will have several sessions that develop from it. Please review the thematic description and submit your abstracts accordingly.

Abstract submissions are now closed.

Click to expand.

Advancing Industrial Sustainability Through Greening Chemical Processes, Products & Supply Chains

Sustainable design and development of chemical products and processes is fundamental to advanced applications that allow society to meet current environmental, economic and society needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Challenges include, but are not limited to, development of more efficient chemical reactions utilizing less hazardous constituents; use of renewable chemical feedstocks for the reduction of carbon footprint; less energy intensity chemical processing; accessibility of tools to facilitate greener design including life cycle analysis; and improved communication through the supply chain.  Sessions and workshops within this theme will look at these challenges from an industrial application viewpoint, recognizing that collaboration is needed with government, academia, industry and others to meet these challenges. 

We expect to have programming within this broad theme running throughout the three-day conference. Abstracts are encouraged, but not limited to, the following subject areas that encompass green chemistry & engineering applications in the pharmaceutical industry, formulated consumer products industry, chemical manufacturing, or hydraulic fracturing:

  • Joint presentations by academia and industry illustrating research innovations implemented in industry
  • Research advances in greener organic transformations, synthesis and catalysis
  • Greener technologies enabling safer reactive chemistry at large scale
  • Use of kinetic analysis to elucidate mechanistic understanding and drive more efficient synthesis
  • Tools, resources, and applications of more efficient and economical LCA, including demonstrations of communication through the supply chain
  • Advances on greener ingredients for the design of more sustainable consumer products
  • Research advances on less energy intensive separation technologies for bulk chemical manufacturing
  • Greening the chemical supply chains for the pharmaceutical industry, basic chemicals manufacturing and hydraulic fracturing

Organizer: Julie Manley, Founder, GuidingGreen, LLC

Advancing Sustainability Through the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy

Education provides the foundation for the development and implementation of green chemistry products and processes, yet green chemistry is not always included in the education of chemistry students. Since 2003, the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry has provided graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America with an in-depth exposure to green chemistry. Students who have participated in the Summer School have returned to their home institutions and integrated greener approaches into their research, introduced greener laboratory experiments into the undergraduate curriculum, and developed green chemistry courses. This session will feature the research and education innovations of Summer School graduates. Invited abstracts only.

Organizer: Mary Kirchhoff, Director, Education Division, American Chemical Society

Chemical Design: Minimizing Adverse Impact and Assessing Alternatives

The fourth principle of Green Chemistry states that “chemical products should be designed to preserve efficacy of function while minimizing toxicity.” Strategies for rationally designing functional commercial chemicals that have minimal environmental and human health impacts are becoming the new paradigm in the development of novel commercial chemicals. Recent advances in mechanistic toxicology and computational chemistry provide the foundation for identifying key properties associated with minimal toxicological impacts of chemicals and materials. These sessions will provide a platform for discussing relevant research developments, such as approaches that mimic medicinal chemistry paradigms and ones that apply in silico simulations of chemical/biological reactivity to predict or minimize toxicity through optimization of chemical structure. They will also provide a platform for industry to discuss success stories of approaches to rational design of safer functional chemicals/materials as well as assessment of safer alternatives.

Expected participants/ contributors: industry representatives engaged in alternatives assessment and new product innovation, researchers engaged in developing tools/strategies for rational design of safer chemicals and regulatory agencies involved in similar efforts.

Organizers: Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, George Washington University; and Elaine Cohen Hubal, Deputy National Program Director, Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research, U.S. EPA

Critical Materials in Research and Development: Implications of Supply Risk and Restriction

Chemists love to use elements and molecules in new and interesting ways in their pursuit of “good science.” Novel catalysts, unique properties, intellectual property protection or creation, publication in prestigious journals, and other drivers have spurred chemists down this path since the industrial revolution. It could be argued, however, that “good science” turns a blind eye towards the environmental, social, and economic implications that known reserves of critical materials are being rapidly depleted at increasing economic, social and environmental cost. The elements are then dispersed in products in such a way that makes recycling and reuse difficult if not nearly impossible using current separation technologies. This session is intended to highlight issues associated with materials in critical supply and change the fallacious “good science” argument to one of a pursuit of the best possible science–science that is sustainable.

Expected participants/ contributors: Researchers using inorganic materials for catalysis and energy production that either address challenges facing critical/rare materials use and/or solutions involving earth abundant elements as alternatives.

Organizer: David Constable, Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

Green Chemistry Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree (… and PhD)

How do chemists and engineers continue to develop skills, strategies and tools beyond the bachelor’s degree? This session will showcase cutting edge experiences and programs that promote continuing education and research training to drive innovation in green chemistry. Attendees will learn about innovative academic programs, in-house industrial training activities, new tools/databases that are facilitating the discovery and design of greener materials as well as science communication fellowships and opportunities to participate in integrated learning experiences that are transforming post-graduate education.

Organizer: Julie Haack, Assistant Department Head, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Oregon

Green Chemistry Education: Charting the Course Ahead

Last year’s session explored the future of green chemistry and engineering education and introduced the idea of developing a roadmap for education by exploring the evolving needs of a variety of stakeholders. As the roadmap evolves, green chemistry educators will need to integrate new topics into the curriculum. This session will showcase efforts to integrate topics like life cycle thinking, appropriate use of high-throughput assays and informatics, evaluation of metrics for continuous improvement and economic success, toxicology, structural indicators of environmental and health impacts, knowledge of the innovation process, design thinking etc., into the modern chemistry and engineering curriculum.

Organizer: Julie Haack, Assistant Department Head, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Oregon

Materials Innovation and Sustainable Chemistry for Apparel and Footwear

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.

Organizer: John Frazier, Sr. Director of Chemical Innovation, Nike, Inc.

Rethinking Chemical Feedstocks: Toward Production From Sustainable Sources and Waste

This session will explore anticipated changes to the chemical supply chain in light of advances in bio-based renewables production, the changing landscape in fossil fuel availability, and the potential for converting waste to chemicals. Presentations will explore opportunities and challenges facing the chemical industry over the next 10 or more years. 

Examples of opportunities include:

  • Platform molecules from biorenewables
  • Chemical feedstocks from C1 through C8 gasses produced through hydraulic fracturing
  • Exploitation of chemical diversity in waste from food processing, municipal solid waste, and other waste streams

Examples of challenges include:

  • Competition for arable land and food production
  • Environmental damage from hydraulic fracturing
  • Waste biosolids
  • Separation of “messy” waste from useful fractions

Expected participants/ contributors:  Researchers in bio-renewable chemicals production, fundamental research into CO2 conversion, C1 – C8 chemical upgrading, waste-to-chemicals (waste valorization) research, separations technology, etc.

Organizer: Julie Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Green Engineering, Yale University; Assistant Director for Research at Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering

Spurring Innovations in Green Chemistry through Market Drivers and Policy Initiatives

The drivers for innovation in green chemistry are broader and more complex than ever before and are accelerating rapidly.  Yet, few practitioners or policy makers fully understand or appreciate these trends.  Innovation is no longer driven solely by technology innovation and government policy, though these drivers remain important.  The growth of non-regulatory market drivers such as cost savings, risk management, new product development, changing consumer preferences, innovative corporate strategy and supply chain management, along with the growing influence of non governmental organizations in driving change have fundamentally altered the pace and process of innovation.

To address this evolving landscape of drivers, this day-long track will explore the major domestic and international regulatory and non regulatory drivers for and barriers to innovation in green chemistry.  Through a series of short talks, case studies and interactive breakout sessions, attendees with come away with a broad and practical view of the regulatory, market and other trends spurring green chemistry innovation today and into the future.  By understanding this broader storyline of innovation and the taking advantage of the synergies offered within this ecosystem of drivers, green chemistry practitioners and advocates, policy makers, and corporate decision makers will be better positioned to accelerate innovation. 

Expected participants/ contributors: Regulatory and sustainability experts from the public, non-profit, government and industry sectors.

Organizers: Marty Spitzer, Director, US Climate Policy, World Wildlife Fund; Kathleen Roberts, Vice President, B&E Consortia Management, LLC; Kate Weber, Policy Fellow, American Chemical Society; Kenneth Clansky, CEO, Chemical Watch, and Judy Jackson, Events Director, Chemical Watch.


Founded in 2009 as a strategic partnership between NASA, Nike, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), LAUNCH identifies and supports visionaries whose ideas, technologies or programs have the potential to create a better world.

LAUNCH sees a future where the making of things has a positive impact on human prosperity and planetary sustainability. Through the LAUNCH System Challenge, LAUNCH is seeking innovations that will transform the systems of materials to one that advances equitable economic growth, drives human prosperity and replenishes the planet's resources. The 2014 challenge will focus on green chemistry.

In this workshop we will explore why a systems innovation approach is key to accelerating funding for and adoption of green chemistry and why green chemistry is critical to innovating the systems of materials and manufacturing that we rely on. We will also go deeper into the challenge statement around green chemistry.

Organizers: Laura Adams, Open Innovation Director, Nike, Inc.; and John Frazier, Sr. Director of Chemical Innovation, Nike, Inc.




Keynote Speakers & Agenda
Stay Current

Latest Tweets

Add to your