The 2018 GC&E will host sessions designed to engage our highly interdisciplinary attendees to discuss and debate challenges and opportunities for green chemistry implementation across the chemistry enterprise. These sessions will have an interactive format where participants will dive deeper to tackle difficult problems, work across disciplines, and explore new approaches and tools to address green chemistry and engineering grand challenges.
Please click on the title for session details.
Beyond actives – Increasing personal care product sustainability by holistic design
Organizer: Richard Blackburn, Associate Professor, University of Leeds
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.
Building Green Businesses
Organizer: Marty Mulvihill, Co-founder, Safer Made Venture Capital
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.
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
Metrics – Advances and Limitations in Determining the Greenness of Drug Manufacturing
Organizer: Frank Roschangar, Director, Boehringer Ingelheim
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.
Minimizing Ecotoxicity and Persistence in Chemicals and Materials
Organizers: Robert L. Tanguay, Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University; Adelina Voutchkova, Assistant Professor, George Washington University
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.
Systems chemistry: An introduction to systems thinking in green chemistry education, research and innovation
Organizer: James E. Hutchison, Professor, University of Oregon
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.