Skip to main content
28th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

2019 GC&E Highlights

23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry






June 11 – 13, 2019
Reston, Virginia


Closing the loop

Conference Chairs

Joan Brennecke
Professor, Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering #16
McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Philip Jessop
Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry, Queen’s University;
Technical Director, GreenCentre Canada

Online Program

2019 Sessions

Wastes as Feedstocks is the New Reality

Organizers: Se Ryeon Lee, Research Group Leader; Chad Landis, Research Associate; Kristin Nuzzio, Senior Research Chemist, PPG, Allison Park, PA, USA

Converting an economy that is still largely linear (Take-Make-Dispose), to a circular economy where waste streams can be fed back into an industrial cycle will require new chemistries and innovative processes. The sources for recycling or repurposing can exist anywhere along the material lifecycle from industrial waste streams to post-consumer waste. Ideally, the recycling and repurposing could turn these waste streams into value streams for industry. The purpose of this session is to explore successful examples where waste streams have been repurposed as well as exploring potential new chemistries and innovative processes. We will also want to bring forward knowledge gaps in technical, business, and regulatory issues and how best to address them.

The Future is Garbage: Waste Biomass as a Renewable Feedstock

Organizers: Tony Bova, CEO, mobius, Knoxville, TN, US; Anna Zhenova, MS, Ph.D. Student, University of York, York, UK

The desire for a “clean” feedstock stream is a common crutch for chemists, often leading us to ignore an abundant, energy-advantaged renewable feedstock: organic waste. This half-day symposium will highlight current and emerging trends in organic waste valorization, and welcomes presentations from researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and educators across all spheres. Topics could include processing of organic waste, conversion of industrial biomass, municipal, or water waste streams to mixed and single-stream feedstocks, commercialization of emerging waste-to-chemical and waste-to-material technologies, and the development of educational curricula around organic waste valorization and integrated biorefinery design. The presentations will demonstrate that a future where waste is a valuable resource is already emerging.

Practice gaps to be highlighted and addressed in this symposium:

  • Waste as a Resource – The World Bank projects post-consumer urban organic waste production of 2.4 million tons per day by 2025. This number easily doubles with the inclusion of pre-consumer organic waste. Using pre- and post-consumer waste as a feedstock reduces energy usage, land usage, and landfill load. From agricultural byproducts to restaurant waste, this session invites presentations from researchers making trash into treasure.
  • Industrial Relevance – Effective chemical technologies for the valorization of organic waste must be able to exist outside of the laboratory. However, many chemists are not involved in seeing their technologies beyond the laboratory scale. This symposium invites presentations that will offer insight for the effective demonstration of commercial viability for waste-to-value chemistries through the use of case studies from successful startups or partnerships between academia and industry.
  • Education – Green chemistry education is critical to helping the next generation of chemists develop the right mindset. This session invites presentations to highlight emerging trends in incorporation of waste valorization into chemistry education.

Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education, Research and Innovation

This workshop aims to advance the knowledge of systems and the application of systems thinking to the practice of chemistry through the use of key concepts, terminology, and examples 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.

I. Characterizing a system for a common item
II. Expanding systems thinking to the synthesis of a chemical
III. Getting more comfortable with the complexity of systems, boundaries and feedbacks
IV. Getting more comfortable with trading impacts through Alternatives Assessment

This Session will review and explore the scope and definition of systems thinking in chemistry education, as well as educational research and practice oriented by systems thinking approaches. It will also include a strong focus on the application of systems thinking to green and sustainable chemistry education and seeks to include interdisciplinary perspectives that can drive innovation in this area.

Sustainability Success Stories in Industrial Chemical Processing

Organizer: Samy Ponnusamy, Fellow & Global Manager – Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma

Based on the overwhelming responses from the 2018 session, Industrial Applications of Green Chemistry & Engineering Principles, this session will continue that momentum and expand the conversations and exchanges into result-oriented actions. This session will highlight industry innovations based on green chemistry and engineering principles, focusing on the development, design and life cycle processes. Case studies will be presented to illustrate how companies in different sectors have successfully implemented green chemistry and engineering principles into their processes in “closing the loop”. 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 stakeholders.

From the session, attendees should be able to understand how academia/industry innovates; industry develops products and processes, and the many factors that contribute to the launch and commercialization of new greener technologies to market. Presenters will be from both 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/products to aid global chemistry enterprise.

Studies in Greener Chemistry

This session is open for presentations on topics not covered by any of the other symposia.

NOTE: In order for your abstract to be considered appropriately, please review the list of sessions and descriptions then submit your abstract to the session that is most appropriate for your topic. If there is no appropriate session you may submit your abstract to this session for consideration.

Reimagining Chemistry Education Through Systems Thinking

Organizers: Tom Holme, Morrill Professor of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA; Peter Mahaffy, Professor of Chemistry The King’s University, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Recent publications challenge chemistry professionals to transform chemistry so that it addresses emerging global challenges. Common themes in these calls for transformation include the integration of systems thinking into the practice of chemistry and a wholesale re-imagination of chemistry education to more effectively educate scientists and citizens to prepare them for their roles in a rapidly changing planet and society. This technical session will report on and guide efforts to reimagine chemistry education using novel systems thinking approaches throughout educational programs.

Systems thinking emphasizes the interdependence of components of dynamic systems. In the context of chemistry, systems thinking moves beyond isolated consideration of reactions and processes to consider where materials come from, how they are transformed and used, and what happens at the end of their life span. It draws attention to a need to balance the benefits and impacts of chemical substances and the role they play in societal and environmental systems. Applied to STEM education, systems thinking describes approaches that move beyond fragmented and reductionist knowledge of disciplinary content to a more integrated and holistic understanding of the field. A framework for using systems thinking in chemistry education places learners at the center of a system of chemistry education, suggesting tools and approaches to help instructors and curriculum developers see interconnections among the different components that are part of the learning of chemistry. Teaching chemistry through a systems approach challenges students to apply scientific principles to solve real-world problems, demonstrates chemistry’s role as an essential science in finding solutions to global challenges, and prepares future scientists for the collaborative interdisciplinary work required.

Elements of systems thinking have helped to drive developments in green and sustainable chemistry education. The successful application of the principles of green chemistry and engineering, the effective use of tools such as life-cycle analysis, and the development of novel molecular design strategies depends on considering the interconnectedness of reactions and processes with local and global systems. Building students’ capacity to integrate systems thinking into their chemistry problem-solving toolkit can yield new insights and create new opportunities for design and innovation. These strategies and approaches can help to stimulate and inspire further work and research more broadly within chemistry education in promoting and enhancing students’ systems thinking skills. They can also help students develop a deeper and more interconnected understanding of chemistry and related disciplines as a whole.

This session will review and explore the scope and definition of systems thinking in chemistry education, as well as educational research and practice oriented by systems thinking approaches. It will also include a strong focus on the application of systems thinking to green and sustainable chemistry education and seeks to include interdisciplinary perspectives that can drive innovation in this area.

Regenerative Design of Chemical Products and Materials for Consumer Goods

Organizers: Martin Wolf, Director, Sustainability & Authenticity, Seventh Generation, Inc., Burlington, VT, USA; Tom Burns, Staff Scientist, Novozymes North America, Inc., Franklinton, NC, USA

The current consumer goods market represents significant environmental impact. As environmental awareness has evolved, a continuum of sustainability practices has been proposed that goes from reduction of negative environmental impacts on one end, to environmental sustainability and environmental restoration, to system regeneration and the creation of truly positive environmental impacts on the other end. The basics of “Regenerative Design” are to develop systems and products that create “even better conditions to support the life-enhancing qualities of ecosystems.”

This symposium will consider ways using regenerative design principles and frameworks for reducing overall impacts and improving sustainability profiles of consumer goods and related products.

A particular focus of this symposium will be on systems and processes related to personal care and home care consumer products.

Rarity to Abundance: Better Metals for Catalysis

Organizer: Brad Gates, Senior Scientist III, AbbVie Process R&D, North Chicago, IL USA

Organic chemists in academia and industry routinely utilize reactions catalyzed by precious metals such as palladium, platinum, iridium, and rhodium for a number of important transformations. The cost, scarcity, and toxicity of these precious metals have led researchers to search for more sustainable alternatives. Recently, there has been an increasing level in interest in transformations catalyzed by non-precious metals such as copper, iron, cobalt, zinc and nickel. Examples of non-precious metal catalysis can be found in the petrochemical, fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries and in the preparation of fuel cells. This symposium will highlight exciting new advances in the field of non-precious metal catalysis for the development of more sustainable chemistry.

Product Showcase: Delivering Green Chemistry to the Market

Organizers: Richard Blackburn, Associate Professor, Textiles Technology Group Leader, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK; John Frazier, Senior Technical Director, Hohenstein Institute, Portland, OR, USA; Lauren Heine, Co-Executive Director, Applied Science and Engineering Programs, Northwest Green Chemistry, Seattle, WA, USA; Christiana Briddell, Communications Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Washington, DC, USA

Integrated into our GC&E Poster Session & Reception, the Product Showcase will feature companies who are using the design principles of green chemistry and engineering to create or contribute to innovative products. Participating companies will present a “hands-on” display of the product and describe the products greener technical innovations.

The Product Showcase will be held on June 12, 2019 from 4:35 – 6:35 p.m.

Polymers and Plastics in the Classroom: Educational Materials Demonstrating Life Cycle Thinking

Organizers: Jane E. Wissinger, Professor of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA; Michael Wentzel, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN, USA

The topic of plastics, both society’s dependence on them and their effect on human health and the environment, is one that resonates with students of all ages. Plastics are uniquely familiar as materials that, in some cases, can be recycled, yet most are accumulating in alarming quantities on land and in our oceans. New green and sustainable chemistry innovations in polymers and nanomaterials provide compelling lessons to engage learners in systems thinking. This symposium will share educational materials which illustrate components/examples of “closing the loop” through use of renewable feedstocks, green reaction conditions, applications in areas such of remediation or more environmentally-friendly products, and end-of-life considerations such as design for degradation and/or recycling. Case studies will include K-12, undergraduate, and graduate instruction as well are outreach initiatives.

Moving towards Green and Sustainable Chemistry Education: Rapid Fire Session

Organizers: Michael Wentzel, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN, USA; Nicholas Kingsley, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI, USA

In this fast-paced and engaging symposium educators of all levels will 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, systems thinking and more can be used to inspire innovation in today’s students.

Learn how instructors are integrating new green chemistry materials in their curriculum to prepare students for their future careers especially those involving life cycle analysis. The rapid-fire session format gives each presenter up to seven minutes to highlight their work followed by three minutes for questions. Speakers will 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.

Metrics for the Closed-Loop Chemistry Enterprise

Organizer: David J. C. Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Washington, DC, USA

One of the major goals of green and sustainable chemistry is to promote the sustainable use of chemicals, the design and development of more efficient and less risky ways of effecting chemical transformations (new chemistries) and new chemical synthetic processes, and safer products.

In order to design more sustainable chemistries and synthetic routes, systematic, multivariate, and regular assessments of green and sustainable chemistry performance should be established throughout the development cycle of a new chemical or product. To do this, key green and sustainable chemistry measures must be agreed and tools to facilitate chemical, chemistry and process assessment must be developed.

Life cycle environmental impacts should also be included as part of a continuing assessment of any product and the process used to make them. The inclusion of life cycle metrics is especially important for supply chain management in light of the growing trend to outsource manufacturing and the desire to ensure that sustainability impacts are not exported outside of the company. Systems thinking and life cycle thinking are critical departure points for metrics that enable the circular economy.

This symposium intends to highlight approaches to systemically and systematically measuring, comparing and evaluating products and processes using key green and sustainable chemistry and engineering metrics. It will also explore the opportunities and challenges encountered in implementing green and sustainable chemistry and engineering concepts within a research and development framework and in the context of a circular economy.

Making Organic Chemistry More Sustainable

Organizer: David Leahy, Associate Director, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

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.

Presenters in the session received travel funding from the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable.

Making Molecular Separations More Sustainable

Organizers: Boelo Schuur, Associate Professor, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; Robert Giraud, The Chemours Company, Wilmington, Delaware, USA

The sustainability of the chemistry enterprise depends on the development and adoption of sustainable separations technology. Incumbent separations technology (distillation) is too energy intensive, and often too capital intensive, to allow sustainable recovery of organic solvents or of components from dilute aqueous solution. Today’s industrial reliance on distillation accounts for over 40% of the energy consumption and over 50% of the capital investment of chemical processes. Sholl and Lively (Nature, 2016) note this equates to 10-15% of global energy use. Without sustainable separations technology, companies often incinerate solvents and discharge wastewater after conventional treatment. In both cases, the material value of the streams is lost, and life cycle impact is worsened. Furthermore, the loss of valuable components from dilute aqueous solution is a major threat to the sustainability of new biorefineries and a significant concern when carrying out organic reactions in water. Closing the loop requires new solutions.

The ACS GCI Chemical Manufacturers Roundtable has led the development of a technology roadmap highlighting key research, development, and demonstration needs to accelerate industrial application of sustainable alternative separation (AltSep) processes. Like the AltSep roadmap, this symposium will focus on advances in solid mass separating agent (MSA) process technology (i.e., membrane separation and adsorption). To enable meaningful progress toward a circular economy, the symposium will concentrate on two key topics: (1) recovery of organic solvents and (2) recovery from dilute aqueous solution. By bringing together people interested in these two topics, needs and opportunities can be discussed to lay the groundwork for further research advances and industrial adoption. The session will close with a panel discussion to promote interaction between the speakers and the audience as well as among the speakers.

Making Chemistry Greener and Safer

Organizers: Peter A. Reinhardt, Director, Office of Environmental Health & Safety, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO, Environmental Safety Manager, Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire, USA

Some innovative green chemistry research can overlook chemical safety considerations in the laboratory. This may occur because of an incomplete picture of the whole system involved in assessing both chemical safety and environmental considerations of research. In recent years there have been significant developments in chemical safety informational tools, as well as hazard assessment methods for the laboratory and pilot plant that can be expanded to address both laboratory safety and green chemistry objectives. Better understanding and utilization of these tools and methods will help advance green chemistry and laboratory safety, in teaching and in research. This symposium will look at the interactions between laboratory safety and green chemistry practices and information tools by presenting case studies and exploring these emerging tools.

Linking Chemical Design to Toxicity/Hazard/Alternatives Assessment

Organizers: Amy Cannon, Executive Director, Beyond Benign, Wilmington, MA, USA; Dalila Kovacs, Professor, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA; Saskia van Bergen, Green Chemist, Washington State Department of Ecology, Lacey, WA, USA

Toxicology concepts are essential in designing safe chemical products that have reduced hazards. There are many efforts to provide chemical designers with tools for understanding and predicting toxicity, while maintaining the function and efficacy for which the product was designed. Toxicology data enables scientists to better predict hazards at the molecular level, therefore avoiding the use and generation of hazardous chemicals. These tools and strategies are being developed and implemented in industry and academia.

Toxicology concepts and principles, including investigative or predictive methods, have traditionally been absent from the chemistry curriculum. As a result, professional chemists lack skills in designing chemical products with inherently reduced hazards. These knowledge and skill gaps are being addressed in educational programs both in industry and in academia with the goal of better preparing scientists to implement safer design strategies at the research stage of a product life-cycle.

This half day session will highlight systematic approaches toward addressing safety data gaps, understanding hazard and alternatives assessments, and predicting toxicological endpoints through molecular design, and will focus on education initiatives both in universities and within industry, via professional development programs.

Life Cycle Analysis of Conventional and Emerging Transportation Fuels and Chemicals

Organizers: Jennifer B. Dunn, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA; David T. Allen, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA

As new feedstocks and processes for conversion to liquid fuels emerge and evolve, the research community needs to be aware of them and life cycle analysis (LCA) techniques that evaluate their environmental effects relative to baseline petroleum fuels. This session will present new research in this area, covering developments in LCA methodology applied to emerging and existing transportation fuels and research results and conclusions that are research-and-development-guiding.

Two prominent examples of emerging and evolving fossil-fuel-based routes to transportation fuels are the conversion of natural gas liquids, which are co-produced along with shale gas, to transportation fuels and approaches to carbon capture and utilization-based production of liquid transportation fuels. In the first case, key LCA issues that the session could address are the upstream emissions associated with shale gas extraction which have been newly evaluated as well as examining processes that can convert natural gas liquids to transportation fuels. In the second case, LCA issues range from treatment of the waste gaseous carbon stream as either burden-free or burdened with a portion of upstream emissions, treatment of the system boundary for the carbon-capture-based system and a reference system. Indeed the reference system against which these emerging and developing technologies should be compared shifts with characterization of petroleum produced from fields world-wide, how these petroleum sources are incorporated into refineries including shares from different sources, and with the influence of regulation.

Transportation fuel LCA remains a critical topic as the production and use of transportation fuels are a significant contributor to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. This session will enable attendees of the Green Chemistry and Engineering conference to stay abreast of the latest research techniques and conclusions.

Leveraging Partnerships in Start-Ups and SMEs

Organizers: Paul D. Thornton; Laura M. Reyes, Career Development Leader, Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are critical for commercialization of green and sustainable chemistry technologies across the global chemical enterprise. Small businesses are well-suited to bring innovative chemistry solutions to the marketplace, but these companies must navigate the diverse technical and business challenges of commercialization with limited resources.

Entrepreneurs in green chemistry have identified that effective partnerships are often central to their company’s successes. Despite their importance, the types of partnerships and external resources that are available to start-ups may not always be obvious. Additionally, entrepreneurs must assess which partners and expertise will best complement their current position and development challenges, keeping in mind the overall vision for their start-up.

This symposium will highlight how diverse start-ups and SMEs based in green chemistry technologies have sought out and leveraged different partnerships to successfully address commercial and development challenges and advance their businesses. Topics may include navigating relationships with universities and non-profit agencies, developing partnerships that address critical technical or business needs, leveraging and protecting intellectual property, and discussing the role of multinational corporations in advancing early-stage companies.

Innovation for Bio-based and Renewable Chemicals

Organizers: Isamir Martinez, Manager of Scientific Alliances & Business Engagement, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Washington, DC, USA; Kimberly Raiford, Director, Product Management and Commercialization, Origin Materials

For almost two decades, there have been significant efforts to find innovative ways to synthesize bio-based and renewable chemicals. These efforts have offered a rich source of novel molecules, which can serve as alternative building blocks in the synthesis of intermediates currently relying on petrochemical supply chains. Consequently, bio-based and renewable chemicals offer potentially sustainable opportunities for products and processes that will advance the circular economy in a variety of chemical industries.

Implementing Mechanochemistry Processes in Chemical Manufacturing and Research

Organizers: Tomislav Friščić, Assoc. Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Audrey Moores, Assoc. Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; James Mack, Professor, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

The symposium highlights the emergent opportunities of solvent-free chemical methodologies, notably mechanochemistry, in eliminating or vastly reducing the use of solvents in chemical processes, across research, manufacturing and recycling, biomass conversion, as well as education in environmentally-friendly synthesis. Our aim is to bring together academic and industrial experts, as well as novices in this field to present and learn about the recent accomplishments in understanding the materials- and energy-efficiency of mechanochemical reactions, the fundamentals of underlying kinetics and thermodynamics, as well as potential for industrial implementation, scale-up, recycling and biomass exploitation.

Over the past decade, mechanochemistry by ball milling has emerged as a powerful, uniquely general methodology to conduct reactions in the complete, or almost complete, absence of solvents. There is a growing number of examples in research literature demonstrating that the scope of such mechanochemical reactions can match and even exceed that of traditional processes in liquid solvents. So far, mechanochemical reactivity has been used with success to advance: organic and pharmaceutical synthesis, metal-based, organo- as well as enzymatic catalysis, organometallics, inorganic chemistry, synthesis of a wide range of nano-structured materials (nanoparticle systems, metal-organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks), as well as activation and recycling of critical elements.

Consequently, it is likely that mechanochemical methodologies could become “Chemistry 2.0”: an effective, safer and cleaner alternative to solvent-based processes, that will eliminate or reduce at least 1000-fold the use of solvents, while also providing access to new reactions, materials and more efficient use of resources. The potential future implementation of mechanochemistry as a replacement of traditional solution chemistry, requires a detailed understanding of the most recent advances in mechanochemical technologies and their industrial potential, as well as of the kinetics and energetics of mechanochemical processes. Consequently, it is the purpose of this symposium to:

  1. Bring together experts in diverse areas of mechanochemistry, with backgrounds in research, industry and chemical education to discuss and present their work along with newcomers to the field.
  2. Highlight and illustrate recent implementations of mechanochemistry in research, industry and chemistry education.
  3. Discuss conventional green chemistry metrics, which have been developed in context of solvent-based synthesis, for addressing solvent-free processes through mechanochemistry or other technologies.
  4. Evaluate the potential of mechanochemistry as a replacement for traditional solvent-free chemistry, identify pitfalls and outline a roadmap to achieving this goal.
  5. Discuss the potential impact of mechanochemical processes and solvent-free chemistry on lifecycle analysis of products and processes.

Implementing Green and Sustainable Chemistry in the Semiconductor and Electronics Supply Chain

Organizers: Michael Kirschner, President, Design Chain Associates, LLC, San Francisco, CA, USA; Leo. T. Kenny, Ph.D., Senior Sustainability and Environmental Technologist and Principal, Planet Singular, Pleasanton, CA, USA

Integrating green and sustainable chemistry concepts into the electronics industry’s development and implementation gestalt is a challenge but is rife with opportunities:

  • How do we expand the industry’s green and sustainable chemistry capabilities?
  • Where can we build on what is already working, integrating materials design (or replacement, alternatives assessment) across the technology life cycle, preferably into existing systems, while minimizing the creation of new processes?
  • What research/development in materials and processes is being done and how can we drive its adoption?
  • How do we identify opportunities to precompetitively work together and leverage academic and research entities?
  • Overlap with other manufacturing industries occurs upstream within the supply chain – can we identify opportunities to co-develop?
  • How can we educate a non-chemistry-focused industry to drive demand for greener and more sustainable chemistry in its upstream supply chain?

This session will explore these areas and others.

Greener Practices in Peptide and Oligonucleotide Synthesis

Organizer: Michael E. Kopach, Senior Research Advisor, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Peptide and Oligonucleotide products 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 minimization of chromatography play a vital role in improving the green chemistry profile for peptide and oligonucleotide processes.

Green Chemistry Increases Access to Drugs to Treat Epidemic Diseases

Organizer: Berkeley W. Cue, Jr., Adjunct Professor, Center for Green Chemistry, University of Massachusetts – Boston, Boston, MA

Drugs to treat diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis C and bacterial infections, for example, are available, and for the most part affordable, in Western economies. However, in low- to middle-income countries where these diseases have reached epidemic proportions, many of these drugs are not accessible to large segments of the patient populations, due to both affordability and availability issues. Moreover, to address affordability, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s) of these drugs are manufactured in low-cost manufacturing countries like India and China, where poor environmental management by some manufacturers has created an environmental crisis, resulting in increasingly stringent regulatory action by their governments, fines, imprisonment of officials and closure of the most egregious plants. Even a temporary shutdown of these plants could have a big negative impact on the drug supply chain, e.g., decreased access and possibly rationing. An effective approach to protect against this outcome is needed. Green chemistry has been shown to be a powerful solution to both problems, by lowering manufacturing costs and shrinking the manufacturing environmental footprint, and may be the best option for avoiding the kinds of government actions that could interrupt the supply of these life-saving medicines.

Green Chemistry & Engineering Poster Session

Organizer: David Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Washington, DC, USA

The Conference’s central poster session contains a range of high-quality green chemistry and engineering research. Browse the posters and engage with the presenters while enjoying refreshments and popcorn. The GC&E Poster Session and Reception is June 12, 2019 from 4:35 – 6:35 p.m. in Grand Ballroom EFG. The Poster Session also houses the Product Showcase, running concurrently. Judging for the  Student Poster Competition will take place during this time.

Even numbered posters will be presented from 4:35 – 5:35 p.m.
Odd numbered posters will be presented from 5:35 – 6:35 p.m.
Product showcase posters will be presented from 4:35 – 6:35 p.m.

Exploring Green Chemistry Innovations in Plastics to Help Protect our Oceans

Organizers: Carol Henry, ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement, Portland, Oregon, USA; Robert Giraud, ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement, Wilmington, Delaware, USA

As the World Economic Forum (2016) reports, over 30% of plastic packaging materials “leak” into the oceans and other natural systems. They attribute this leakage in part to inadequate plastics recycling. Low recycling rates in the U.S. stem from decades of physical recycling approaches that have often resulted in degraded properties. New chemistry-based approaches are needed to prevent leakage of plastics into nature. In some cases, chemical recycling promises to economically recover the material value of polymers at the end of first life. In others, advances in chemical technology can promote the use of end-of-life plastics as feedstocks or significantly improve physical recycling. Either way, sustainably closing the loop on plastics to prevent further leakage into the oceans requires application of green chemistry and engineering.

This symposium will bring together environmental, business, chemistry, and engineering perspectives to connect problems with solutions and commercial implementation thereof. While others focus on design and commercialization of biobased and degradable polymers, this symposium will concentrate on the application of chemistry to recover or enable recovery of the material value of plastics at end of first life.

A panel discussion at the end of the session will discuss questions such as: (1) How can polymers be redesigned to meet the property needs currently served by complex materials in laminate packaging? (2) What chemical technology can be applied to enhance separation of mixed plastics? (3) How can end of first life plastics be sustainably transformed into valuable chemical products? (4) What is needed to sustainably depolymerize end of first life plastics to enable reuse as monomers? (5) How can conventional polymers be redesigned to facilitate recovery and reuse?

Entrepreneurs Driving the Circular Economy – Opportunities and Challenges

Organizer: Janine Elliott, Sr. Program Officer, VentureWell, Hadley, MA, USA

The GC&E community often demonstrates a more applied mindset than other sciences; after all, a concern for environmental systems led most us to the field of green chemistry because we understand the resources used in production and toxins released at disposal. However, this level of systems thinking has not necessarily been applied to the other systems involved in translating an innovation out of the lab and into the market.

This symposium sits at the nexus of translating chemistry research to product development, entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship, and circular economy: root challenges are many, and solutions abound. Topics will span the innovation pipeline, from the classroom to commercialization. For example:

  • What curricula are available that leverage Design and/or Systems Thinking for the chemical sciences? What can be learned from the co-working and maker movement to be applied to “molecular makerspaces”?
  • How might innovators think more strategically in early stages about industry analysis, and design with an eager end-customer in mind? How might they redesign the value chain instead of optimizing for a single part?
  • Where have Lean Startup principles or other business methodologies succeeded, failed, or adapted as it applies to chemical innovations?
  • What additional market or economic analysis is required for commercialization of an invention for the circular economy?
  • Multi-billion dollar companies may be in a stronger position to embrace circular operations, so what are the opportunities and pitfalls for resource-strapped startups eager to utilize circular economy principles?
  • What are the implications for their business models? Who is funding the “small fish,” and why?

Though only some of the GC&E attendees may ever decide to form a venture, the opportunities to see the “big picture” will inform more actionable research and empower students and faculty to think more strategically about the impact they would like to have on getting green chemistry out into the world.

Deepening the Green and Sustainability Position of Industrial Chemical Processes

Organizers: Mark Benvenuto, Professor of Chemistry, Chairman of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI, USA; Heinz Plaumann, Quantum Qik, LLC, Detroit, MI, USA

A large number of papers have been published which propose to improve the profile of some chemical process or product. Many suggest an improvement for one commodity that is manufactured on a scale that many chemists and engineers might claim is large – such as any pharmaceutical commodity – but that is tiny compared to the production of true commodity chemicals. Virtually nothing has been published about greening the major industries and the production of their commodities. Perhaps obviously, a relatively small change in a greener direction for any major industry would result in noticeable improvements in all the major indicators by which we measure global climate change and industrial progress – such as extremes of temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, electrical usage, and waste production, for example. Ultimately, there has been little discussion of how to improve the chemical processes that are the largest in our world. This symposium seeks to address this.

Connecting Chemistry with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Organizers: Edward Brush, Department of Chemistry, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA; Grace Lasker, School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, WA

In 2015, the United Nations adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of a global agenda to improve the lives of people by addressing world-wide challenges of poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. There is excellent potential for the chemistry enterprise to make significant contributions to help achieve these goals. However, the chemistry enterprise must commit to a transition to systems and life cycle thinking approaches; consider the source of all chemicals and their transformations; their end of life fate; and impacts on people, the environment and the economy.

This symposium will take advantage of the joint meeting with the International Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference to engage an international audience with multidisciplinary and multicultural perspectives, sharing their views on the U.N. SDGs, and exploring how innovative green and sustainable chemistry technologies can contribute globally to human rights, social equity and environmental justice. Discussing these issues will help advance the chemistry enterprise to achieve sustainability, assist those being trained to enter the workforce, and help better communicate the societal benefits of green and sustainable chemistry technologies.

Critical to the success of this symposium will be contributions from all sectors of the chemistry enterprise (academia, industry, funding agencies, policy, professional organizations, national and international partners), plus those not directly involved in chemistry. We will all need to collaborate around a central theme where the SDGs are a strategic priority. A goal of this symposium is to create a graphic systems map that will outline how chemists can partner with stakeholders both inside and outside the chemistry enterprise, and collaborate in advancing the UN SDGs.

Closing the Loop on Critical Elements

Organizers: David J. C. Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Washington, DC, USA; Xianlai Zeng, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

There is a growing list of elements that are considered strategic metals; they are rare, expensive, and heavily relied upon for electronics, energy and chemistry. The current methods of extracting, purifying and using these metals is unsustainable and as these materials approach impending extinction from the supply chain while escalating environmental and socioeconomic costs across the world, it is critical to identify low-cost and abundant alternatives, or sustainable technologies to recover, recycle and reuse these elements. In general, there have been few chemistry alternatives that could recreate the performance of these metals in a variety of fundamental applications. This session will showcase innovators who are creating alternative chemistries and chemical technology approaches that can increase the sustainable reuse and recycle of these critical elements, or provide comparable functional, commercially viable materials for a variety of applications.

Chemical Technologies for Implementing the Circular Economy

Organizers: John C. Warner, President and Chief Technology Officer, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, Wilmington, MA, USA; Mats Linder, Project Manager, New Plastics Economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Isle of Wight, UK

Many companies and organizations are signaling their desire to adopt materials and processes consistent with the Circular Economy. Much attention is being placed on various societal processes to “close the loop” on materials. Unfortunately, the reality is that most materials and processes have been designed without a circular economy in mind, and simply cannot be fit into a “closed loop” model without significant green chemistry inventions. This session will explore various cutting-edge technologies that either (1) help bring exiting materials into a more closed loop or (2) provide new materials that are more consistent with the goals of the circular economy.

Challenges in Closing the Loop for Textiles

Organizer: John Frazier, Senior Technical Director, Hohenstein Institute America

Material and chemical manufacturers are redefining what they make, how they make it, and how their inputs impact the processes and footprint for creating consumer and industrial products. Greener, more sustainable materials, chemistry and engineering are widely embraced as the way to create and deliver high performance products, minimize environmental impacts, and advance circular life cycles. This session will discuss the challenges the industry faces for closing the loop on materials, recognize some of the barriers, and highlight some of the efforts and wins already occurring. In this session, material, chemical and process innovations transforming end of life considerations for textiles and footwear.

Catalysis to Enable a Circular Economy

Contributors: Adelina Voutchkova, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA; Audrey Moores, Associate Professor of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

The pursuit of a circular economy necessitates the development of transformations geared towards the synthesis of benign and non-persistent intermediates and products, as well as transformations that facilitate the breakdown of existing persistent chemicals and polymers. This requires a paradigm shift in the way we design new chemical transformations. Catalytic processes that enable a circular economy should consider both the forward (bond-making) process and reverse (bond breaking) transformations, which can be used to recover the chemical building blocks. The latter will constitute a form of chemical recycling that not only eliminates the need for disposal, but also provides a feedstock that can be reused in circular materials economy. The design of such processes requires a paradigm shift within the catalysis community in order to fill the substantial gap in available processes for catalytic degradation and to ensure that new chemicals and polymers are designed such that they can be chemically or biologically degraded on demand.

This session will convene researchers in homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis interested in setting the future research agenda of catalysis for the circular economy. Topics of interest will include (but not be limited to) the design of catalytic processes both building and breaking bonds, development of selective and mild catalytic methods for cleavage of synthetic and biopolymers (biomass), and methods for valorization of renewables into benign and non-persistent chemicals (that can be chemically degraded).

Catalysis for CO2 Conversion

Organizers: Gonghu Li, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA; Jonathan Rochford, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a renewable C1 feedstock for the production of chemicals, materials and fuels. Chemical reduction of CO2 has attracted extensive research interests from scientists and engineers from all over the world. However, there are few strategies available for large-scale CO2 utilization. This is mainly due to the lack of scientific breakthrough and technologies that are sufficiently mature for industrial deployment.

This symposium will focus on both the experimental and theoretical design of catalytic systems for efficient CO2 conversion and seeks to promote discussion among the participants on how to bridge the gap between theory and experiments.

Carbon Dioxide: Closing the Loop on the Ultimate Raw Material

Organizer: Joseph Sabol, Chemical Consultant, Racine, Wisconsin, USA

More than 35 Gt of carbon dioxide (10 Gt as carbon) from industrial processes is produced each year, with about half accumulating into the oceans and on land and about half retained in the atmosphere. Adverse consequences from lowering the pH of the oceans and trapping infrared radiation are well documented and unabated release of carbon dioxide will continue to accentuate environmental concerns. Various proposals to treat carbon dioxide as waste and inject into deep wells are met with skepticism and daunting engineering challenges. In the spirit of “closing the loop” this symposium addresses use of carbon dioxide as a raw material to return the elements back into process streams. Every waste product should be an input to another process stream, although energy can be required. Burning additional fuels as the energy source to reduce carbon dioxide essentially defeats the purpose and solar direct electron transfer, photovoltaic, thermal heat, or bio-based systems, such as algae, to capture the energy needed to reduce and incorporate carbon dioxide as a raw material.

Biocatalysis Success Stories

Organizers: Kevin Maloney, Director, Merck Process Chemistry, Rahway, NJ, USA; Jennifer Obligacion, Senior Scientist, Merck Process Chemistry, Rahway, NJ, USA

The facile access to engineered enzymes has led to the widespread adoption of biocatalysis in complex molecule synthesis in both academic as well as industrial laboratories. This session will attempt to highlight the mostly untapped potential of bio-catalysis and protein engineering in developing new synthetic methodologies that unlock new chemical spaces and are green and sustainable. In addition, the chemistry and engineering challenges associated with developing green and sustainable biocatalytic transformations in this context will be discussed, along with several success stories with its implementation.

AI, Machine Learning, and Computational Tools for Greener Chemistry Outcomes

Organizers: Jun Li, Senior Principal Scientist, Bristol Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, NJ, USA; Jared Piper, Director, Pfizer, Groton, CT, USA

Finding the best sequence of reactions in the synthetic route design or the most promising catalyst in a wide array of organic transformations, are key endeavors exemplifying green chemistry principles to ultimately maximize synthetic efficiency, atom economy and minimize waste production. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and predictive analytics at large, along with development of powerful algorithms in the computational quantum chemistry from first principles, progresses have been made in multiple fronts in synthetic route design and reaction science.

In route design area, both AI/machine learning method and heuristic rule-based expert system are advancing the field rapidly. Simultaneously, predictive analytics methodology using green chemistry metrics has been incorporated in the route selection process to instill sustainability from green-by-design perspective. Moving from strategic synthesis planning to reaction science at step level, predictive modeling involving multivariate statistical analysis, machine learning, and newly developed computational quantum chemistry toolkits were introduced to help unravel the mechanistic insights, screen virtual libraries of catalyst designs, and predict reaction outcomes, demonstrating the effectiveness of these predictive approaches toward reaction optimization.

These evidently consonant efforts in applying computational methods/modeling and predictive analytics for organic synthesis have drawn increasing attention from practitioners in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries. This led us to establish this specialized symposium with interdisciplinary interests for the betterment of green chemistry. With the overarching theme of the conference reflecting ACS GCI’s mission to advance the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering practices across the global chemistry enterprise, this session will showcase the use of the state-of-the-art AI/machine learning approaches, rule-based expert systems, computational chemistry methods, and other predictive analytics approaches, to help guide synthesis design strategies and reaction optimization in making greener and more sustainable chemistries and processes.

Advancing in-silico design for better and safer chemicals

Organizer: Jakub Kostal, Assistant Professor, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

Existing examples of identification of new, safer alternatives to chemicals of concern are typically not the result of systematic, rational design, but an extensive testing of functional alternatives. Such an approach is inherently slow and costly, which limits its applicability. Concurrently, over the past decades the pharmaceutical industry has started to rely increasingly on computer-aided drug design, and collaborative efforts by academia and industry have resulted in powerful computational tools to facilitate that process. This convergence poses an opportunity to develop design tools customized to minimizing biological activity of safer chemicals, which will allow industry to take advantage of computer-aided design of commercial chemicals. This session shall convene researchers in organic chemistry, computational chemistry, biochemistry and toxicology in an effort to (i) systematize the design of inherently safer and biodegradable chemicals and (ii) discuss progress in developing the computational tools required.

Advances in Sustainable Plastic Degradation

Organizer: Love-Ese Chile, Bioplastic Specialist and Consultant, Grey to Green Sustainable Solutions, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sustainable (bio-derived or biodegradable) plastics have a variety of waste management and recovery options, however, there has been little development of infrastructure and technology to support these processes. This symposium aims to highlight the advances in the waste recovery part of the sustainable plastic lifecycle. Speakers will share their exploration into design strategies for enhanced biodegradation, mechanical, chemical and/or biological recycling of sustainable polymers. Participants will leave with insight into how waste management of sustainable plastics can be further developed to instigate a truly circular plastics economy.

Advances in Process Intensification

Organizer: Aydin K. Sunol, Professor, University of South Florida, Florida, USA

Process intensification encompasses any chemical processing development that leads to a substantially smaller, greener, safer and more energy efficient technology. It is a key futuristic direction already making significant impact in the evolution of the chemical industry. This symposium seeks to assess the state-of-the-art and future developments in this exciting area of process intensification.

Topics include, but are not limited to: process integration, multiphase reactors, chemical looping processes, membrane processes, hybrid processes, micro-reactor systems, High-G reactors, critical region technology and forced unsteady state operations.

Advances in Batch to Continuous Flow

Organizer: Tim Braden, Research Scientist, Lilly

The use of continuous flow processing has the potential to positively impact most of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. Flow processes have been developed to improve not just chemical reaction steps, but also nearly every related work-up, purification and isolation unit operation. This session will showcase examples of the application and potential of novel continuous flow processes resulting in improved sustainability, efficiency and safety.

(R)Evolutions Towards the Greening of Analytical Chemistry

Organizers: Christine Aurigemma, Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA; William Farrell, Associate Research Fellow, Pfizer, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA

As greener chemistry approaches continue to become better understood and more broadly accepted across the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies are turning their focus to addressing the environmental impact of various analytical chemistry methodologies. Therefore, the need for greener analytical chemistry becomes more critical. This session will provide an evolutionary perspective of greener analytical processes, as well as a venue to highlight revolutionary approaches in technology and science from both academia and industry. A more thorough understanding of the safety, health and environmental impact of solvent handling and disposal practices, for example, has led to noteworthy improvement in areas such as chromatography and spectroscopy; process analytical technology; and automation and miniaturization to name a few. The enablement of sustainable analytical chemistry tools and their related technological advances discussed in this session will set the stage for the implementation of specific guidelines pertaining to process and method improvements as well as the reduction of environmental threats.

2019 Gallery

2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Exhibitor Table
2019 GC&E Exhibitors
2019 GC&E Exhibitor
2019 GC&E Keynote Speakers Udit Batra and Dana Kralisch
2019 GC&E post keynote chat
2019 GC&E attendees sharing ideas
2019 GC&E Keynote Speaker Dana Kralisch and attendees
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Award Presentation
2019 GC&E Award Winner - Applied Polymer
2019 GC&E Award Winners - Applied Polymer
Conference Chair Joan Brennecke and Keynote Speaker Dana Kralisch
2019 Keynote Speaker Dana Kralisch
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
2019 GC&E Networking Breakfast
Thomas M. Connelly, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of ACS
2019 Conference Chairs Joan Brennecke and Philip Jessop
2019 GC&E Keynote Speaker - Udit Batra
2019 GC&E Keynote Audience
2019 GC&E Keynote Q&A
2019 GC&E Keynote Q&A
2019 GC&E Keynote Q&A
Thomas M. Connelly, Jr. and keynote speaker Udit Batra
Conference Chair Philip Jessop, EVP Mary Kirchhoff and Conference Chair Joan Brennecke
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Presenter
2019 GC&E Session Presenter
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Participants
2019 GC&E Session Presenter
2019 GC&E Session Presenter
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
Participants at a 2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking coffee break
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Networking Event
2019 GC&E Keynote Presentation
2019 GC&E Keynote audience
2019 GC&E Keynote audience
2019 GC&E Keynote audience
2019 GC&E Keynote audience
2019 GC&E Keynote Speaker Lee Cronin
2019 GC&E Keynote Speaker Lee Cronin
2019 GC&E Conference Chair Philip Jessop and Keynote Speaker Lee Cronin
2019 GC&E Keynote Speaker Lee Cronin
2019 GC&E Exhibitor Hall
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Activity
2019 GC&E Session Activity
2019 GC&E Session Activity
2019 GC&E Session Activity
2019 GC&E Session Activity
2019 GC&E Session Activity
2019 GC&E Poster Session
2019 GC&E Poster Session
2019 GC&E Poster Session
2019 GC&E Poster Session
2019 GC&E attendees
2019 GC&E attendees
2019 GC&E Session
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Presentation
2019 GC&E Session Q&A
2019 GC&E Session Q&A
2019 GC&E Keynote Q&A
2019 GC&E Exhibitors
2019 GC&E ACS exhibitor table
Keynote Q&A
Keynote Q&A
2019 GC&E Student Workshop
2019 GC&E Student Workshop