Twenty-seventh Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Author: Updates

The Design and Understanding of New Energy Storage Devices

Symposium Organizers: Hua-Jun Shawn Fan, Professor & Dean, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering; Ying Lei, Assistant Professor, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, and; Chun Zhao, Associate Professor, Chongqing University

The purpose of proposed symposium is to promote, fill the knowledge gap, and advance the current green chemistry research and development in the energy storage device. The emphasis to move away from the traditional coal-based production and toward cleaner forms of power generation has been a consensus among all nations. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the renewable power delivered is up to 25 percent in 2020. With more renewable energy being produced from solar, hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass, tidal power, and geothermal energy, researchers realized there are needs to develop capable storage technology not only to store of excessive electric energy produced, but also to smooth out energy surge and reduce power grid fluctuation. From the traditional lead acid batteries to all vanadium redox flow battery, their application is mainly in the application of emergency power supply, power plant, and electric cars.

The symposium welcomes talk and discussion to fill the knowledge and practice gap current green chemistry research and development in the energy storage device. From cobalt-free lithium-ion battery to sodium-ion battery, from the modeling to experiment design, from the materials to electrolytes, this symposium is intended to bring the computational modeling, experimental design, and manufacturer of energy storage together to provide current state of energy storage device.

Highlighting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect as Key Components of Chemistry and Engineering Curricula – Rapid-Fire Session

Symposium Organizers: Glenn Hurst, Associate Professor, York University; David A. Laviska, Assistant Professor, Seton Hall University, and; Michael Wentzel, Associate Professor, Augsburg University

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect (DEIR) are among the core values of the American Chemical Society. Over the last several decades, we have seen dramatic evidence that scientific advancement across all specializations is enhanced by welcoming and encouraging the creativity of a diverse population of researchers, teachers, and students. This is especially true in green chemistry and engineering, since greener innovation necessarily invokes broader concerns of sustainability and stewardship of the environment on a global scale. The need for placing explicit value on DEIR in science is underlined by initiatives such as the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which require synergy among the diverse communities of our planet while attempting to address large-scale challenges.

This fast-paced and engaging symposium will provide educators of all levels (K-12, undergraduate, and graduate) with the opportunity to share their innovations and initiatives for highlighting issues relevant to diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) while incorporating green chemistry and engineering content in lecture, laboratory, and outreach. Speakers whose curricular innovations explicitly focus on the value of DEIR through the inclusion of concepts relevant to green chemistry, thinking in systems, design for sustainable use, stewardship of the environment, and/or global initiatives such as the SDGs are welcome. Other representative topics of interest include the use of renewable feedstocks, greener synthetic methods, function-based design, intended use/end-of-life considerations, and leveraging diversity among faculty collaborators or within the student population (classroom or laboratory). Contributions of these methods to improving safety or understanding toxicology would also be welcome. Preference will be given to abstracts describing initiatives directly or indirectly relevant to highlighting DEIR. The rapid-fire session format will allow presenters seven minutes (with optional use of three minutes for content or questions) to engage the audience with a snapshot of their work and prompt audience participation.

Sustainable Metal Catalysis & Organocatalysis

Symposium Organizers: Feng Peng, Associate Prin. Scientist, Merck, and Juan C. Colberg, Senior Director, Pfizer

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

Sustainability requires collective efforts from all of us on innovation in the face of declining natural resource. Correspondingly, the onus is on us chemists to invent sustainable ways to produce pharmaceuticals, polymers, and other consumables to minimize environmental footprint. Along these lines, sustainable catalysis, including organocatalysis and Earth-abundant metal catalysis, can access different mechanistic pathways to catalyze known transformations, or affect new ones. Understanding these mechanisms for catalyst design will not only enable the discovery of new reactions, but also advance the application of Earth-abundant metals/organocatalysis.

This symposium will bring together experts in academia, industry and government in the areas of:

  • Novel Earth-abundant metal catalysis/organocatalysis development for applications in pharmaceuticals, energy, and other industries
  • Mechanistic studies of earth-abundant metal chemistry/organocatalysis, including kinetics and spectroscopy
  • Industrial-scale production using Earth-abundant metal catalysis/organocatalysis

Assessment of Students’ Knowledge and Skills about Green Chemistry, Sustainability, and Systems Thinking

Symposium Organizers: Elizabeth L. Day, Assistant Professor, University of Texas – El Paso, and Alexey Leontyev, Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University

Since the initial conception of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, there have been efforts to infuse the undergraduate curriculum with green, and lately, sustainable chemistry. These efforts have been the subject of many reviews, detailing the laboratory exercises, demonstrations, online activities, case studies, curricular materials and curricula. This work underscores the importance of engaging all students in thinking about the outcomes and connections of the central science to the larger environmental, human health, and socio-political systems around us. Despite multiple efforts to develop a green chemistry curriculum or embed green chemistry into existing courses, assessment of the impact on student learning is missing. One potential barrier to adoption is assessing student learning. For researchers and practitioners in chemistry education, the challenge of knowing what students know is necessary to the design and implementation of curricular materials and learning environments. To support partnerships in curriculum development and implementation, there is a need to elicit evidence of student understanding of green and sustainable chemistry and/or systems thinking.

This symposium is intended as a set of presentations of green chemistry education experts to show the assessment strategies they use to gather evidence of student understanding of green and sustainable chemistry. The focus of these presentations should be on the ways in which an expert would expect a novice to demonstrate their understanding and use of green chemistry principles, sustainability, life cycle analyses, and/or systems thinking. When discussing the assessment efforts, presenters are encouraged to reflect on what does a student performance on reported assessment look like if they “know” or “doing” green chemistry. For presenters with IRB approval, examples of student responses that are illuminating would be welcome, although all interested parties are invited.

This symposium seeks to answer the broad questions:

  1. What assessment methods are suitable for the evaluation of green chemistry instruction?
  2. What do green chemistry education experts want students to know and do with that knowledge?
  3. What evidence from students’ performances would convince green chemistry educators that students understand green and sustainable chemistry or systems thinking?

The symposium organizers welcome abstract submissions from faculty and green chemistry education experts interested in designing assessments for their current courses; chemistry education researchers interested in designing assessments that could be used as research tools; green chemistry experts interested in influencing the design of curricular materials and teachable units. Participants from ACS Green Chemistry Institute’s Green Chemistry Module Development Program are encouraged to apply and share their assessment strategies.

Synthesis, Design, and Evaluation of Sustainable Plastic Cycles

Symposium Organizers: Gerardo J. Ruiz-Mercado, Senior Research Chemical Engineer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Andrés Muñoz G., Manager – Production Partner Management, NESTE

Co-Sponsor: AIChE Environmental Division

Given the many challenges the environment is facing, and to support society, government, and industry to make informed decisions, scientists and engineers are conducting research and development contributions to synthesize, design, and evaluate plastics (novel and existing) to minimize or eliminate the impacts of plastics on human health and the environment. Also, it is critical to find logistics, processes, technologies, and reactions for transforming the conventional linear plastics cycle into a circular system for upcycling, recycling, and reusing instead of their disposal and requiring fresh fossil raw materials for the production of new materials. This symposium will provide data and information to assist stakeholders in making informed decisions towards sustainable plastics production and management practices.

This symposium consists of contributions describing novel green chemistry and engineering developments for addressing technological constraints and advancing the sustainability of plastics and their life cycles. These efforts include the design of new monomers/polymers, synthesis routes, processes, technologies, replace-creation of new materials, policy considerations, renewable feedstocks, and sustainable end-of-life (EoL) management of plastics and ensuring a safer circular life cycle. Also, the symposium seeks developments on identifying current and potential links and gaps between industry sectors at the EoL stage (e.g., recycling facilities) and industry sectors at upstream plastic life cycle stages (e.g., manufacturing).

Integrating Sustainable Practices into Teaching and Research Laboratories through Systems Thinking

Symposium Organizers: Dean Campbell, Professor of Chemistry, Bradley University; Ettigounder “Samy” Ponnusamy, Fellow & Global Manager, Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma, and; Natalie O’Neil, Director of Higher Education, Beyond Benign

Training the next generation of chemists and engineers to use sustainable practices, while thinking in systems will allow for future understanding of the health and environmental impacts of the molecules they are designing. To achieve a sustainable future, it is vital the next generation thinks about the impacts of their chemistry on our systems and explores ways to reduce the effects in the design, manufacture, or synthesis, use or characterization, and disposal in teaching and research laboratories. Many of our global challenges can be solved with chemical solutions and industry along with consumers are demanding safer working conditions and products. This demand requires a shift in teaching and research practices to ensure the most sustainable and system compatible innovations are created by future generations.

This symposium will highlight the design and use of curricula and initiatives that infuse green chemistry and sustainable chemistry concepts into teaching and research. These approaches include systems thinking approaches, life cycle analysis, and leverage the circular economy to engage students in the chemical systems their education is preparing them for. We cannot advance to a sustainable circular economy if the next generation of scientists are not equipped with the principles and practices of green chemistry during their training and beyond to ensure they are designing for sustainable use. This symposium aims to spotlight designing sustainable labs practices and how many approaches can be utilized to bring systems thinking into the teaching curriculum as well as research culture to achieve a sustainable future.

The Sustainable Future of Critical Materials for a Domestic Green Economy

Symposium Organizers: David Reed, Sr. Staff Scientist, Critical Materials Institute, Idaho National Laboratory; Hongyue Jin, Assistant Professor, Critical Materials Institute, University of Arizona; Denis Prodius, Assistant Scientist III, Critical Materials Institute, Ames Laboratory, and; Yoshiko Fujita, Distinguished Staff Scientist, Critical Materials Institute, Idaho National Laboratory

Much of the world is highly dependent on foreign markets for the supply of critical materials. These materials are essential for magnets and batteries in computers, smart phones, and electric vehicles, and to produce vital components in medical and scientific equipment and for national defense. Although in many cases these materials are found in various locations of the world, mining and processing costs as well as environmental challenges have deterred investment. New technologies are needed to promote critical material production and decrease supply risk for these materials. Greener options are needed for mining and processing, as well as improved approaches for reuse, recycling, and substitution of critical materials.

In response to the growing recognition that shortages of certain materials may constrain our necessary transition to a clean energy economy and fulfillment of our climate goals, government agencies, in recent years, have provided substantial funding to address some of the challenges associated with maintaining domestic supplies of critical materials. Because of the criticality of these materials for the prosperity of future generations, the goal of this symposium is to bring together a variety of stakeholders to teach, learn and brainstorm ideas for how we might address critical material challenges to support a more sustainable future.

Session presentations may include the current status of critical material supply chains and predictions for the future, how technoeconomic and life cycle analyses and other modeling efforts can help guide technology development, the state-of-the-art technologies that are both green and economically viable, gaps or opportunities for further development, and how technologies might be implemented or leveraged for integration into critical material supply chains. Presentations providing perspective on technical, industrial or policy challenges for the sustainability of critical material supplies are welcome.

Sustainability in Organic Chemistry (Special Student Session)

Symposium Organizers: David Leahy, Sr. Director CMC, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, and Dan Bailey, Scientist, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

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 postdoctoral scholars across the broader, global organic chemistry community which has the potential to impact sustainable industrial chemistry.

Students and postdocs who are accepted into this session will be provided $1000 travel grants from the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable to facilitate travel to the GC&E Conference.

Systems Thinking and Design for Sustainable Use

Symposium Organizer: David J. C. Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

The application of systems thinking to chemistry is a relatively new phenomenon and still rapidly evolving. Chemists generally have not been taught from a systems thinking perspective and therefore lack the vocabulary to talk about systems in chemistry and the understanding of why and how to apply systems thinking in education or to their research and development. This workshop will expose participants to the vocabulary and tools that can be employed to assist chemists as they apply systems thinking to the design of experiments, processes and products.

New Technologies for Sustainable Peptide Syntheses

Symposium Organizers: Michael Kopach, Senior Research Advisor, Synthetic Molecule Design and Development, Lilly

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

The first therapeutic synthetic peptide oxytocin was introduced in 1962, and as of 2020 over 60 peptide drugs have been approved in the U.S., Europe and Japan, more than 150 drugs are currently in active clinical development, and >260 have been tested in human clinical trials. Peptides have gained increased interest as therapeutics over the past few decades, largely due to their advantageous properties including high specificity and affinity, as well as superior safety and tolerance. Merrifield’s landmark invention of solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) consisting of anchoring and growing the peptide on polymetric solid support has enabled the synthesis of longer peptides that were previously unobtainable and allows for facile incorporation of non-coded components. However, recent studies have revealed that at least 10 metric tons of solvent and materials are used to synthesize 1 kg of peptide drug substance produced by SPPS which is orders of magnitude higher than most small molecule syntheses. In addition, many of the reagents and solvents utilized in peptide syntheses are classified as environmentally problematic substances by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation. Current and impending regulation by REACH could result in future disruption of industrial production of therapeutic peptides.

Recognizing the unmet environmental needs the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable recently founded a team focused on improving sustainability practices in peptide development and has funded academic research over the past five years. The groups initial contribution is focused on stimulating innovations in peptide syntheses (J. Org. Chem., 2019, 84 (8), pp 4615–4628).

Several new technologies are now in development to address these unmet environmental needs such as tag assisted liquid phase peptide synthesis, chemoenzymatic peptide synthesis, alternative purification strategies and use of green solvents. The aim of this session is to highlight some of the recent developments in these areas and the potential benefits they bring to peptide sustainability. We invite abstracts on the topic of improving peptide sustainability from interested parties in academia and industry.

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