26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

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.

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.

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.

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.

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