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28th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Enabling a Circular Economy for Materials in the Consumer Goods Industry

Organizers: Thomas A. Kwan, Sustainability and Green Product Engineer, Unilever Science & Technology; Paul D. Price, Bio-Sourcing Technical Leader, Unilever Science & Technology.

Chemicals employed in home and personal care products face several distinct challenges towards implementing circular economy strategies, including dispersive use, linear lifecycles, and high volumes. Green Chemistry & Engineering, as well as regenerative agriculture and renewable feedstocks, can help address these barriers. To succeed, systems thinking and innovation are necessary drivers throughout all phases of research and development for chemicals and products alike.

This symposium will actively engage communities and stakeholders to bridge technical understanding, needs, and opportunities towards facilitating circular economy principles in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. Academic, business, NPO/NGOs, government, and emerging experts are encouraged to submit session talks. All aspects of technology, cost, safety, and sustainability across materials and life cycles relevant to home and personal care goods will be considered.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the development of:

  • Low cost and high-volume renewable feedstocks
  • Scalable and cost-efficient processing
  • Biotechnology
  • Utilization of waste streams
  • Chemical design for environmental, safety, and product performance
  • Design for chemical end of life

3rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Product Innovation Showcase

Integrated into our popular GC&E Poster Session & Reception, the 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.

For your abstract to be considered for presentation the following must be included:
• Describe how the principles of green chemistry and green engineering were used in the creation of the product.
• Describe how the product improves the health, safety and/or environmental impact compared to existing products. Please include metrics, third-party testing, certification, and description of chemistry when possible.
• Describe the scientific or process innovations that went into this product.
• Include a picture or link to your product.

If you are a B2B, please give an example of an end consumer product.

Information Driving Greener Design: Uncertainty in estimating systems accuracy and its impact on decision-making

Organizers: Hans Plugge, Senior Toxicologist, Manager Safer Chemical Analytics, Verisk 3E; Jakub Kostal, George Washington University; Emma Lavoie, EPA

This session focuses on the often controversial and challenging topic of uncertainty in toxicological data and regulatory decision-making. Practitioners must often reconcile data from multiple sources and types of data (e.g. in silico, in vitro, in vivo), which may rely on widely different protocols and approximations. The sheer magnitude of available in silico and in vitro data is both crucial to advancing the assessment of industrial chemicals and their inherent risks, as well as problematic, as it limits human review and expert judgment of data quality. It is important to stress that the magnitude and diversity of datasets available for regulatory assessments will increase in future years as a result of the push for integrated testing strategies. The session format aims for roundtable-style discussions, engaging stakeholders from academia, industry and government. Discussion will follow the ‘storyline’ of problems encountered and available solutions, progressing from i) uncertainty in raw experimental and computational model data, ii) uncertainty in combining multiple data sources and types, iii) approaches to incorporating uncertainty in toxicology, environmental health and chemical databases, iv) strategies for handling uncertainty in regulatory decision-making, and v) communicating uncertainty in public dissemination of toxicological data and assessments.

Information Driving Greener Design: Design & Use of Safer Chemicals to Meet Market Demand

Organizers: Bridget Williams, US EPA Safer Choice Program; Kathleen Compton, Pollution Prevention Coordinator, US EPA Region 10; Kendra Tyler, Safer Choice Lead, US EPA Region 10

Chemical design to meet marketing needs can sometimes overlook chemical safety considerations, or focus on eliminating a single concern, such as carcinogenicity. Chemical design to avoid a certain hazard endpoint is an approach that, if not pursued in the context of a broader goal, could lead to the design or use of a chemical with another problematic endpoint such as persistence, reproductive toxicity, or chronic toxicity. Methodologies for identifying safer chemicals include assessment by functional class and comparing the most relevant endpoints for that class. Understanding a chemical’s structure and function is key to determining which hazard endpoints might be distinguishing and potentially problematic. Using this approach furthers the advancement of green chemistry through the design of less hazardous chemicals. The symposium will discuss safer chemical design, include industry examples, share green chemistry challenges in the marketplace, and offer examples of how organizations are supporting the development of safer alternatives.

Earth-Abundant Metal Catalysis

Organizers: Neil Strotman, Director, Catalysis and LCS, Merck; Brad Gates, Principal Research Scientist I, AbbVie

Earth-abundant metal catalysis is touted for its inherent sustainability, and the advantages of low toxicity and minimal environmental impact versus heavy metal catalysis.  What is often overlooked is the diversity of transformations which can be affected by earth-abundant metals, beyond those of their precious metal counterparts.  Earth-abundant metals, by virtue of their placement on the periodic table, have access to more oxidation states, and can often participate in one electron chemistry.  This opportunity for more numerous catalytically relevant oxidation states for a given metal allows for greater variety in chemical transformations.  This highly active field of research continues to grow and evolve as new catalyst systems succeed in not only supplanting less abundant metals with greener alternatives, but in offering novel reactivity giving rise to greater chemical space.

Green by Design: Medicinal Chemistry to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Organizers: Amy Dounay, Colorado College; Jozef Stec, Marshall B. Ketchum University 

Innovative green chemistry approaches have been applied toward all stages of drug discovery research, from the initial medicinal chemistry design to the discovery and manufacturing-scale production of new medicines. Many contemporary efforts in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals aim to be sustainable, environmentally responsible, and fiscally sound, which altogether result in an increased global access to essential medicines and it closely aligns with the WHO’s vision to live in a disease-free world. This symposium is aimed at providing diverse chemists across academe and industry with highly practical knowledge and accessible green chemistry tools to implement into drug discovery and development process at every level in every place. The central theme of this symposium will be showcasing recent developments and innovations in designing green approaches to synthetic medicinal chemistry and manufacturing processes to address current and future global challenges in drug discovery and development.

Leaving Organic Solvents Behind: Chemistry in Aqueous Media

Organizers: Megan Shaw, Sr. Scientist, Merck; Kevin Maloney, Director, Merck

Traditionally, chemists have relied on the use of organic solvents as the primary reaction medium for both academic research and the development of industrial processes. While offering desirable attributes with respect to solubilizing organic compounds and promoting reactivity, organic solvents contribute heavily to overall waste generation, have negative implications for the environment and often derive from finite resources. This session will outline the largely untapped potential of conducting chemistry in water by demonstrating that, not only does water provide a green and sustainable alternative to organic solvents, it can offer distinct advantages with respect to reactivity, cost efficiency and waste generation. Successful strategies which overcome the commonly perceived challenges of low solubility and stability of organic/organometallic molecules in water will be discussed and the exciting opportunities arising from the use of enzymes, catalysts ideally suited to an aqueous environment, in organic synthesis will be highlighted.

Carbon Dioxide: Systems-Inspired Design on Recovery and Re-use

Organizer: Joseph Sabol, Principal-Consultant, Chemical Consultant

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. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen from 280 ppm in 1800 to 410 ppm in 2019, with the majority coming from human-derived activity. Adverse consequences from lowering the pH of the oceans and warming the atmosphere from trapping infrared radiation are well documented and unabated release of carbon dioxide will exacerbate existing environmental concerns. Unless a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emission is met with world-wide acceptance, rising concentrations, including an increasing rate of emission, are inevitable. Proposals to treat carbon dioxide as waste and inject into deep wells are met with skepticism and daunting engineering challenges. Planting massive forests will take decades to make a significant impact in. In the spirit of “systems-inspired design” this symposium proposes to address viable industrial processes that can re-use “waste” carbon dioxide as a raw material into process streams. Speakers are sought to present concepts and practices that demonstrate viable scale-up processes that use carbon dioxide as a raw material and eliminate waste discharge into the atmosphere.

Using Computers to Deliver Green Chemistry: In Silico Techniques for Designing and Developing Chemical Reactions

Organizers: Jason Stevens, Senior Research Investigator II, Bristol-Myers Squibb; Jared Piper, Pfizer

Identification of expedient and resource-efficient synthetic routes and the implementation of an optimal combination of catalysts and reagents for an organic transformation are key endeavors that exemplify green chemistry in practice. This session will focus on in silico techniques that look to deliver synthetic efficiency, atom economy and minimize waste production. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and predictive analytics (PA) that harness powerful algorithms to improve synthetic routes or chemical reactions from first principles will comprise the majority of the session, as well as what is needed to get started on this important and growing topic in the chemical sciences.