Leaving Organic Solvents Behind: Chemistry in Aqueous Media

Organizers: Richard Fox, BMS and Paul Richardson, Pfizer

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 highlight the advantages chemistry in water can provide with respect to reactivity, cost efficiency and waste generation, as well as tackle common misconceptions of this methodology.  Successful strategies which overcome the commonly perceived challenges of this methodology 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.

Greener peptide and oligonucleotide synthesis

Organizer: Mike Kopach   

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 can range  from 3,000-15,000 kg/kg API  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 environmental footprint for peptide and oligonucleotide processes.

Decreasing the environmental footprint by decreasing agriculture waste

Organizers: Amie Norton; Deanna Scheff   

By 2050 the world’s population is expected to increase by 30%.  One pressing issue that comes with increasing population is food security. It is estimate that food production will need to increase by 60-110% by 2050 in order to feed to growing world populations One way to increase food security is by reducing food waste and to reduce environmental impacts of humans. The USDA has a goal to reduce food waste 50% by 2050.  This leads us to evaluate current agriculture methods for development sustainable practices. Food waste can be decrease by the development of value-added products from byproducts that otherwise would have been throw away, greener storage methods at affordable costs, and better and more targeted pesticides. In this symposium we will focus on the application of chemical innovations in food security through the development of green methods for valued added products, reduction in agriculture waste and green technology in storage methods.

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

Organizers: Jared L. Piper, Director of Process Chemistry, Pfizer, Groton, CT; Jason M. Stevens, Senior Research Investigator II, Bristol Myers Squibb, Summit, NJ

Cosponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

Many tools are being created that augment human decision making and focus on large sets of data to determine trends. These techniques have the potential to minimize the number of experiments to arrive at an ideal synthesis, hypothesis, or process. In addition, models and in silico techniques can probe hypothetical situations that could prove challenging to set-up in a laboratory due to cost or safety considerations. Papers describing recent advances in computer-assisted chemistry methods are encouraged.

Undergraduate Context Session

Organizers: Reuben Hudson; Julian Silverman

This session offers the opportunity for undergraduate students to contextualize their conference experience by direct engagement with a broad-topic panel discussion. Panelists will kick off the session with short talks designed to provide background and perspective in hopes of addressing general questions that students have gathered throughout the conference. This session is designed to provide a space for undergraduate students (or anyone else) to debrief their conference experience by interfacing with researchers from disciplines spanning catalysis, biomass conversion, systems thinking, solid phase chemistry, and more.

Toxicology for Chemists: Preparing Chemists to Design More Sustainable Products Through Smarter Molecular Design

Organizer: Amy S. Cannon and Nimrat Obhi, Beyond Benign

A key sustainability challenge today remains that molecular designers (chemists) are not trained how to address hazards at the very beginning, design stage of a product lifecycle. Chemists lack training in toxicology and the understanding of what makes a molecule hazardous to human health and the environment. Beyond Benign, a non-profit dedicated to Green Chemistry education, has launched a new curriculum project – Toxicology for Chemists – that is aiming to address this knowledge gap. The project involves the development of curriculum and resources that support current and future chemists to better understand molecular hazard and how to include the information within their design criteria as molecular designers. A suite of curriculum materials and on-line resources are being created that will remain open access for instructors, students and scientists to design chemical products that are safer and healthier for humans and the environment. The curriculum units are designed in modular format to allow for the flexible implementation of the content in multiple courses and formats.

The goal of this interactive workshop is to provide a space for chemistry educators to discuss incorporating toxicology principles into their curricula. In addition, participants will be provided with the support, knowledge, and resources necessary to begin this implementation. Beyond Benign and faculty experts have designed a Toxicology for Chemists curriculum that comprises several modules, aimed at weaving together toxicological and chemistry learning outcomes for holistic green chemistry knowledge.

In the first part of the workshop, Marie Bourgeois (University of South Florida) and Nimrat Obhi (Beyond Benign) will introduce the modules. Julian Silverman (Manhattan College), Douglas Raynie (South Dakota State University), and Barb Morra (University of Toronto) will provide examples of how to integrate the modules into existing chemistry curricula.

In the second part of the workshop, participants are invited to engage with the speakers in an interactive discussion. The conversation will be driven by participants’ needs, and will center around the logistics of actively including and integrating toxicology principles into chemistry curricula. Continued support and opportunities beyond this workshop will be made available for participants through pilot testing the Toxicology for Chemists modules.

Towards Sustainable and Complete Life Cycle Processes in Industry

Organizers: Se Ryeon Lee, Energy Research Team Leader, PPG, Allison Park, PA; Kristin Nuzzio, Formulation Sciences Group Leader, PPG, Allison Park, PA; Chad Landis, Formulation Sciences Research Associate, PPG, Allison Park, PA

This session aims to highlight the successes and challenges of implementing closed loop systems within industrial manufacturing applications. “Closing the loop” in product manufacturing and commercialization requires innovation in many areas, from sustainable raw material sourcing and efficient manufacturing and/or application processes, to disposal and/or adaptation of recycled materials into another product cycle. Examples of efficient and sustainable material sourcing and manufacturing could include energy savings, water reduction, solvent reduction, and lowering CO2 emissions. Examples can also include processes to recycle or repurpose end of lifecycle products.

The PFAS-Free Future: Greener Solutions for a Circular Economy

Organizers: Thomas A. McKeag, Executive Director, Berkeley Center for GC, College of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Kimberly Hazard, PhD candidate, Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

This session will highlight opportunities and constraints for greener alternatives to poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in product and material design, manufacturing, use and disposal/reuse. Presenters may comprise representatives of government, academia, business or non-for-profit organizations.

The Circular Economy in Action: Industrial Ecosystems Implementing Circularity at Commercial Scale

Organizers: Arlan Peters, Novozymes; Tom Burns, Novozymes

A growing number of scientists, policy makers, designers and corporations recognize that in order to have more sustainable production and consumption, we need to move from conventional linear systems of “take, make, waste” to a circular system of production and consumption.

Discussions about circular economy can seem abstract and disconnected from current reality or refer to examples that have limited scale and impact. There are however many examples of industrial ecosystems, developed over decades and operating at commercial scale that are currently realizing significant benefits for the environment and society. These systems can be centrally planned or develop organically. They optimize biological and technical nutrients and provide numerous examples of how chemistry and engineering can be applied to utilize waste streams from one entity as feedstocks for another.

In this symposium we will delve into the details of these examples starting with Kalundborg, Denmark, one of the most developed industrial ecosystems in the world. Through a spectrum of speaker presentations, we will explore the history, details of the partnerships, results, learnings, and future plans of the Kalundborg Industrial Symbiosis. We will survey other large-scale models of industrial symbiosis, looking for similarities and differences in origins and management. We will examine how elements of ecosystem thinking are being implemented via nascent bilateral and multilateral agreements between companies and what challenges may exist in a B2B vs B2C context.

Attendees to this symposium will gain a better understanding of existing industrial ecosystems and a better sense of how these models can be replicated and expanded to create more circular and sustainable production.