26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

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.

Earth-Abundant Metal Catalysis

Organizers: Matthew Winston, Senior Scientist, Merck & Co., Rahway, NJ; Steven Wisniewski, Senior Research Investigator II, Bristol Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, NJ

Cosponsor: Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

Despite the significant impact of heavy metal catalysts in advancing science across industries (including pharma, materials, and energy), the need for less toxic and more sustainable processes has pushed Earth-abundant metal catalysis into the forefront of chemical research. Distinguished from their heavy metal congeners in their redox chemistry and coordination behavior, Earth-abundant metals can access different mechanistic pathways to catalyze known transformations, or effect new ones. Understanding these mechanisms for catalyst design can often be complicated by competing processes involving single and two-electron chemistry, multiple oxidation and spin states, and the need for analytical tools complementary to those used for studying traditional heavy metal catalysis. Nevertheless, mechanistically-rooted studies have led to advancements in Earth-abundant chemistry, leading to new catalyst systems that not only supplant less abundant metals with sustainable alternatives, but push the boundaries of chemical space by exploiting novel reactivity.

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

1. Homogeneous and heterogeneous Earth-abundant metal catalyst development for applications in pharmaceuticals, energy, and other industries.
2. Mechanistic studies of Earth-abundant metal chemistry, including kinetics and spectroscopy.
3. Industrial scale production using Earth-abundant metal catalysis.

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