Twenty-seventh Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Sustainable Production of Biobased Polymers

Symposium Organizers: Lindsay Soh, Associate Professor, Lafayette College; Melissa Gordon, Assistant Professor, Lafayette College; Joseph Stanzione, Associate Professor, Rowan University

This symposium will highlight the contributions made towards fundamentally understanding, developing, and commercializing biobased polymers via sustainable production processes as well as identify challenges to overcome. Specifically, we invite submissions from individuals across academia, government and industry that address various challenges in this field by: (1) designing complex polymers and polymer composites from a combination of biobased monomers and other biomass constituents, (2) understanding the fundamental processing-structure-property-toxicity relationships of the chemicals, monomers, and resins utilized to produce biobased polymers and polymer composites, (3) applying the principles of green chemistry and engineering towards biobased polymer production as effectively and economically as possible and (4) conducting quantitative economic and life cycle assessments of biobased polymers and polymer composites. Presenters will be asked to participate in a panel to share their perspectives on the growth, challenges, and potential of the field at the conclusion of the session. Abstract submissions from individuals across varied sectors, backgrounds and career stages are encouraged.

Innovation: The Future for Analytical Sustainable Practices in the Pharmaceutical Products Lifecycle

Symposium Organizers: William Farrell, Associate Research Fellow, Pfizer Global R&D – La Jolla; John M. Wasylyk, Associate Scientific Director, Bristol Myers Squibb

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

Analytical Chemistry remains a cornerstone for the drug product life cycle by providing quantitative and qualitative data essential to the drug substance and drug product pipeline. The provided data drives process knowledge and ultimately, process control and it remains critical that scientists consistently improve approaches via sustainable methods. This translates to a continual pursuit for better ways to deliver quality decision-making insight to our partnering teams through new and innovative approaches in capturing real-time data. Miniaturization, in-line and at-line tools that offer more controlled oversight of reaction chemistry while reducing waste, saving time and energy consumption.

To achieve these sustainability objectives, the adoption of new analytical tools, techniques, and more innovative approaches are required such as real-time analyses and process analytical technologies. Recent advances include miniaturized designs in the area of separation sciences and vibrational spectroscopy. These are intended to enable improved process control and understanding while reducing waste, time, and costly resources. This session will provide insights into the latest analytical chemistry approaches that enable the advancement of pharmaceutical products from early discovery through manufacture and will feature a mix of invited and submitted abstracts from a diverse array of speakers of both industrial and academic backgrounds.

The Role of Sustainable Thinking in New Chemical Reviews

Symposium Organizers: Richard Engler, Director of Chemistry, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., and Ligia Duarte Botelho, Manager, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

A circular economy requires new thinking about what we make, what we make it from, and where it goes at the end of its useful life. An important but often overlooked aspect of new product development is an understanding of the regulatory framework and landscape that will govern the commercialization of the new product. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates the manufacture, use, processing, and disposal of industrial chemicals. TSCA requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review new chemicals and determine whether they would adversely impact human health or the environment. If EPA determines that a new chemical may pose a risk, EPA can either prohibit the use of the new chemical or require restrictions on the chemical to mitigate risks. Currently, EPA reviews and regulates new chemicals based solely on hazards, without regard to whether exposures are reasonably foreseen. EPA also does not consider sustainability benefits that may accrue by the introduction of a new chemical.

This symposium will be a panel discussion that explores the “new chemicals bias,” as it is called, and how it continues to pose a barrier to market acceptance of novel chemistry and sustainable thinking. The session will also include discussions on possible policy changes that could eliminate or alleviate current regulatory challenges to chemical innovation. The session will help attendees understand the regulatory landscape of TSCA implementation and how and whether EPA might change its approach to reduce barriers to circular economy innovations. It will include company representatives, EPA scientists and invited speakers from non-governmental organizations. The moderator will introduce the topic, and then each panelist will give brief introductory remarks, followed by at least 30 minutes of practical discussion among the panelists, including a question and answer session to engage with the audience.

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

Symposium Organizers: Jared Piper, Director of Process Chemistry, Chemical Research and Development, Pfizer, Inc., and Jason Stevens, Computer Aided Synthesis Lead, Chemical Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Co-Sponsor: 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. Presentations describing recent advances in computer-assisted chemistry methods will be discussed.

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.

Technological Innovations on the Design of New Refrigerants, Energy-Efficient Cooling Systems, and Refrigerant Recovery Processes

Symposium Organizers: Mark Shiflett, University of Kansas; Edward Maginn, University of Notre Dame; Ichiro Takeuchi, University of Maryland; David Vicic, Lehigh University; Haoran Sun, University of South Dakota, and; Ralf Kaiser, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are widespread throughout modern society, from the refrigerated cold chain that provides fresh foods and storage of medicines to the air conditioning of homes and buildings. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol phased out chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants because of their high ozone depletion potential (ODP). The replacements, typically mixtures of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are safe for the Earth’s ozone layer, but most have high global warming potentials (GWPs). HFCs account for 7.8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, with 63% of that from “indirect” emissions (i.e., energy for running the system). As a result, 197 countries signed the Kigali agreement in 2016 to phase out high-GWP HFCs and more recently the the AIM Act, which was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, directs EPA to phase down production and consumption of HFCs in the United States by 85 percent over the next 15 years. A global HFC phasedown is expected to avoid up to 0.5° Celsius of global warming by 2100. The symposium will focus on technological innovations for the design of new refrigerants, cooling technologies, and refrigerant recovery processes to shift the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) industry towards a more circular economy with lower environmental impact.

Green Toxicology: Making Hazard and Exposure Part of the Green Chemistry System

Symposium Organizers: Alexandra Maertens, Research Associate, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University;  Thomas Hartung, Doerenkamp-Zbinden Chair for Evidence-Based Toxicol­ogy and Director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University, and; Emily Golden, Doctoral Student, Johns Hopkins University

Green Chemistry Principle #4, which states that “Chemical products should be designed to preserve efficacy of function while reducing toxicity”, has been described as the least developed principle of green chemistry. While other aspects of green chemistry—such as atom economy—have simple and well-developed metrics, hazard and exposure are more difficult to measure in ways that allow chemists to incorporate them into their design.

Green Toxicology is an emerging discipline that seeks to provide a framework for integrating the principles of toxicology into the design of safer chemicals using 21st century toxicology tools (e.g., including high-dimensional data, computational approaches, and systems level thinking) to look not just at chemicals in isolation but their exposure scenarios, as well as transformation and degradation products.

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