Twenty-seventh Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Educational Initiatives in Green Chemistry, Systems Thinking and the UN Sustainable Development Goals through an Equitable and Inclusive Chemistry Curriculum

Symposium Organizers: Ed Brush, Professor of Chemical Sciences, Bridgewater State University; Grace Lasker, Teaching Professor, University of Washington; Jane Wissinger, Distinguished University Teaching Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

This symposium will bring together the green chemistry community to discuss and explore key issues and big ideas in green and sustainable chemistry education. The world presents us with problems whose complexity and impact we can barely imagine, but that we must solve. As educators, our mission is to prepare our students to do exactly that. The integration and scaffolding of green and sustainable chemistry, systems thinking and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into an equitable and inclusive undergraduate curriculum can inspire students to take ownership of their education, and graduate with the satisfaction that their classroom knowledge allows them to understand and contribute to solving big global problems. The SDGs are the world’s “to-do” list, a global agenda to improve the lives of people by addressing world-wide challenges of poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all. Students can envision chemistry career paths that have excellent potential to make significant contributions in achieving these goals. Green chemistry provides the technical and practical knowledge required for the design of new chemical products and processes, while minimizing adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Systems thinking addresses the interconnectedness of local and global systems interjecting a holistic and life cycle approach to assure the design and use of sustainable chemistries. Framing chemistry education through the SDGs will help advance the chemistry enterprise in achieving sustainability, assist those being trained to enter the workforce, and help better communicate the societal benefits of green and sustainable chemistry technologies.

Sustainable Systems for Industrial Chemicals and Materials

Symposium Organizer: Joseph Sabol, Chemical Consultant

Co-Sponsors: ENFL, I&EC, SCHB, CEI

This symposium brings together diverse approaches on viable, scale-able industrial processes that can make chemicals, fuels, and industrial materials more efficiently and with reduced energy use. Broad approaches and cross-pollination between scientists and engineers will highlight topics around 1) reduction/elimination of raw materials derived from underground coal, oil, and gas sources; 2) synthesis of chemicals, including hydrogen, from renewable sources, e.g., solar capture, plant-based, algae; 3) increases in chemical reactor efficiency and active capture of by-products, including carbon dioxide capture and re-use; 4) direct use of solar energy in chemical synthesis processes; and 5) insight into the techno-economic analysis of chemical and energy inventories, regulatory challenges and incentives, and market forces.

Sustainable Metal Catalysis & Organocatalysis

Symposium Organizers: Feng Peng, Associate Prin. Scientist, Merck, and Juan C. Colberg, Senior Director, Pfizer

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

Sustainability requires collective efforts from all of us on innovation in the face of declining natural resource. Correspondingly, the onus is on us chemists to invent sustainable ways to produce pharmaceuticals, polymers, and other consumables to minimize environmental footprint. Along these lines, sustainable catalysis, including organocatalysis and Earth-abundant metal catalysis, can access different mechanistic pathways to catalyze known transformations, or affect new ones. Understanding these mechanisms for catalyst design will not only enable the discovery of new reactions, but also advance the application of Earth-abundant metals/organocatalysis.

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

  • Novel Earth-abundant metal catalysis/organocatalysis development for applications in pharmaceuticals, energy, and other industries
  • Mechanistic studies of earth-abundant metal chemistry/organocatalysis, including kinetics and spectroscopy
  • Industrial-scale production using Earth-abundant metal catalysis/organocatalysis

New Technologies for Sustainable Peptide Syntheses

Symposium Organizers: Michael Kopach, Senior Research Advisor, Synthetic Molecule Design and Development, Lilly

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

The first therapeutic synthetic peptide oxytocin was introduced in 1962, and as of 2020 over 60 peptide drugs have been approved in the U.S., Europe and Japan, more than 150 drugs are currently in active clinical development, and >260 have been tested in human clinical trials. Peptides have gained increased interest as therapeutics over the past few decades, largely due to their advantageous properties including high specificity and affinity, as well as superior safety and tolerance. Merrifield’s landmark invention of solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) consisting of anchoring and growing the peptide on polymetric solid support has enabled the synthesis of longer peptides that were previously unobtainable and allows for facile incorporation of non-coded components. However, recent studies have revealed that at least 10 metric tons of solvent and materials are used to synthesize 1 kg of peptide drug substance produced by SPPS which is orders of magnitude higher than most small molecule syntheses. In addition, many of the reagents and solvents utilized in peptide syntheses are classified as environmentally problematic substances by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation. Current and impending regulation by REACH could result in future disruption of industrial production of therapeutic peptides.

Recognizing the unmet environmental needs the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable recently founded a team focused on improving sustainability practices in peptide development and has funded academic research over the past five years. The groups initial contribution is focused on stimulating innovations in peptide syntheses (J. Org. Chem., 2019, 84 (8), pp 4615–4628).

Several new technologies are now in development to address these unmet environmental needs such as tag assisted liquid phase peptide synthesis, chemoenzymatic peptide synthesis, alternative purification strategies and use of green solvents. The aim of this session is to highlight some of the recent developments in these areas and the potential benefits they bring to peptide sustainability. We invite abstracts on the topic of improving peptide sustainability from interested parties in academia and industry.

Incorporating Sustainable Components into Existing Manufacturing Systems

Symposium Organizers: Chad Landis, Research Associate, PPG; Kristin Nuzzio, Group Leader, PPG, and; Se Ryeon Lee, Group Leader, PPG

This session aims to showcase the implementation and challenges of realizing sustainable components into existing industrial manufacturing systems. There is a strong pull from consumers as well as governments to implement sustainable materials and processes into manufacturing. This is not as simple as substituting sustainable raw materials or changing to more energy effective processes. Thorough understanding of risks in changing industrial processes need to be understood, including the use of sustainable raw materials on product specifications and potential disruptions due to changes in the supply chain. Also of interest is determining effects of sustainable raw material changes on life cycle analysis and any potential new or future regulatory risks.

Examples of implementing efficient and sustainable material sourcing and manufacturing in this session could demonstrate new material incorporation, cost-benefit analysis, and business cases for the implementation of the changes. Examples can also include risk assessments, supply chain robustness, consumer reception, and business cases for extracting value from improved processes. Presentations describing all or some aspects of implementing sustainability in the life cycle process are welcomed.

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.

Chemo-Catalytic Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass into Marketable Products

Symposium Organizers: Mark Mascal, University of California Davis;

This symposium will focus on direct chemical and catalytic conversions of biomass into products that have a realistic path to market. The subject matter of these sessions will differentiate themselves from those that involve fermentative, biocatalytic, and thermochemical approaches to feedstock valorization. It will also emphasize alternatives to petroleum that contribute to sustainability in a practical way, i.e. the development of technologies and products that have real commercial potential and hence the capacity to displace meaningful volumes of petroleum. A mix of symposium speakers from industry, academe, the military, government, environmental advocacy groups, and sustainable technology outreach platforms will be included.

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