Twenty-seventh Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Drilling and Fracturing Fluid Water Reuse and Alternate Sourcing: Key Chemistry and Chemical Technology Advances to Reduce Essential Resource Depletion

Symposium Organizers: Brian Price, Rockwater Energy Solutions, and Dave Horton, CES Energy Solutions

The oil and gas industry faces increasing demands to clarify the implications of energy transitions for their operations and business models, and to demonstrate the contributions that they can make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The challenge for the oil and gas industry is to both engage and adapt to a changing policy and investment landscape, but also to evolve in ways which don’t simply support but contribute and perhaps even lead efforts toward carbon neutrality such as carbon capture, utilization and storage.  Becoming carbon-neutral is not the only challenge this industry is dealing with.  With oil-price volatility particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are actively looking to optimize their business in order to reduce costs and increase profitability across their core functions including upstream, midstream and downstream operations.  With funding already constrained in the traditional oil and gas markets and continued investment substantially now flowing to projects and companies with robust and materially relevant ESG practices, there is a significant push towards the ways to improve sustainability benchmarks.

While there have been significant efforts over the past 20 years to develop new commercial processes to bio-based and renewable as platform molecules, there have not been as many advances in water reuse.  The oilfield chemistry industry has increasingly sought to increase the volume of fracturing fluid water that is reused—given that between 1.5 and 16 million of gallons of water are used per well.  As much of this water is from fresh water sources and is ultimately removed from the geosphere through deep-well injection, it would be a considerable sustainability advance to recycle even a portion of the water used in hydraulic fracturing.  However, the technical demands of treating and reusing spent hydraulic fracturing fluids when combined with significant differences in the chemical composition of formation waters are considerable.

This session aims to introduce and discuss current advancements in both drilling and hydraulic fracturing water reuse, the chemical and formulation approaches that enable reuse, the post-drilling and fracturing chemical processes required to effectively treat water for reuse, and identify the challenges and opportunities for developing novel chemicals and chemical technologies via biological and/or chemical pathways.


Green and Sustainable Chemistry: Designing Sustainable Personal Care and Household Products

Symposium Organizers: Paul Scott, Executive Director – Green Chemistry & Sustainable Design, The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.

Personal care and household consumers are increasingly savvy and, with recognition of the climate crisis at an all-time high, demand more sustainable, yet high performing product options of manufacturers. At the same time, the existing sustainability frameworks well understood by consumers (e.g natural ingredients or the lack of certain ingredients of concern) do not necessarily result in formulas that are more sustainable or more aligned with the principles of green chemistry. The pursuit of truly greener products requires understanding of the nuances of ingredient properties, performance, and economics, and engagement of the entire value chain. Quantification and communication of green chemistry performance via the thoughtful use of metrics facilitates this understanding, and can drive greener ingredient innovations and choices.

This symposium will provide a forum to share case studies and success stories of designing more sustainable personal care and household ingredients and products through green and sustainable chemistry approaches. It will also create a dialog around remaining unmet industry needs. Some of the ideas to be discussed include:

  • The use of metrics (including the ELC Green Score Tool) to quantify green chemistry performance and facilitate greener product development and innovation.
  • The use of data analytics and Artificial Intelligence approaches in sustainable product design.
  • Examples of using a system thinking and life cycle approach ensure principles are considered throughout the whole value chain.
  • Examples of success stories in leveraging the principles of green chemistry and life cycle thinking to develop more sustainable ingredients, products, and processes.
  • Strategies for enabling and ensuring the economic competitiveness of truly greener processes and technologies in the consumer goods industry.

Application of Chemicals, Novel Chemistries, Synthetic Pathways and Processes that Enable a Circular, More Sustainable Economy

Symposium Organizers: Samy Ponnusamy, Fellow & Global Manager – Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma and Srinivasan Ambatipati, Assistant Professor & Co-Ordinator of Chemical Engineering, McNeese State University

This session highlights the processes that are inspired by novel design strategies leading to successful application of technologies to enable a circular-sustainable economy. Case studies should illustrate how industry/academia/NGO have successfully implemented the novel design in chemistries, synthetic pathways and processes. This would enable a circular, more sustainable economy and the strategies that ultimately worked out for its end use to achieve its targeted goals. The examples should clearly describe the design and approaches taken, the challenges faced and how a solution for the challenge was achieved. Also, highlight the importance of implementing sustainability as a basic design criterion to successfully achieve a closed-loop economy.

Integrating Sustainable Practices into Teaching and Research Laboratories through Systems Thinking

Symposium Organizers: Dean Campbell, Professor of Chemistry, Bradley University; Ettigounder “Samy” Ponnusamy, Fellow & Global Manager, Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma, and; Natalie O’Neil, Director of Higher Education, Beyond Benign

Training the next generation of chemists and engineers to use sustainable practices, while thinking in systems will allow for future understanding of the health and environmental impacts of the molecules they are designing. To achieve a sustainable future, it is vital the next generation thinks about the impacts of their chemistry on our systems and explores ways to reduce the effects in the design, manufacture, or synthesis, use or characterization, and disposal in teaching and research laboratories. Many of our global challenges can be solved with chemical solutions and industry along with consumers are demanding safer working conditions and products. This demand requires a shift in teaching and research practices to ensure the most sustainable and system compatible innovations are created by future generations.

This symposium will highlight the design and use of curricula and initiatives that infuse green chemistry and sustainable chemistry concepts into teaching and research. These approaches include systems thinking approaches, life cycle analysis, and leverage the circular economy to engage students in the chemical systems their education is preparing them for. We cannot advance to a sustainable circular economy if the next generation of scientists are not equipped with the principles and practices of green chemistry during their training and beyond to ensure they are designing for sustainable use. This symposium aims to spotlight designing sustainable labs practices and how many approaches can be utilized to bring systems thinking into the teaching curriculum as well as research culture to achieve a sustainable future.

Sustainability in Organic Chemistry (Special Student Session)

Symposium Organizers: David Leahy, Sr. Director CMC, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, and Dan Bailey, Scientist, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

The development of new synthetic methodologies and strategies has been the cornerstone upon which sustainable industrial processes are built. The pure research advances arising from academia fuel the world’s industrial innovation, while also training the scientific leaders of tomorrow. This special session highlights the research of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars across the broader, global organic chemistry community which has the potential to impact sustainable industrial chemistry.

Students and postdocs who are accepted into this session will be provided $1000 travel grants from the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable to facilitate travel to the GC&E Conference.

Sustainable Chemistry in Electronics

Symposium Organizers: Michael Kirschner, President, Design Chain Associates, LLC, and Leo T. Kenny, Founder and Principal Technologist, Planet Singular

The electronics industry and its supply chain continue to labor under government, environmental NGO, investor and customer pressure to reduce the presence of toxic substances in products and manufacturing processes. While the industry has generally had a degree of success replacing some of these substances, growing pressure and awareness of continued use of toxic and non-sustainable substances in parts and materials in electronic products, and in their manufacture, continues to raise concern and result in additional—and not always harmonized—regulation worldwide. Honed for efficiency and cost-effectiveness over decades, chemistry and toxicity has not been a focus area. Today it must be. The extraordinary potential and opportunities (maybe for a new Moore’s Law of toxicity reduction?) for creativity and improvement in this area result from the lack of optimization. This session will demonstrate the creativity and leadership up and down the electronics industry supply chain. Presentations on green chemistry in electronic products and throughout the electronics supply chain are welcome from academia, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and industry are of interest for this session.

Harnessing the Power of Biocatalysis to Access the Molecules of Life

Symposium Organizers: Mengbin Chen, Senior Scientist, Merck & Co.; Brenden Derstine, Chemical Development, Neurocrine Biosciences; Kevin Maloney, Director, Merck & Co.

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

The pressing need to develop green and sustainable processes for pharmaceuticals and commodity chemicals requires unconventional approaches. Leveraging on their unparalleled chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity, biocatalysts are powerful tools to access pharmaceutically relevant molecules. The broad synthetic utility of enzymes is manifested in their capabilities to transform molecules of divergent sizes and structures, ranging from amino acids to proteins of tens of kilodaltons. These molecules can serve as building blocks for advanced Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) or trigger desired immune response. The session will cover how computational design and enzyme discovery accelerates the development of novel transformations. In addition, the session will highlight the emerging integration of biocatalysis with photocatalysis and electrocatalysis that capitalizes on the best of both worlds.

© American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.