26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Sustainable Agriculture Practices and Product Design

Symposium Organizers: Amie Norton, Research Chemist, USDA; Deanna Scheff, Scientists, USDA; Leanne Gilbertson, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Sustainable agriculture practices are designed to safeguard the environment and societal health.  The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outlines three goals for sustainable agriculture: 1. Increase profitable farm income, 2. Promote environmental stewardship, and 3. Increase production for human food and fiber need. These goals become increasingly important with the expected future global population growth of 30% by 2050. As a result, demand for food production is anticipated to increase by 60-110%. One way to improve food security is by increasing efficient food production and distribution, which has inspired development of new solutions and the application of advanced methods to evaluate current agriculture practices. This symposium will focus on the application of chemical and material innovations that address current challenges in food production and distribution. Examples include development of green methods for valued added products, food processing and technology, antimicrobial resistance, chemical contamination in agriculture, sanitation and quality standards, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology in agriculture, and green technology in storage methods.

Toxicology in Chemistry Curriculum: Effective Interdisciplinary Examples

Symposium Organizers: Teresa McGrath, Chief Research Officer, Healthy Building Network and Lauren Heine, Director of Science & Data Integrity, ChemFORWARD

Training in toxicology and alternatives assessment should be incorporated into chemistry and engineering programs to equip students with the tools and knowledge to positively influence future product design or chemical development. This panel will share how chemical hazards-informed design can be integrated into classroom settings to train the future workforce. This panel discussion will bring together academic leaders to highlight how curricula can be used to increase student awareness of chemical hazards data and toxicology. Speakers will also share case studies featuring tradeoffs and decisions that must be made in the process of product design.

Participants will:

  • Learn how to screen chemicals for known hazards
  • Learn from professors who have successfully integrated an interdisciplinary curriculum that considers function, hazard, performance, and life cycle impacts to generate real world solutions to contemporary product design problems
  • Test their knowledge by choosing safer alternatives for a real world chemical synthesis problem and compare their answers to students’ conclusions
  • Walk away with curriculum examples they can incorporate into their classrooms

Closing the Loop: Combining Process Analytical Technology and Flow Chemistry for Self-Optimizing Systems

Symposium Organizers: Nick Uhlig, Senior Scientist – Chemical Development, Sage Therapeutics; John M. Wasylyk, Associate Scientific Director, Bristol Meyers Squibb; Michael J. Di Maso, Senior Scientist, Process Research & Development, Merck & Co.; Mark T. Zell, Scientific Fellow, Takeda

Co-Sponsor: ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable

This session will focus on novel implementations of process analytical technology (PAT) with flow chemistry, and the application of such combination systems in chemical synthesis. Particular emphasis will be given to discussing applications involving automation, self-optimizing systems, and data-rich experimentation. The use of PAT in flow to enable self-optimizing systems and greater degrees of automation represents a powerful interface between computer science, engineering, and chemistry. Benefits of incorporating PAT into flow chemical processes include reduced offline or human-interface sampling, rapid and data-rich experimentation and optimization capabilities, and real-time monitoring and control of chemical processes at lab or production scale. These benefits have great potential to facilitate process intensification and greater efficiency in chemical processing via reductions in energy and material usage, smaller instrumentation footprints, improved process safety & control, and greater flexibility in scale. This session will feature a mix of invited and submitted abstracts from a diverse array of speakers of both industrial and academic backgrounds. The target audience includes anyone who has an interest in chemical engineering, flow chemistry, or computer science.

Sustainable Chemistries and Processes to Decarbonize Aviation Fuel

Symposium Organizers: Michael R. Thorson, Senior Chemical Engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories; Karthikeyan Ramasamy, Senior Chemical Engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, and;  Zia Haq, Senior Analyst, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories

Demand for liquid aviation fuels is currently 3.6 EJ and is projected to double in the next 30 years. In ground-transportation, fuel use is expected to decline due to emerging technologies such as electrification, or due to engine efficiency improvements; no such opportunities exist in aviation due to the high energy density requirement; however, aviation fuels are expected to require liquid fuels for the foreseeable future. Thus, there is a need, and large opportunity, to discover and deploy pathways for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Jet fuel chemical composition specifications are unique from other fuel classes (e.g., gasoline and diesel) in that fuel quality is essential, with no heteroatoms, metal contaminants, alkenes, or trace water allowed. Further, there is a strong desire to displace the aromatic content to reduce sooting behavior and increase energy density. In the nearer term there are opportunities for aviation original engine manufacturers (OEMs) and airlines to reduce emissions of CO2, soot, sulfur, contrails, and NOx while also maintaining the other mandatory operation (safety) and performance metrics of the fuel.

This session will focus on the following gaps:

  1. Development of novel sustainable chemistries and/or process that utilize lower-cost waste carbon sources
  2. Understand the chemistry interactions to address knowledge gaps in structure-function relationships, blending behavior and decision optimization (i.e., identification of chemical structures and blends that optimize emissions reductions, thermal stability and energy content, while maintaining other key fuel requirements)
  3. The value conferred from these improved fuels is undefined
  4. Reduce costs associated with producing and/or deploying SAF

Synthesis, Design, and Evaluation of Sustainable Plastic Cycles

Symposium Organizers: Gerardo J. Ruiz-Mercado, Senior Research Chemical Engineer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Andrés Muñoz G., Manager – Production Partner Management, NESTE

Co-Sponsor: AIChE Environmental Division

Given the many challenges the environment is facing, and to support society, government, and industry to make informed decisions, scientists and engineers are conducting research and development contributions to synthesize, design, and evaluate plastics (novel and existing) to minimize or eliminate the impacts of plastics on human health and the environment. Also, it is critical to find logistics, processes, technologies, and reactions for transforming the conventional linear plastics cycle into a circular system for upcycling, recycling, and reusing instead of their disposal and requiring fresh fossil raw materials for the production of new materials. This symposium will provide data and information to assist stakeholders in making informed decisions towards sustainable plastics production and management practices.

This symposium consists of contributions describing novel green chemistry and engineering developments for addressing technological constraints and advancing the sustainability of plastics and their life cycles. These efforts include the design of new monomers/polymers, synthesis routes, processes, technologies, replace-creation of new materials, policy considerations, renewable feedstocks, and sustainable end-of-life (EoL) management of plastics and ensuring a safer circular life cycle. Also, the symposium seeks developments on identifying current and potential links and gaps between industry sectors at the EoL stage (e.g., recycling facilities) and industry sectors at upstream plastic life cycle stages (e.g., manufacturing).

The Sustainable Future of Critical Materials for a Domestic Green Economy

Symposium Organizers: David Reed, Sr. Staff Scientist, Critical Materials Institute, Idaho National Laboratory; Hongyue Jin, Assistant Professor, Critical Materials Institute, University of Arizona; Denis Prodius, Assistant Scientist III, Critical Materials Institute, Ames Laboratory, and; Yoshiko Fujita, Distinguished Staff Scientist, Critical Materials Institute, Idaho National Laboratory

Much of the world is highly dependent on foreign markets for the supply of critical materials. These materials are essential for magnets and batteries in computers, smart phones, and electric vehicles, and to produce vital components in medical and scientific equipment and for national defense. Although in many cases these materials are found in various locations of the world, mining and processing costs as well as environmental challenges have deterred investment. New technologies are needed to promote critical material production and decrease supply risk for these materials. Greener options are needed for mining and processing, as well as improved approaches for reuse, recycling, and substitution of critical materials.

In response to the growing recognition that shortages of certain materials may constrain our necessary transition to a clean energy economy and fulfillment of our climate goals, government agencies, in recent years, have provided substantial funding to address some of the challenges associated with maintaining domestic supplies of critical materials. Because of the criticality of these materials for the prosperity of future generations, the goal of this symposium is to bring together a variety of stakeholders to teach, learn and brainstorm ideas for how we might address critical material challenges to support a more sustainable future.

Session presentations may include the current status of critical material supply chains and predictions for the future, how technoeconomic and life cycle analyses and other modeling efforts can help guide technology development, the state-of-the-art technologies that are both green and economically viable, gaps or opportunities for further development, and how technologies might be implemented or leveraged for integration into critical material supply chains. Presentations providing perspective on technical, industrial or policy challenges for the sustainability of critical material supplies are welcome.

Systems Thinking and Design for Sustainable Use

Symposium Organizer: David J. C. Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

The application of systems thinking to chemistry is a relatively new phenomenon and still rapidly evolving. Chemists generally have not been taught from a systems thinking perspective and therefore lack the vocabulary to talk about systems in chemistry and the understanding of why and how to apply systems thinking in education or to their research and development. This workshop will expose participants to the vocabulary and tools that can be employed to assist chemists as they apply systems thinking to the design of experiments, processes and products.

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