26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference


Design of Processes for Cleaner Water- Oral
Thursday AM

Symposium Organizer: Shyam Shukla (Lamar University)

Access to reliable and clean drinking water is quickly becoming a social, environmental and security concern on a global scale. The 2015 World Economic Forum reported the lack of sustainable water sources is among the top environmental risks to global security. These problems stem from a shortage of fresh water sources coupled with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals that are released from anthropogenic sources. The effects on aquatic ecosystems, and human life are already starting to be seen. This session is dedicated to processes that help prevent the accumulation of POPs and heavy metals from the water supply. Such processes can take the form of water treatment strategies, design of biodegradable chemicals that lack persistence and even re-design of technologies that currently contribute to the pollution of our water supply.

Green Chemistry In Consumer Products: From Demand To Supply- Oral
Tuesday AM

Symposium Organizer: Lauren Heine (Northwest Green Chemistry); Anthony Noce (Haley & Aldrich)

This proposed session examines drivers resulting from government policy, retail policy, sectoral supply chain initiatives, and NGO movements that promote the development and adoption of green chemistry and engineering in consumer products. Government policy is intended to set the framework for the management and use of chemicals in commerce.  While US federal reform remains unresolved, the trend in Europe, Asia, and individual US states is toward greater disclosure of chemical identities, assessment of hazard, and restrictions on the use of high hazard chemicals, with some explicit encouragement for the adoption of safer chemicals.

Beyond government policy, consumers are increasingly creating demand for products that are perceived to be safer.  In recent years, non-government organizations have also brought considerable pressure on retailers, manufacturers, and brands, publicly drawing attention to high hazard chemicals in products and demanding alternatives that are designed to be less hazardous.

This increasing demand for products that are not only greener, but that also are cost-competitive and perform as well or better than their existing counterparts has begun to infiltrate the product development and commercialization system, from discovery through supply chains, taking into account consumer preference and end-of-life considerations.  This has awakened chemical manufacturers and entrepreneurs to begin developing alternative chemicals and materials for common formulation ingredients such as solvents, surfactants, chelating agents, boron alternatives, uv agents, fragrances, and more.  This session will seek presentations from chemists, formulators, chemical manufacturers, consortia, and others to share case studies and success stories of how the implementation of different kinds of policy has promoted the design of greener and more sustainable consumer products.

Exploring Opportunities for Green Chemistry Educators and Researchers as Change Agents Addressing the Social and Environmental (In) Justices of Chemical Exposure- Oral
Wednesday PM

Symposium Organizer:  Edward Brush (Bridgewater State University)

Green Chemistry is the science of making smart choices in how we design, make, use and dispose of chemicals and chemical products.  Chemicals provide the function consumers demand in everyday products.  However, chemists also need to be aware of the potential unintended consequences of hazardous chemicals that are disproportionally impacting children and adults in low income, minority neighborhoods.  This violates our definition of social and environmental justice where all people, regardless of race or economic status, have the right to live, work, play and learn in healthy, safe environments.

The goal for this session is to start conversations about: the steps that chemists can take to better understand disparities in how hazardous chemicals impact society, and the need for transdisciplinary collaboration between the social sciences and green chemistry practitioners as change agents addressing the social and environmental (in) justices of chemical exposure.  Abstracts from a variety of disciplines are encouraged, especially those focusing on: (1) The current issues of social disparities related to exposure to hazardous chemicals; (2) The type of change(s) needed in chemistry education; (3) How chemistry outreach education may better inform the public on the role of chemicals in their daily lives; and (4) How the field of green chemistry might offer solutions to achieve social and environmental justice.

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