26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Implementing Mechanochemistry Processes in Chemical Manufacturing and Research

Organizers: Tomislav Friščić, Assoc. Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Audrey Moores, Assoc. Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; James Mack, Professor, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

The symposium highlights the emergent opportunities of solvent-free chemical methodologies, notably mechanochemistry, in eliminating or vastly reducing the use of solvents in chemical processes, across research, manufacturing and recycling, biomass conversion, as well as education in environmentally-friendly synthesis. Our aim is to bring together academic and industrial experts, as well as novices in this field to present and learn about the recent accomplishments in understanding the materials- and energy-efficiency of mechanochemical reactions, the fundamentals of underlying kinetics and thermodynamics, as well as potential for industrial implementation, scale-up, recycling and biomass exploitation.

Over the past decade, mechanochemistry by ball milling has emerged as a powerful, uniquely general methodology to conduct reactions in the complete, or almost complete, absence of solvents. There is a growing number of examples in research literature demonstrating that the scope of such mechanochemical reactions can match and even exceed that of traditional processes in liquid solvents. So far, mechanochemical reactivity has been used with success to advance: organic and pharmaceutical synthesis, metal-based, organo- as well as enzymatic catalysis, organometallics, inorganic chemistry, synthesis of a wide range of nano-structured materials (nanoparticle systems, metal-organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks), as well as activation and recycling of critical elements.

Consequently, it is likely that mechanochemical methodologies could become “Chemistry 2.0”: an effective, safer and cleaner alternative to solvent-based processes, that will eliminate or reduce at least 1000-fold the use of solvents, while also providing access to new reactions, materials and more efficient use of resources. The potential future implementation of mechanochemistry as a replacement of traditional solution chemistry, requires a detailed understanding of the most recent advances in mechanochemical technologies and their industrial potential, as well as of the kinetics and energetics of mechanochemical processes. Consequently, it is the purpose of this symposium to:

  1. Bring together experts in diverse areas of mechanochemistry, with backgrounds in research, industry and chemical education to discuss and present their work along with newcomers to the field.
  2. Highlight and illustrate recent implementations of mechanochemistry in research, industry and chemistry education.
  3. Discuss conventional green chemistry metrics, which have been developed in context of solvent-based synthesis, for addressing solvent-free processes through mechanochemistry or other technologies.
  4. Evaluate the potential of mechanochemistry as a replacement for traditional solvent-free chemistry, identify pitfalls and outline a roadmap to achieving this goal.
  5. Discuss the potential impact of mechanochemical processes and solvent-free chemistry on lifecycle analysis of products and processes.
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