This year the conference theme will explore green chemistry and engineering advancements that will help us meet the challenges of the 21st century and design for a sustainable future. During three days, a wide array of topics will be covered–with 5 concurrent tracks every morning and afternoon, and poster sessions in between. The topics are selected by our conference co-chairs, and in consideration of suggestions from past conference participants. This year’s co-chairs are Matthew J. Realff, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech, and Roger McFadden, VP and Senior Scientist at Staples, Inc.
Alternatives to Critical Chemicals Facing Sustainable Supply Constraints (indium, platinum group metals, rare earths, etc.)
Chemists love to use elements and molecules in new and interesting ways in their pursuit of “good science.” Novel catalysts, unique properties, intellectual property protection or creation, publication in prestigious journals, etc. Such drivers have spurred chemists down this path since the industrial revolution. It could be argued, however, that “good science” turns a blind eye towards the environmental, social and economic implications that known reserves of critical materials are being rapidly depleted and dispersed in products in such a way that makes recycling and reuse difficult if not nearly impossible using current separation technologies. This session is intended to highlight issues associated with materials in critical supply and change the fallacious “good science” argument to one of a pursuit of the best possible science – science that is sustainable.
Bio-Based Chemicals and Materials: Growing the Supply Chain
The use of agricultural products as a source of raw materials for the chemical and materials industry is growing in importance and value. Following the principle that a raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable, and with demand for fuels and chemicals growing worldwide, finite supplies of petrochemicals will grow more costly. Renewable alternatives have begun to play an increasingly important role as basic resources for the production of energy and chemicals while enhancing human and environmental safety. Significant progress has been made, and is continuing, in developing and utilizing chemicals and materials using plant-based feedstocks as a viable and renewable replacement for petrochemicals. Agricultural products, composed of both protein and oil, are fitting into industrial applications such as adhesives, coatings, printing inks, lubricants, plastics, and specialty products.
This session will bring together current topics in the research and development of bio-based chemicals and materials and will consider life cycle assessments and the impact of using agricultural commodities to make industrial products.
Catalyzing the Adoption of Green Chemistry in Industry – What Works
How do we have the greatest possible impact in catalyzing the adoption of Green Chemistry? In the world of marketing, perceptions are reality. Discussions about how to accelerate the adoption of green chemistry among academics, regulators, and business often lead to a focus on a single favored solution that reflects a favored perception. These perceptions can range from more/different regulations, changing the way that students are trained, more/different financing for green chemistry research, educating the public to create demand, tax incentives, etc. What actually has the most impact? In this session we will look at survey results examining what most professionals in Green Chemistry believe are the most relevant factors to catalyze successful Green Chemistry adoption. We will challenge our perceptions and look at examples of successful adoption of green chemistry and the relevant drivers for both systemic change and individual success. Submitted papers in this session will cover examples of successful adoption of Green Chemistry and should include an analysis of the key factors that enabled the success.
Communicating Green Chemistry – Effectively
With products that range from toilet paper to frying pans, electronics to shampoo, and everything in between being marketed as "green," with companies large and small examining the environmental attributes of their products' materials, and a growing number of local, state and federal policies that stipulate the use of "safe" and "safer" chemical products, it has become increasingly important to define what "green chemistry" means–both throughout the manufacturing supply chain and for the general public. This session is designed to examine how we define and use these terms, and how we accurately and effectively communicate the concepts of green chemistry to a diverse audience.
We’ll hear from experts in the field of science, communications, products, and policy, about challenges involved in telling the green chemistry story and explaining what green chemistry is–and is not–what it can do, and why it is increasingly important.
Corporate Use of Life Cycle Analyses – Best Practices and Information Gaps
More corporations and organizations use life cycle analyses as critical inputs to complex decisions on materials, chemicals, processes, supply chains, and new technology. The state-of-the-art has thus evolved, particularly using physical life cycle inventory as the core tool for the environmental input to decision-making. The life cycle inventory technology is also advancing to provide more rapid, transparent information that strengthens the quality of these inputs to decisions.
This session is to provide corporate and other organizations a forum to highlight:
- How are life cycle analyses currently used and what benefits are emerging.
- What critical needs are ahead in the next five years for life cycle information.
The session will thus be a state-of-the-art for 2013 and a planning mechanism to encourage further development in life cycle analysis.
Elimination of PCB from Pigments, Inks and Dyes - Green Chemistry Alternatives
The challenge of reducing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at the source is a national, even global issue as PCBs are globally transported, do not easily degrade, and bioaccumulate in the food chain. The EPA National Listing of Fish Advisories lists more than 1200 waterbodies in the United States where the PCB concentrations in fish render it unsafe to eat. There is also mounting evidence that even low levels of persistent chemicals have negative biological impacts of endocrine and neurological systems. PCBs are ubiquitous in the environment, not only as the result of legacy uses of Aroclors but, significantly, from residual PCBs that are still being legally produced as “inadvertent contaminants” in industrial processes. A specific example is PCBs in pigments used in inks, dyes, and other products.
The EPA water quality standard for PCB under the National Toxics Program is 170 parts per quadrillion and is based on a fish consumption standard. States and Tribes can set stricter standards. For example, the water quality standard for the Spokane River, as set by the Spokane Tribe of Indians, is 3.4 parts per quadrillion. This is 15 billion orders of magnitude smaller than the EPA’s regulatory limit of 50 ppm for inadvertently produced PCB. Until PCB is controlled at the source, the cost of removing PCB from wastewater is borne by industries and the public as expensive end-of-pipe treatment.
The purpose of this session is to provide historical and regulatory context to the issue, describe the changes, challenges, and solutions needed for effective source control of PCB. The goal is to provide insight into the design of PCB free pigments that meet green chemistry principles, and to outline a transition path from research to development to market: the mechanisms, barriers, and implementation.
Endocrine Disruption: Its Potential Impact On Green Chemistry – A Facilitated Dialog between NGOs, Academics, Industry and Government
This all-day session will tackle the challenging and evolving subject of potential endocrine disrupting chemicals. The presentations will illustrate how the endocrine disruption issue could influence the development of sustainable chemistries and why the Green Chemistry effort will need to rely upon basic scientific principles to be successful. A series of invited talks, will bring together key experts in the field with a range of perspectives.
The session will begin by framing the importance of the issue with an introduction to endocrinology. Additional topics will include: current testing methods–are they adequate; current endocrine disruption screening methods– what have we learned vs. traditional test methods; key considerations in developing new test methods and the importance of test method validation; a BPA Case Study. The session will conclude with a robust panel discussion to address questions from the audience. [A limited number of submitted talks will be considered for this program.]
Green Chemistry and EPA's Toxic Release Inventory: Reporting Achievements, Identifying Effective Practices
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is EPA’s most comprehensive multimedia environmental database, consisting of emission and other waste management quantity data (as well as other information) on over 600 toxic chemicals reported annually by approximately 20,000 industrial facilities nationwide. The breadth and scope of the quantitative and qualitative information submitted to TRI make it an increasingly significant resource for identifying those facilities that have implemented green chemistry and other sustainable practices that have led to measurable environmental improvements over time. The TRI offers a unique and highly visible opportunity for businesses to showcase their green chemistry and other pollution prevention achievements, and for all data users to assess progress towards sustainable development. Moreover, the TRI enables the identification of those industry sectors that have not been as successful in implementing green chemistry practices. In this regard the TRI serves as a useful tool for federal and other funding institutions to use in prioritizing research needs and setting the research agenda.
This session will focus on EPA's recent efforts to improve the utility and accessibility of TRI's pollution prevention information and to provide new insights into green chemistry’s role in reducing toxic chemical releases across the U.S. It will also include perspectives on using and submitting TRI data and on the broader role of information sharing and disclosure in promoting sustainable chemistry.
Green Chemistry Education – What’s Next?
This year’s green chemistry education sessions explore the future of green chemistry and engineering education. The first session of invited speakers will lay the foundation for developing a roadmap for education by exploring the evolving needs of a variety of stakeholders and identifying unique opportunities for green chemistry and engineering to drive innovation in this area. The second session of contributed papers will highlight new developments in educational materials design and showcase exciting initiatives that are emerging across the country. We will also address how future trends in higher education may impact green chemistry and engineering education.
- Session #1 – Current and Future Needs. We will begin by identifying the gap between how we currently educate chemists and engineers and what’s needed for the future. This series of invited talks, from key thought leaders in academia, industry, and organizations that support integrated groups of stakeholders will set up the challenge and highlight the opportunities for future educational initiatives.
- Session #2 – Educational Materials Design, Current Initiatives and Future Challenges. The second session of contributed papers will showcase new educational materials and current initiatives that are transforming green chemistry and engineering education and explore how the future of higher education (changing professional school requirements, distance education, etc.) will impact strategies for integrating green chemistry and green engineering across the curriculum.
Green Chemistry Principles and Process Development – Greening the Supply Chain for Commercial Production
The traditional sub-disciplines of chemistry – analytical, physical, organic, and inorganic – are classified by the basic science that defines each area. New, basic science for its own sake is fundamental to Green Chemistry. As a cross-cutting enterprise, however, Green Chemistry derives a substantial degree of meaning from the application of science and technology to achieving sustainability for the global chemical enterprise. The discovery and implementation of green processes for manufacturing is the focus of this session.
Speakers will address strategic questions towards attaining sustainability in chemical manufacturing. The emphasis of these presentations will be on applying Green Chemistry to designing processes that maximize efficiency for products in the marketplace. Implementing the use of renewable raw materials, increasing the efficiency of production, and applying new chemistry in the fields of catalysis and biotechnology to fundamentally different manufacturing approaches will be demonstrated by the speakers at this session. Attendees at this session will have the opportunity to listen to, and interact with, principal scientists who have been responsible for implementing important new manufacturing methods for Green Chemistry manufacturing.
‘Greening’ Formulated Consumer Products: A Supply Chain Perspective
The increasing demand for environmentally-benign cleaning, cosmetic and personal care formulas has consumers asking for products that are not only greener, but that also are cost-competitive and perform as well or better than their existing counterparts. This demand has infiltrated the supply chain, necessitating chemical manufacturers to develop alternatives for common formulation ingredients such as solvents, chelating agents, boron alternatives, uv agents, fragrances, and more. It also has green-labeling organizations evaluating existing and new components to determine eco-label qualifications. This session invites presentations from formulators, chemical manufacturers, eco-label organizations, standard setting bodies, market survey organizations, and others to discuss trends, challenges, and successes related to improving the sustainable profile of formulated consumer products.
Going Global: International Perspectives on Green Chemistry
The chemical industry is highly globalized, and exciting developments are occurring around the world. Some of the most interesting developments are occurring to deal with environmental and safety challenges, as well as supply chains, that cross borders. In this session we consider the growing research, development and educational initiatives that are taking place around the world, including many of the important developments that are the result of cross-national collaborations.
Papers will be considered in the following areas, with priority to authors from outside of the United States (though those whose work has international implications may also submit proposals):
- Novel research in green chemistry and engineering
- Development and implementation of green chemistry and engineering technologies, especially in global supply chains
- Green chemistry education, networking and outreach activities
- Government policies and activities related to green chemistry and engineering
- Research, development and/or implementation of green chemistry through cross-national collaborations and networks
Life Cycle of Biofuels and Biobased Materials
Biofuels and biobased materials can provide a secure source of energy and chemical feedstocks, have the potential for lower environmental impacts than their fossil-fuel based counterparts, and also have environmental impacts in production, use, and end-of-life.
Papers addressing the lifecycle environmental inventory and impacts of biofuels and biobased materials will be considered, including lifecycle assessments of:
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Net energy consumption,
- Water consumption and withdrawal
- Other environmental impacts
Papers with improved methods, inclusion of a range of environmental impacts, detailed assessments based on chemical process analysis, assessments of new processes, fuels and bioproducts, and/or new data to improve previous assessments, are encouraged.
New Toxicology Tools for Designing Safer Chemicals
Consumers are revolting against products that they are learning – after the fact – may be hormonally active. State governments face legislation on banning specific chemicals. Regulatory agencies are overwhelmed with the sheer number of chemicals in commerce; the toxicology of many are uncategorized. Yet these are manageable problems. A central goal of green chemistry is to avoid hazard in the design of new chemicals. This objective is best achieved when information about a chemical’s potential hazardous effects is obtained as early in the design process as feasible. Endocrine disruption is a type of hazard that to date has been inadequately addressed by both industrial and regulatory science. The endocrine system uses chemical signals—hormones—to direct development and reproduction, regulate body function and metabolism, and influence behavior and immunity. An endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that can interfere with any aspect of hormone action.
This session will provide chemists with a better understanding of endocrine disruption as well as with an overview of exciting new tools that are available to chemists to test chemicals under development for potential endocrine disrupting potential. We will be joined in this session by some of the country’s leading experts in biological and health sciences who have put together a suite of tests specific for chemists that can be the key to developing safer products going forward.
Reducing Environmental Impacts of Drilling, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Production by the use of Greener Chemistry
The oil and gas exploration and extraction companies have recognized the need to reduce the potential for environmental impacts of their activities. Environmentally responsible companies have been using greener chemistry to reduce these environmental impacts. This session will describe how greener chemistry has made progress and improvements to the chemicals used for exploration and extraction of oil and gas. The panel discussion will include industry, academia and others to address the progress made, future technology, and the environmental issues yet to be addressed. Only posters will be accepted.
Social Science Perspectives on Green Chemistry
Green chemistry may be a science but its implementation in industry – or not! – results from the interplay of social processes traditionally theorized by business school researchers, legal and policy scholars, historians, economists and political scientists as well as scholars of science and technology. If implementation is the goal, understanding green chemistry as well as its social context from multiple perspectives can yield valuable insights. This session provides a forum for social scientists interested in green chemistry to share their research results as well as to network with each other and the green chemistry community in a unique venue. Papers for this session should address:
- In which ways is green chemistry the same as or different from other technologies for which theories of innovation and frameworks for thinking about adoption in industry exist?
- What is the nature of the link between green chemistry and the emerging green economy?
- What role does regulation and government policy play in the development of green chemistry as a science and in its implementation in industry?
- How does green chemistry relate to the broader social movement seeking reform of chemicals management regimes at state, national and international levels? What role does this movement play in the development of green chemistry as a science and in its implementation in industry?
- What are the business logics for green chemistry? How do these logics map to different parts of the global chemical enterprise? How do these logics map to different sub-fields within green chemistry?
- Which specific hazards and hazardous substances are being targeted for reduction or elimination as the science of green chemistry develops? Which ones have already been reduced or eliminated through the implementation of green chemistry technologies?
- How do these compare with the hazardous substances that are, or should be, of most concern to business, regulators and the public; and what explains any divergences?
- How can interdisciplinary research at the intersection of the social sciences and green chemistry accelerate solutions for the creation of a more sustainable society in the 21st century?
Studies in Green Chemistry
Strategies for Achieving Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Strategies for simultaneously increasing use of renewables and increasing mass, water and energy efficiency/conservation while reducing toxics across the life cycle. Most scientists and engineers in academia, industry and government choose a single measure, or sometimes two, to determine whether a synthetic protocol, a product or formulation is green or sustainable. Because of green chemistry's genesis within the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, the main thrust has been to reduce the generation and use of toxic substances and secondarily, to reduce waste. While these measures are good, they simply are not enough. This session is designed to showcase successful strategies and work that have used a multivariate approach to green chemistry to go beyond the status quo.
Sustainability in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Process Safety and Material Selection
Achieving sustainability is a major objective of the pharmaceutical industry and many successes have been reported. Many of these successes exemplify an efficient synthetic route using materials, including solvents, derived from renewable resources. Judicious materials selection is often regarded as fundamental for a sustainable manufacturing process. However, an often overlooked component of sustainability is process safety. Continuous processing is well known as a means of improving the process safety profile for a given manufacturing process while at the same time increasing materials efficiency. While fine chemicals and petrochemical industries have routinely adopted continuous processing, examples in the pharmaceutical industry are far less common. This session will focus on technologies designed to improve process safety and materials efficiency within the pharmaceutical industry.
Papers for this session should address:
- Case studies of sustainable manufacturing within the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on process safety and material efficiency.
- Comparative analyses of different metrics that highlight the sustainability differences in a manufacturing process. Useful comparative metrics include Process Mass Intensity (PMI) and Global Warming Potential (kg / CO2 eq.)
The Business of Green Chemistry
This session will provide various viewpoints on the business case for renewable, bio-based chemicals and materials. The speakers will include professionals with extensive industry experience in the chemical industry. The papers will address both business development challenges, along with the market opportunities, facing new bio-based chemical and material technologies. The papers in this session will address a range of issues including:
- Best Practices for New Business Development of Bio-based Chemicals
- Methylene Malonates: Value-added green chemistry
The Green Chemistry Commitment
This session will feature a new program titled the Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC), recognizing first signers of the program, as well as presenting Green Chemistry education awards to individuals, departments and students for their achievements in Green Chemistry education. The GCC is a departmental commitment designed for higher educational institutions as a voluntary, flexible framework for chemistry departments to adopt green chemistry theory and practice. The Commitment is centered on student learning objectives that take into account topics such as green chemistry and toxicology, which have traditionally been absent from chemistry programs. The Commitment is designed to be flexible so that each institution can adopt the student learning objectives through different means, recognizing that each department will have different resources and different capabilities.
What Is An Alternative Assessment?
"Green chemistry...reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products." The process then of selecting greener alternatives should "reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances." Currently, government agencies from California to Europe are developing chemical product regulations to define their required alternative assessment procedures. The regulatory approaches are often based upon hazard assessments, or Restricted Substances Lists. Basing chemical product policy decisions on hazard assessments is unprecedented. Historically, chemical policy decisions accepting the presence of hazardous chemicals in our foods, medicines, and consumer products (e.g., gasoline) have been based upon risk assessments. This discrepancy then raises the question: Should chemical product alternative assessments be based upon hazard, risk, lifecycle, or sustainability assessments? This session will explore current procedures, processes underdevelopment, and existing capabilities for performing chemical alternative assessments.