NEXUS Newsletter
January/February 2012 Issue
This newsletter is brought to you by the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute®
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The Nexus Newsletter is a bi-monthly newsletter.  Dedicated to our readers, the Nexus newsletter is designed to connect the global green chemistry community, share information and support the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® and its mission: catalyzing and enabling the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise.
In This Issue
2012 Annual GC&E Conference
ACS GCI Business Plan Competition
If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology..."
A Good Year for Green Chemistry Roundtables
ASC GCI Participates in World Green Chemistry Conference in India
Sustainable and Green Chemistry at the National Science Foundation
EPA Offering $20 Million Funding Grants for Green Chemistry Centers
Green Chemistry Takes Center Stage at University of Scranton
ACS GCI Year-in-Review

Green Chemistry in the News


Greener Nano Whitepaper 

Read white paper.  

Mark Your Calendar 2012
Connect with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® and stay connected to others in the green chemistry movement.
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Share the most recent information when it happens.

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Join the Conversations - ACS Network

Upcoming Events   


The Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment

May 3-6, 2012

Osaka, Japan


Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on Green Chemistry     July 21-27, 2012

Lucca (Barga), Italy


16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

June 18-20, 2012
Washington, DC


**Save the Date! From fundamental research to practical applications and commercialization-you will find it here at the premier meeting place for Green Chemistry and Engineering.

One location, three days, more than twenty technical session areas and a full day of programming devoted to students.


Green Chemistry in Energy and Fuels Symposium

American Chemical Society

August 19-23

Philadelphia, PA

Call for Papers: Submission Due Date: April 10, 2012


4th International IUPAC Conference on Green Chemistry

August 25-29, 2012
Foz do Iguaçu/PR, Brazil

Help us reach our goal - 1,000,000 individuals take action by making small donations that make a big difference to the future of humankind.
Make a $10 commitment to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®.  Many companies will also match your gift. 

 Bob Peoples



Green Chemistry: Expense or Investment? 


Dear Green Chemistry Enthusiast,


We know with certainty that Green Chemistry is good for our environment, and that in turn means it is good for all the people with whom we share this threatened planet.  And yes, it is also good for business. The corollary; any "expenses" associated with implementing Green Chemistry are ultimately outweighed by their tangible benefits. Call it an investment in our future. There are literally thousands of examples around the world to convince the skeptics. An important part of our job is to communicate this valuable return on investment associated with Green Chemistry.


So what is our challenge? I believe it's really pretty straightforward: supporters of Green Chemistry "get it." But we are generally not the ones who make the decision about implementing Green Chemistry. That would be management.


So how do we go about convincing management that Green Chemistry is a good way to go? I suggest that the key components in that process are communication and education. We need to pursue a course that will allow us to get the decision-makers interested and involved. That process will likely vary depending upon the "culture" of the particular organization. Is management open to new ideas-including those that initially may seem a little "out there" ("Green Chemistry, what are you talking about").


And that's where the communication and education come in. First, arm yourself with the facts.  If you are fortunate enough to have direct contact with management you should take advantage of that opportunity to talk with them about Green Chemistry-what it is, how far it has come in a relative handful of years-why it has caught on  across the globe, and why we should give it a good, thorough look.


If you don't have the advantage of that close working relationship with management then you should reach for the highest rung on the ladder to which you do have access. That might be your own supervisory team. Maybe they have a relationship and can get management's ear. Seek their cooperation in getting some "air time" with someone who can share your message with the decision-makers. My key message is to try. Communication is not easy, but it is vital to our success in deploying green chemistry to solve the challenges of this century.  Manufacturing is chemistry in action and people need to know that we have options. 


And if the opportunity arises and management wants to learn more and hear from the experts, point them in our direction. The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is willing and able to help you make the case. And it is a case that needs to be made urgently.



Dr. Robert Peoples


ACS Green Chemistry Institute®
  Mark Your Calendars! 
16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference 


Innovation, Jobs, Sustainability - The Role of Green Chemistry



Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhasiri

Plans are well under way for the 16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, June 18-20 in Washington, D.C. More than 20 session topics have been selected, covering a broad range of green chemistry and engineering topics and initiatives. Click here to take a peek.

Dr. Marcel Wubbolts



Our confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Marcel WubboltsChief Technical Officer, DSM, based in the Netherlands; Dr. Richard Wool, University of Delaware and Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, University of Wisconsin and 2012 President of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Richard Wool



Serving as Conference Chairs will be Dr. Michael LefenfeldDr. Roger Sheldon and ACS GCI Director Dr. Robert Peoples.  Dr. Lefenfeld is the founder and CEO of SiGNa Chemicals, headquartered in New York City, and Dr. Sheldon is Professor of Biocatalysis & Organic Chemistry at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.



As an added bonus, this year's conference will host its first job information session and you don't want to miss it! The American Chemical Society expert career consultants will provide attendees with a host of pertinent information guaranteed to excel one's professional development. Topics will include: Initial planning and résumé preparation, maintaining an effective job search, reviewing employment trends, enhancing professional skills, and more! This event will also be an excellent    way for job seekers to enhance their networking skills, free of charge!  Click here for information about the event.


Upcoming Deadlines


Several deadlines in conjunction with the conference are rapidly approaching, including:

Call for Abstracts: Deadline: Feb. 29.


Dr. Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship Award: Deadline: March 1.


Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Student Award in Green Chemistry: Deadline: March 1.


Help Move Green Chemistry Forward...And Get Paid For It!

ATTENTION business professionals and organizationsThe ACS Green Chemistry Institute will host its inaugural Green Chemistry Business Plan Competition at this year's 16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. This multi-phased competition has been designed to create opportunities that will spark Green Chemistry & Engineering development in the initial stages of the business life cycle.


Competition winners will be announced at the conference and multiple winners will receive cash prizes. To participate, all professionals and organizations applying must have a working knowledge of Green Chemistry & Engineering principles and meet the official competition requirement criteria. For more information, please email:


"If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology,

if it doesn't work it's physics - If it is smart it's Green Chemistry!"


Dear Green Chemistry Colleagues,


Above is a classic quote albeit with my twist in this self-introduction. My background is as varied as the personalities that you all are within the field of Green Chemistry (GC). I am from New Zealand originally which is actually a hot spot for greenhouse gas emissions (methane and carbon dioxide from agriculture) and yet New Zealand has a 'green' reputation to many tourists. Now at the ACS GCI, I'm utilizing a range of approaches in order to convince others of the real world benefits GC offers. Having recently come from the education sector I understand the importance of having an approach to engage students. Fortunately, you the reader are already onboard with GC and the field is undoubtedly growing successfully because of all of your efforts.


One of my priorities at ACS GCI is to facilitate and further advance GC globally whilst meeting the inherent requirements of industry and other chemical stakeholders. The right information in the rights hands is still the Catch 22 to moving GC forward as quickly as possible. I think of the GCI as being a conduit to assist others in seeing the potential of investing time and resources into the application of the 12 principles of Green Chemistry and/or 12 principles of Green Engineering ( Whether having to convince high school students or the head of a company's R&D of the inherent benefits of GC, we continue to need more real world GC business case scenarios as well as highlighting the accompanying GC tools to make the transition to GC happen more easily. Add to the GC mixing bowl Europe's REACH, California's Green Chemistry Rules, and some global company's getting onboard with at least identifying chemicals of concern, then we all need to continue to catalyze the broad ranging and positive impacts of GC.


One underlying theme to enhancing the profile of GC within the global chemistry community is having a cross-functional team, namely chemists as well as business and marketing leaders at the same decision-making table. We know that GC works in practice; however, the GC & Green Engineering principles naturally need to be tailored to individual country as well as individual company needs and that requires a cross-functional group of people. I recently utilized sister schools as one avenue in order to entice high school students to contemplate global science issues and they actually enjoyed learning more about sustainable chemistry from their international peers. We need to promote at all levels of education exactly what GC means to the next generation and future caretakers of our planet's resources.


I look forward to meeting many of you at our upcoming 2012 - 16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference on June 18-20 in Washington, D.C. Interestingly, many a time it is businesses attending GC conferences that make the GC information connections and end up successfully implementing GC practices at their companys. To end on another classic quote from Louis Pasteur "Chance favors the prepared mind." Therefore, I encourage us all to work together in order to prepare the minds of the next generation of green chemists.



David Wylie (Ph.D.)

Program Manager,

ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

(202) 872-6173


A Good Year for Green Chemistry Roundtables

 by Jule Manley 



The ACS GCI industrial roundtables had a very good year in 2011, continuing to make solid progress in their mission of encouraging the integration of Green Chemistry and Engineering in the chemical industry. All three Roundtables experienced growth in their number of participants, as well as a continued increase in their outreach and activity levels.


One of the many highlights for our Pharmaceutical Roundtable this year was the awarding of a two-year $150,000 research grant to Professor Charles L. Liotta of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The grant was awarded to support the research work of the professor and his colleagues, including the Eckert-Liotta group, in their efforts to enhance and promote green engineering practices, which in turn reduces the environmental impact of the chemical manufacturing process. The grant is significant for the Roundtable in two ways. First, it is the first such Roundtable grant awarded for green engineering; all the previous grants have been awarded for green chemistry. Secondly, with this grant the Roundtable's funding for academic research now exceeds $1 million.


In November, a feature column on the Roundtables from Dr. Berkeley Cue, Chairman of the ACS GCI Governing Board, appeared in Chemical and Engineering News.


Click on the appropriate link to see a recap of each ACS GCI Roundtable's activity for the year: Chemical Manufacturer's Roundtable; Formulator's Roundtable; Pharmaceutical Roundtable.


Do you have questions, comments or suggestions about the Roundtables? If so, please contact Julie Manley, our ACS GCI Roundtable representative. She may be reached at: 

GCI Participates in World Green Chemistry Conference in India 

ACS GCI successfully exhibited at the Industrial Green Chemistry World (IGCW) held in Mumbai, December 4-6. More than 200 visitors met with ACS GCI staff at the event, where they received customized information packages about the ACS and GCI. Visitors learned about ACS Career Services, as well as various publications and international activities that were targeted to their needs.


GCI Director Bob Peoples addressed the conference as a featured speaker and followed up with a trip to Jaipur, where he was a keynote speaker at their Green Chemistry conference and addressed a group of students and faculty at the University of Rajasthan. "One of the things I found most rewarding about this trip was the level of enthusiasm and support for green chemistry among people there who are in a position to move the effort forward in that country," said Bob.


Shefali Algoo, GCI Business Development, also participated in the event, staffing the GCI exhibit booth, greeting visitors and speaking at the Expo.


The event was highly successful, as was ACS GCI's participation and we have been asked to consider additional workshops in India in late 2012 or early 2013.

   Sustainable and Green Chemistry at the

National Science Foundation

by Katharine J. Covert and Matthew S. Platz

Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation


On January 4, 2011 President Obama signed H.R. 5116 into law. The reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act directed the National Science Foundation to establish a "Green Chemistry Basic Research" program. The full language of that section of H.R. 5116 is reproduced below.



The Director shall establish a Green Chemistry Basic Research program to award competitive, merit-based grants to support research into green and sustainable chemistry which will lead to clean, safe, and economical alternatives to traditional chemical products and practices. The research program shall provide sustained support for green chemistry research, education, and technology transfer through-

  1. merit-reviewed competitive grants to individual investigators and teams of investigators, including, to the extent practicable, young investigators, for research;
  2. grants to fund collaborative research partnerships among universities, industry, and nonprofit organizations;
  3. symposia, forums, and conferences to increase outreach, collaboration, and dissemination of green chemistry advances and practices; and
  4. education, training, and retraining of undergraduate and graduate students and professional chemists and chemical engineers, including through partnerships with industry, in green chemistry science and engineering.

What does this mean for the research community interested in green or sustainable chemistry? It means there will be an increased emphasis on this important research area. We know that our researchers can make a positive difference. We also know that sustainable chemistry is spread over the Division of Chemistry disciplinary research programs - from Catalysis to Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry to Chemical Measurement and Imaging (see Rather than try to pigeonhole sustainable chemistry in one program or one solicitation, the Division invites sustainable chemistry projects across our portfolio. The Division of Chemistry welcomes "regular" unsolicited proposals as well as GOALI proposals that have a collaboration with industry, individual PI projects, as well as collaboratives. Start thinking now - the Division of Chemistry will be accepting proposals in September and October 2012 (exact deadlines vary by program, so please check the CHE website for the most current information). [full story]



EPA Offering $20 Million Funding Grants for

Green Chemistry Centers


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it is offering $20 million in funding grants for the creation of two Centers for Sustainable Molecular Design, i.e., Green Chemistry. What follows is the summary issued by EPA:


Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications for an interdisciplinary center focusing on the sustainable molecular design of chemicals. The aim of the center will be to develop a set of parameters and strategies that will establish design criteria regarding the properties of chemicals that will lead to the development of intrinsically less hazardous substances when compared to those currently used in society. These newly acquired criteria and design principles will direct researchers towards the generation of novel chemicals that will minimize, and preferably eliminate, associated potential environmental and human health impacts that may occur during the life cycle of that chemical. The advent of these novel chemicals and their respective discovery of correlations between a chemical's inherent properties and their adverse impacts require the development of improved methods for the design of next generation chemicals. Open Date: 12/27/2011 - Close Date: 04/25/2012 [Read the full announcement] 

  Green Chemistry Takes Center Stage at University of Scranton

by Marie Perry and Taryn Anthony


The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge (PGCC) Awards from the last two years took center stage at the end of the Fall 2011 semester at the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA. Dr. Michael Cann developed the Environmental Chemistry class for the new Environmental Science program in 1996, the same year as the first awards. Since then Dr. Cann's students present the different PGCC Awards via a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation and poster.


Groups of students work throughout the semester to familiarize themselves with one specific Award recipient by examining the different aspects of the new chemistry involved. The students learn about a specific area of Green Chemistry and present the Award to their classmates and interested faculty. This past fall the class contained an interesting combination of majors including Environmental Science, Forensic Chemistry and Chemistry business.


The introduction of the Environmental Chemistry course coincided with the inaugural year of the Awards; therefore, the incorporation of them into the class came naturally. Every year, the class exposes students to the real life importance of Green Chemistry and how they can apply their scientific knowledge to real world situations. The presentations provided an interesting and rewarding way for students to engage with Green Chemistry. Not only did the students familiarize themselves with Green Chemistry, they learned the advances and impacts that it makes today.


With the 2010 and 2011 award winners, students saw many different approaches to Green Chemistry, including the creation of new pesticides or changing the creation of commonplace feedstocks. This type of project enhances the lecture and allows students to see real solutions to making the world of chemistry a greener field. The projects made clear Green Chemistry's value and importance to science and sustainability. The Environmental Chemistry class at Scranton benefits students, for this is where science students can learn about Green Chemistry.


The class serves as an elective for most science majors but as a requirement for the students enrolled in the Environmental Science program, which began due to the efforts of Dr. Cann. The program provides an interdisciplinary experience for individuals interested in learning about the environment via both chemistry and biology. It also allows for individuals to gear their education toward what most interests them. At the heart of the program lies the Environmental Chemistry class with its emphasis on Green Chemistry.


The University of Scranton proudly represents one of the few higher learning institutions that include an Environmental Science major.  Incorporating a balance of Biology and Chemistry creates a unique course-load which will hopefully provide the knowledge to make a difference in future years to come. Through the guidance of the University of Scranton's Chemistry and Biology Departments, the future of Green Chemistry looks brighter every day.


Marie and Taryn are undergraduate students at the University of Scranton.


ACS GCI Year-in-Review





 "We have a noble mission." 


Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, 2012 President of the American Chemical Society, in remarks made to the ACS Board of Directors and staffers at a welcoming reception at ACS headquarters on Jan. 18. Click here to read the article from Dr. Shakhashiri in a recent issue of Chemical & Engineering News.  



"The Earth, who has sustained us so well until now, needs us. Of all the sciences that can respond, chemistry will most succinctly answer our planet's distress calls."



 Daniel Nocera, Massachusetts Institute of Technology





"If green chemists don't get their act together toxicologist will never go out of business."


Henry Brynzda, Director of Technology, DuPont

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