NEXUS Newsletter 
July/August 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 designed to connect the global green chemistry community, share information, and support the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® in its mission: catalyzing and enabling the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise.
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Save the Date

 

Upcoming Conferences

  

Gordon Research Seminar & Conference on Green Chemistry

July 21-27, 2012

Lucca (Barga), Italy

 

Advances in Green Chemistry 

New England Association of Chemistry Teachers 73rd Summer Conference

August 6-9, 2012

Bridgewater, MA  

 

Green Chemistry in Energy
and Fuels Symposium
 

American Chemical Society

August 19-23, 2012  

Philadelphia, PA

  

4th International IUPAC
Conference on Green
Chemistry

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

 

3rd Annual Greening
Government Conference

October 16-17, 2012

Toronto, Canada    

 

Platts 2nd Annual Renewable Chemicals - Sugar as the New Crude Oil, Fueling a Growing Chemicals Industry

October 18-19, 2012

Houston, Texas  


4th International Conference
on Sustainable Irrigation and
Drainage: Management,
Technologies and Policies

December 11-13, 2012

Adelaide, Australia   

 

9th International Conference
on Environmental, Cultural,
Economic and Social
Sustainability

January 23-25, 2013

Hiroshima, Japan

 

Sustainability Conference Set in Puerto Rico

  

The Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) and the Institute for Sustainability (IFS) will hold their Sustainability in (Bio)Pharmaceuticals Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 11-14, 2012.

 

The meeting will cover Material Selection and Material Efficiency, Making Multi-Use vs. Single-Use Process Decisions, Greening Manufacturing Processes, and Sustainable Approaches to Product Delivery from Lab to Patient.

 

The Call for Papers is now open.  

 

 IFS

SBE

Cleaning Products 2012: The Intersection of Innovation for Science Based Sustainability  

  

Smithers Apex is hosting the Cleaning Products 2012 Conference to be held, October 3-5, 2012 in Baltimore, MD.  

 

Participants can expect leading organizations like The Procter & Gamble Co., EPA, and Staples to discuss topics such as unit dose, fragrance development strategies, green chemistry innovation, sustainable cleaning products, updates on regulations including the Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program, and much more.   

 

Find out more here. 


Biopolymers Symposium 2012  

  

 

The leading U.S. bioplastics conference, Biopolymers Symposium 2012, presented by Smithers Apex, will be this October 15th-17th in San Antonio, TX.

 

 Join more than 250 key players and decision makers for debates, discussion and networking during the industries longest running and most comprehensive conference.  View the 2012 agenda and book your spot! 

 


ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Now Accepting Submissions 

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, the new peer-reviewed journal dedicated to advancing sustainable processes, is now accepting manuscript submissions. The journal will address research in the areas of green chemistry, green engineering, and the grand challenges for sustainability in chemistry and chemical engineering. With the first articles online in Fall 2012, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering will publish its first issue in January 2013. Watch the video interview of Editor-in-Chief David T. Allen discuss his vision for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.   

 

Visit  ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering home page to learn more and submit your research.

 

Prof. Julie Zimmerman Wins Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize   

Congratulations to Julie Zimmerman, Prof. of Green Engineering, ACS Green Chemistry Institute® board member, and the Associate Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale. Julie has been awarded the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize for her research into developing sustainable, cost-effective technologies for the treatment of drinking water and removal of arsenic. 

 

Applications Now Being Accepted for the CIBA Travel Awards  

 

If you are a U.S. student in high school, college, or graduate school looking to travel to an ACS technical meeting next year to enhance your green chemistry education, you might want to apply for the CIBA Travel Awards in Green Chemistry. Each Award given covers travel expenses up to $2,000. For more information and applications, visit the ACS website. Applications are due October 12, 2012. 

 

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. 
  
ACS Green Chemistry
Institute® Workshops

An Introduction to Green Chemistry

 

This half-day workshop will introduce the basic concepts of green chemistry.

  

  * Provide real-world examples

  * Learn the business case for  

    green chemistry

  * Learn about greener, safer  

    alternatives 

  * Discover resources to   

    continue learning 

 

Aug. 20th 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Philadelphia, PA

 

Find out more    

  

*

Intermediate Green Chemistry

  

This interactive workshop will take a deeper dive into case studies and tools of green chemistry.

  

   * Get a closer look at  

     industrially implemented  

     examples of green chemistry

  *  Build awareness of decision   

     making metrics and   

     assessment tools

  *  Steered by dialog among the  

     attendees

  

Aug. 20th 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia, PA

  

Find out more 

    

*  

Advanced Green Chemistry

  

This highly interactive workshop is tailored to practicing professionals in the chemical enterprise.

  

   * Participate in an in-depth   

     green chemistry synthesis  

     discussion

   * Focus on industrially   

     implemented green chemistry 

     and engineering

   * Sharpen understanding in a  

     discussion of metrics and  

     impact assessments.

  

Aug. 21st 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia, PA   

 

Find out more 

International Sustainable Development: Institutional Frameworks  

 

Symposium Held at the ACS National Meeting  

 

Monday, August 20th, 2012  

9:00 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.  

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown; Salon D

 

 

In the spirit of the recently completed Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the ACS Committee on International Activities has organized a symposium to explore the role that chemical scientists and particularly their supporting organizations can play in creating a safe, healthy, and sustainable Earth. During this half-day event, expert speakers will discuss how their institutions are improving medicine manufacture and delivery in Africa, aiding coffee production and processing in Latin America, ensuring access to clean water and sanitation, and forming eco and educational partnerships in China and Africa.

 

Stop by at the National Meeting or Find out More 

 Bob Peoples

 Dear Green Chemistry Enthusiast,

 

The 16th Annual GC&E Conference is behind us and what an event it was. This issue of The Nexus will highlight major stories from this year's conference which featured a number of firsts: incorporation of the PGCC Award winner reception into our opening night reception, a career workshop, a business plan competition including $50,000 in prize money, and the first live Internet broadcast of a panel presentation and live question and answer session with over 130 international participants and representing 32 countries from around the world. Feedback from conference participants has been very rewarding along with lots of suggestions for how we can further improve next year's event. You will find plenty of information, photos and links below. Keynote presentations are now available to watch, and readers of The Nexus will be able to view all presentations as they are made available on the ACS GCI website. Please mark your calendars for next year's conference June 17-19, 2013 in Washington, DC.

 

This issue marks our fourth anniversary of The Nexus, and you'll notice the introduction of a few permanent sections such as 'Next Gen Green Chemistry' to highlight our young chemists and engineers and 'Green Chemistry & Engineering in Action' to put the spotlight on successful implementation of green chemistry. I'd also like to take the opportunity to ask you what you'd like to see featured in the newsletters to come. Please reply to this newsletter with your comments.

 

I am also happy to report the 10th annual Green Chemistry and Renewable Energy summer school was held in Golden, Colorado the last week of June. A wonderful collection of graduate and postdoctoral students from North and South America joined us and represented both the chemistry and engineering fields. The instructors did an excellent job of engaging the students and making green chemistry and engineering relevant to their studies.  

 

On a more personal note, I have just returned from a holiday trip where I worked with World Water Relief (www.worldwaterrelief.org) a non-profit organization delivering safe drinking water and hygiene training in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. While there I had an opportunity to relate the value of green chemistry to our environment and the importance of chemistry in water treatment. 

 

Finally, if you will be attending the fall national meeting in Philadelphia, please stop by our booth #828 and say hello, and sign up for the  intro, intermediate or advanced workshops on green chemistry. We are excited once again to be sharing booth space with the U.S. EPA. 

 

Remember, green chemistry and engineering are the key to sustainability in the 21st century. 

 

Sign

Dr. Robert Peoples

Director

ACS Green Chemistry Institute®
16th Annual GC&E Conference Highlights    
 
The 16th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference took place June 18th-20th in Washington DC. The theme of the conference----"Innovation, Jobs, Sustainability"----was a timely subject to focus on. Highlights include:
  • Over 500 attendees, including 25 exhibitors and 84 students 
  • 23% attendees from outside of the U.S., hailing from 25 countries around the world.
  • 150 technical sessions
  • 87% of online hybrid session attendees and 85% of general meeting attendees were satisfied or very satisfied with the event
GC&E
Data from 2012 post-conference surve

 Watch slideshows from the conference! 

 

GC&E Awards Slideshow     GC&E Student Slideshow 

GC&E Keynote Slideshow    GC&E General Slideshow  

 

GC&E Keynotes Available to View     
 
Keynote Speakers GC&E 2012
Click on the links below to view recordings of the GC&E keynote speakers.

Dr. Richard Wool, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware opened with an address titled "Sustainability, Jobs and Opportunities through Green Chemistry and Engineering."

Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri, ACS President and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin gave his interactive address, "For the benefit of earth and its people."

Dr. Marcel Wubbolts, CTO at DSM Innovation Center gave a keynote on "What's the Value of Sustainability as a Business Driver?"

Dr. Manian Ramesh, CTO of Water and Energy Services at Ecolab, Inc. gave an address titled "Smart Chemistries for Industries and Environment."
 
32 Countries Join 'Advancing Global Green Chemistry' Keynote Panel        
Hybrid
Dr. Cheryl Martin, Mr. Adam Monroe, Dr. Matthew Platz

On Wednesday morning, a special keynote panel at the GC&E Conference was broadcast live online, inviting viewers around the world to watch and participate. Titled "Advancing Global Green Chemistry: The Role of Government, Business, and Academia," the panel was m
oderated by ACS Executive Director, Madeleine Jacobs and featured Dr. Cheryl Martin, Deputy Director for Commercialization, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Mr. Adam Monroe, North American President, Novozymes, and Dr. Matthew Platz, Director, NSF Division of Chemistry.

 

hybrid
Dr. Roger Sheldon reads a question, as Madeleine Jacobs moderates 

Viewing this hybrid session were over 200 people in the room and an additional 136 online viewers, hailing from 32 countries around the world. The event made for a lively Q&A session with a combination of the in-person audience asking questions and GC&E conference co-chair Dr. Roger Sheldon, Prof. of Biocatalysis & Organic Chemistry, Delft University of Technology reading aloud the questions submitted online.

 

Approaching green chemistry from different sectors----the government, business, and academia----and the additional online participation from North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, brought a wide perspective on green chemistry and engineering research, education, and implementation.  

 

If you missed the event, you can now watch the keynote recording.

 
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge  
Award Winners
Correct version pgcca
Bob Peoples, ACS GCI (left) and Rich Engler, EPA (right) with representatives from Codexis, Inc., winners of the PGCCA Greener Synthetic Pathways Award
ACS President Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri and Jim Jones of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the 2012 award winners for the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge last month at a ceremony held at the EPA, followed by a reception at the GC&E conference. The award winners are:
  • Prof. Robert M. Waymouth of Stanford University and Dr. James L. Hedrick of the IBM Almaden Research Center, in the Academic Category for Organic Catalysis: A Broadly Useful Strategy for Green Polymer Chemistry.
  • Prof. Geoffrey W. Coates of Cornell University, also in the Academic Category for Synthesizing Biodegradable Polymers from Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide
  • Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., of Bolingbrook, IL, in the Small Business Category for Using Metathesis Catalysis to Produce High-Performing, Green Specialty Chemicals at Advantageous Costs.
  • Codexis, Inc., of Redwood City, CA, and Prof. Yi Tang of the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Greener Synthetic Pathways Category for An Efficient Biocatalytic Process to Manufacture Simvastatin.   
  • Cytec Industries, Inc., of Woodland Park, NJ, in the Greener Reaction Conditions Category for MAX HT® Bayer Sodalite Scale Inhibitor.
  • Buckman International Inc., of Memphis, TN, in the Design of Greener Chemicals Category for Enzymes Reduce the Energy and Wood Fiber Required to Manufacture High-Quality Paper and Paperboard.  
The Challenge is sponsored by the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in partnership with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® and other members of the chemical community. Visit the EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge web site for research summaries and other details.

In future issues of The Nexus, we will be featuring PGCCA winner interviews.
GC&E Green Business Plan Competition a Success 
ancatt
Michael Lefenfeld (left) and Bob Peoples (right) award Sue Wang of AnCatt $40k for first place in the GC&E Business Plan Competition.

As you may know, one of the new events this year at the GC&E Conference was the Inaugural GC&E Business Plan Competition, and by all accounts, it was an outstanding success! Under the direction of the ACS Chair, Entrepreneur Resource Center, Michael Lefenfeld, President & CEO,  SiGNa Chemistry, Inc., the competition attracted over 15 teams from around the United States. Four finalists were invited to the conference in Washington, D.C., to make formal presentations. A three-member panel judged the finalists with input from scorecards filled out by members of the audience.  

 

Sponsored by Preferred Sands, Cabot, Strem Chemicals, K & L Gates, and SiGNa Chemistry, AnCatt Inc. was awarded the first place and a $40,000 cash prize for their business plan. Their presentation, "The Next Generation of Anti-Corrosion Coating Technologies" focused on developing a unique environmentally compatible high performance anti-corrosion coating platform technology utilizing novel conductive polymer nanodispersion (CPND) as anti-corrosion pigments instead of traditional toxic heavy-metal pigments such as chromate, lead, and cadmium.  

 

Michael Lefenfeld (left) and Bob Peoples (right) award Mian Khalid of SafeliCell $10k for second place.
The second place winner SafeLiCell, represented by University of Maryland undergraduate Mian Khalid, was presented with a $10,000 cash prize for their plan "Safe and Powerful Battery Solutions." SafeLiCell has developed a novel, patent-pending battery electrolyte material, called Lithium Flex, which provides for a lighter, safer, and flexible lithium based energy source.

 

 

As planning begins for the 2013 GC&E Business Plan Competition, please send Shefali Algoo, your questions, suggestions and thoughts.   

 

Trinity College wins $30k Education Grant from Applied Separations at the GC&E Conference

Applied Seperations Award
Rolf Schlake, CEO, Applied Separations awards Dr. Janet Morrison of Trinity College an Educational Grant
Applied Separations, Inc. from Allentown, PA is excited to announce the winner of its 2nd Annual Supercritical Fluids Education Grant worth over $30K. Congratulations to Dr. Janet Morrison from Trinity College!

 

Recognizing the importance of teaching Green Chemistry in post-secondary education, Applied Separations, in conjunction with ACS Green Chemistry Institute®, selected Dr. Morrison and her proposal to use the Spe-ed SFE Prime in the development of analytical methods for foods and for drugs of abuse.

 

SFE The grant award includes Applied Separations' Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) system (pictured to the left) created specifically for the educational market, the Spe-ed SFE Prime. The system and supporting materials will provide Dr. Morrison with everything necessary to impart the fundamentals of the supercritical fluid extraction process on students and demonstrate the implementation of this environmentally friendly, green chemistry technique. In addition to the instrument, included in the grant award is a syllabus and lesson plans written by Supercritical Fluids expert and well-known professor, Doug Rainey; class handouts; student-friendly Application Notes and Online Resources.

 

Dr. Morrison's students at Trinity will use the Spe-ed SFE Prime to in many applications, including determining the total fat content of food samples; complementing existing methods development efforts on detection of "bath salts" and other drugs of abuse in biological samples; and undertaking more advanced concepts by having students generate extraction profiles to optimize extraction time and explore extraction kinetics so students can most effectively and critically evaluate and compare the SCF method with conventional solvent based methods.

 

Applied Separations is firmly committed to the advancement of Green Chemistry through the use of Supercritical Fluids as a replacement for petroleum-based solvents and in industries such as aerogels, foods, pharmaceuticals, material science, critical cleaning, and nanotechnology. Consistently discovering new uses and applications for this technology is and has been the mission of Applied Separations for the last 25 years.

NEXT GEN GREEN CHEMISTRY
#studentsruleGC 
By David Wylie, ACS GCI Program Manager 
Student Workshop at GC&E 2012
Student Workshop at GC&E Conference
  

The #studentsruleGC (Green Chem.) Twitter hashtag I made up to highlight how impressed myself and others are after recently interacting with a range of university undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, and their futures as green chemistry and green engineering practitioners and leaders.

 

One of the goals of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is to catalyze and enable the education and awareness of green chemistry and engineering to students of all ages. Over recent weeks-in the early summer when students often have many other priorities-a range of students participated in several green chemistry and engineering events. These students, by simply attending, already have their priorities well defined in wanting to advance their awareness and understanding of green chemistry & engineering. But they didn't just passively attend-the students impressed me and others with thought provoking and engaging questions. The networking opportunities alone that all these students were a part of are invaluable and set a bright future to our expanding green chemistry and engineering community.

 

Making a dye-sensitized solar cell at the GC&E student workshop 

As part of the recent 16th Green Chemistry & Engineering (GC&E) Conference held in Washington D.C., numerous university undergraduate to post-doctoral students attended the conference, experiencing firsthand world-class speakers and their accompanying discussions. In addition, students had the opportunity to check out a business plan competition, a virtual hybrid meeting, and participate in a poster competition. Emphasizing that green chemistry and green engineering is a global development; participating students were from around the U.S. including Puerto Rico, as well as Canada, India, and several European and African countries. Immediately after the GC&E Conference a full day student workshop was held with students again having the benefit of engaging with experts in green chemistry, toxicology, and chemical engineering. Students discussed in groups the 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners, and Beyond Benign led a hands-on experience making dye-sensitized solar cells.

 

The ACS Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy Summer School was also recently held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. Fifty-four students from across the U.S. as well Canada, Latin American and South American countries were selected amongst 100 applicants. Graduate and post-doctoral students listened and openly discussed their views with guest experts in the fields of green chemistry and green engineering. Topics covered included chemistry in the 21st century, the principles of sustainable chemistry and engineering, bio-inspired nanotechnology, greener solvents, renewable energy, and green chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry, amongst others. Of interest was the fact that most students wanted to enter industry, followed by academia. The poster sessions, and being able to discuss chemistry over a beer, added to the relaxed learning environment for students. Team building activities such as line dancing and white water rafting cemented the networking relationships.  

 

After 10 years, several hundred students have now gone through the ACS Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy Summer School, resulting in many students now championing green chemistry in industry, academia and other roles. Industrial implementation of green chemistry is pivotal to advancing green chemistry and green engineering; similarly, students are pivotal to educating the public at large. The summer school students being part of the Millennium Generation are well versed in social media tools, adding to their potential outreach and communication of green chemistry well beyond their campuses. Many students commented how valuable business cases studies and real world examples are to convincing the non-green chemistry believers these millennial students still encounter at their universities.

 

The past two weeks were rewarding for the students and convinced myself, as well as the conference workshop and summer school organizers and speakers, that the torch of green chemistry and green engineering will be passed on to a very capable set of students who will be our next generation of green chemistry and engineering practitioners and leaders. My sincere thanks to all the students involved for making both events very successful and very memorable.

 

 

A Student Volunteer's Experience  
By Yannick P. Ouedraogo, Ph.D., Chemistry, Florida Institute of Technology  
Yannick
Yannick Ouedraogo, Ph.D.
  

I was fortunate to attend the 16th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering conference in Washington DC as a volunteer. This was my second year in attendance; my first experience as an NSF Scholar in 2011 exceeded my expectations, and I was eager to participate again. My initial exposure to "green chemistry" was through the graduate class at Florida Tech which covered the 12 principles and their applications in research. I since took interest in promoting greener processes through teaching labs and outreach.

 

The GC&E Conference provides an unparalleled opportunity to interact with scientists and engineers from the various entities of academia and industry which are directly involved in making a "greener world" a reality. I was thrilled to see the laudable progress in several industries from last year's discussions. The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI)'s GC&E conference surpasses other professional conferences by bridging diverse topics and disciplines. I particularly liked the balance of discussions on the chemical, engineering, ethical, economic and political aspects of greener processes and policies domestically and internationally.

 

I strongly recommend the experience to anyone interested in promoting a greener Earth. Besides DC being very scenic, the conference is a great venue to learn and network; I have met inspirational personalities both years. The outstanding ACS GCI team is very hospitable and thrives on accommodating all conference attendees and volunteers. This year's conference was one of my most enjoyable and productive weeks away from my research lab, and I hope to attend again.

 


The ACS GCI Roundtables Updates

On June 19th, the ACS GCI Roundtables----ACS GCI supported industry groups which collaborate to integrate green chemistry and engineering into industry----came together to host the 2nd Annual ACS GCI Roundtable Poster Reception sponsored by Florida Chemical Company and Health and Environmental Sciences Institute. The event was overwhelmingly successful:

  • 98% of survey respondents felt the reception expanded attendees' network to foster the research, development, and marketing of industrially relevant, greener alternatives.
  • 74% of survey respondents learned about a greener technology, material, market need, or research idea that may be applicable to their organization.
  • 100% of poster presenters responding to the survey thought the event was a valuable experience and would consider presenting again in a future reception.
  • 100% of survey respondents would encourage others to participate in a future reception.
Roundtable Poster Reception
2nd Annual ACS GCI Roundtable Poster Reception

The ACS GCI Chemical Manufacturer's Roundtable performed a survey to better understand green chemistry implementation in the industry. Results will be reported in the future. Additionally, the Roundtable membership definition was updated to clarify that members include companies producing chemicals from renewable resources as well as petroleum, natural gas, or other sources and establishments manufacturing products by chemical or biochemical processes.

 

The ACS GCI Formulators' Roundtable is collaborating with several organizations including the US EPA Design for Environment Program to support program improvements, the US EPA Office of Research and Development to encourage greener chelants, as well as exploring collaborations with other organizations such as the Consumer Specialty Products Association and the US Department of Commerce.

 

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable recently allocated $100,000 for a research grant addressing greener solvents. A Request for Proposals will be coming soon, and will be announced on the ACS GCI website. Among a number of projects, the Roundtable is working on a reagent selection guide, metrics to evaluate the greenness of biopharma, and business cases for continuous manufacturing.

 

To learn more, please contact j_manley@acs.org 

GREEN CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING IN ACTION
In the green chemistry and engineering community, science is the native language---yet we all know that unless research discoveries are utilized in industries, they remain a potential, rather than an actual benefit to the world. This column highlights companies that are applying green chemistry and engineering research to create new products, or to implement new processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of substances hazardous to human health and the environment.

YFY Corp Creates Paper from Straw Through a Biopulping Process 

   

One company that caught our attention at the recent GC&E Conference for exemplifying turning green chemistry into action is YFY Corp from Taiwan, whose new product NPulp is changing the way paper products are made.  

 

npulp Not only is their new product----a paper made out of straw----decreasing the amount of energy, chemical input, and waste output that usually goes into creating paper from wood, but it also addresses the socioeconomic environment in rural China by creating an extra revenue stream for farmers.

 

A result of 10 years of research and development by scientists at YFY Corp, the process is called "bio-pulping," a proprietary enzymatic process that eliminates the use of harsh chemicals when converting straw into straw pulp. The product sample which I was able to feel at the conference (pictured above), looks and feels like a sturdy paperboard. It is already being used to create corrugated cardboard, molded cushion packaging, and conventional paper products,  

 

npulp Why straw? Straw is considered a waste material in much of rural China. After grain is harvested; the traditional practice is to burn the field, clearing it for the next planting. Field burning is a significant contributor to air pollution problems and greenhouse gas emissions. This new process enables farms to cut and sell the straw as a second crop, while eliminating the pollution from burning. An estimated 600 million tons of straw biomass are available in China, which if processed into pulp would equal the amount of wood pulp produced globally every year. This is a significant green chemistry achievement, since paper making from wood is one of the most environmentally unfriendly processes.  

 

For further information, watch Ron Allen, President of Mobius105, a wholly-owned subsidiary of YFY Corp and the exclusive distributor of NPulp, being interviewed at the GC&E Conference by ACS Senior Science Writer Katie Cottingham. 

Is Green Chemistry Sustainable in South Africa?

     

Contributed by Dr. V. Nyamori, South African Chemical Institute (SACI) Green Division Chair, and Dr. W. van Zyl, SACI Green Division Secretary   

 

South Africa
Dr. Vincent Nyamori 

Green chemistry is a philosophy that aims to reduce or eliminate the use and generation of waste and to maximize the efficiency of chemical products and processes. As such, green chemistry can be applied to sustainable topics such as energy, agriculture, water purification, and many others. In South Africa, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) plays a key role on in deciding science policy.  

 

In 2007, the DST launched the Ten-year Innovation Plan (TYIP), which incorporated the five Grand Challenges. This plan greatly implicates and overlaps with Green Chemistry. One of the main TYIP challenges was the issue of "Enhancing the culture of innovation and using it to strengthen economic growth." Practical mechanisms were being put into place by government to achieve this. This included creation of The Centres of Competence (CoC) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). The CoCs would bring together existing capacities in the national system of innovation (NSI) from industry, government and science councils into a special purpose vehicle that works towards a common objective. The field of green chemistry was one such potential area in which a CoC, could be established.

 

South Africa
Dr. Werner van Zyl 

Other associations of the Ten-Year Innovation Plan (TYIP) for a green chemistry programme were the renewed emphasis on human capital development (HCD), in which the DST was already investing through the Research Chairs programme, centres of excellence and bursaries. The TYIP had stressed the importance of international partnerships. The DST is in a position to engage with international partners which could enhance cooperation.  

 

At governmental level, the Minister of Economic Development highlighted the need to define a new growth path. In this context, the concepts of a knowledge-based economy and a green economy were important. Practical steps would have to be developed to take forward a knowledge-based green economy, and it is hoped that planned workshops would contribute to the development of the DST Green Economy Strategy.

 

South Africa needs to enhance its capabilities and grow the area of green chemistry; given the present fiscal constraints on the public purse, this would require a strong business case.  Click here to continue.   
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