There is a shortage of green chemistry practical experiments designed specifically for schools internationally and particularly in developing countries. This competition aims to inspire schools to address this issue by designing their own experiments and sharing these globally.
The GCN will provide prizes for the best experiments and make these available to the public in a free publication. All experiments satisfying the entry criteria will be posted on our website.
The following criteria should be applied by schools in designing the experiment:
- The experiment must adhere to the principles of green chemistry and entrants must write a description of how this is achieved
- The experiment should be suitable for at least one of the key age groups - 11-14, 14-16 & 16-18
- It should be possible to complete the experiment within a typical practical science session at school – max 60 minutes
- The experiment must be suitable to be run in the most rudimentary of school laboratories and should not require ‘specialist equipment’ – needs to be defined
- The experiment must adhere to all of the school’s science lab health & safety regulations
- The experiment should not require exotic or expensive chemicals – ideally the reagents should be readily available and non-toxic
- The experiment should be engaging and fun
- Team registration 30.9.12
- Entry submission start 1.12.12
- Entry submission finish 31.1.13
- Winners announced 1.4.13
4 Stage Process
- Identify opportunity
- Investigate experiment and fine tune
- Write up method including equipment required, safety considerations, how to record results
To register contact: email@example.com
12 Principles of Green Chemistry
- Prevention - It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
- Atom Economy - Synthetic methods should be designed to maximise the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
- Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis - Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to people or the environment.
- Designing Safer Chemicals - Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimising their toxicity.
- Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries - The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents or separation agents) should be made unnecessary whenever possible and innocuous when used.
- Design for Energy Efficiency - Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognised for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimised. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
- Use of Renewable Feedstocks - A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
- Reduce Derivatives - Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/de-protection, and temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimised or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
- Catalysis - Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
- Design for Degradation - Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
- Real-time Analysis for Pollution Prevention - Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
- Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention - Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimise the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.
Source: Green Chemistry Theory and Practice, Anastas & Warner, OUP, 2000
Applying the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry - Module 2
Supporting the Advancement of Chemistry through Sound Environmental Stewardship
Green Chemistry: Le Chatelier's Principle & Dynamic Equilibrium
Green Chemistry in the High School: Lessons from Beyond Benign
ACS Green Chemistry Educational Resources
School Lab Chemical Cleanout Campaign
Green Chemistry in the High School Classroom