News & Events
Current issues in green chemistry are covered in the Green Chemistry Network Newsletter
Hazardous Chemicals Substitution Portal Launched
Do you know a safe alternative to a hazardous chemical? We would like to publish this in our new database!
SUBSPORT- the Substitution Support Portal- is a new tool to facilitate phase-out of hazardous chemicals. The web portal is the result of a EU-funded project driven by four European organisations: ChemSec, Grontmij, ISTAS and Kooperationsstelle Hamburg.
The idea behind SUBSPORT is to provide a first entry point for anyone interested in substitution. SUBSPORT provides useful substitution resources of various kinds, including a database of restricted and priority substances, substitution requirements in various international regulations, summaries of tools to assess and compare alternatives and a database with concrete substitution examples and alternative solutions.
The organisers are now looking for more “case stories” to the alternatives database. A case story could be either from a producer or from a user of a safer alternative to a hazardous chemical. A case story describes the substitution or alternative including some information on aspects like costs and function. The alternative could be another chemical or a technical solution. All alternatives are briefly assessed by the SUBSPORT team for hazardous properties before publication. www.subsport.eu
You can also read more about the project in this leaflet: http://www.chemsec.org/images/stories/2012/chemsec/SUBSPORT_leaflet_final.pdf
If you are interested in providing a case story and/or have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Anna.firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 30 November 2012
Clariant Wins Top ICIS Innovation Award for 2012
The winners of the ICIS Innovation Awards 2012 cover a broad spectrum of innovation, from a water-saving technology for denim production to classical polymer development, rare earth recycling and novel CO catalysis. Congratulations go to Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant for its Advanced Denim development, which not only took the overall award, but also won the category for Innovation with Best Environmental Benefit.
ICIS Innovation Awards 2012
Date: 19 October 2012
Simply No Substitute
There is increasing concern that restricted supplies of certain metals and other critical minerals could hinder the deployment of future technologies. This new white paper by Cientifica and Material Value: ‘Simply No Substitute?’, takes a critical look at the current technology and policy landscape in this vital area, and in particular, the attempts to develop substitutes for critical materials.
A huge amount of research and development is currently taking place in academic and industrial research laboratories, with the aim of developing novel, innovative material substitutes or simply to ‘engineer-out’ critical materials with new designs. As an example, analysis shows the number of patents related to substitutes for rare earth elements has doubled in the last two years. However, the necessity and effectiveness of this research activity is still unclear and requires greater insight. Certainly, as this white paper details, there is no universal agreement between Governments and other stakeholders on what materials are at risk of future supply disruptions.
Date: October 2012
Recycling to Save Renewables from Shortage of Materials
Norwegian scientists are extracting rare earth metals from scrap. Their aim is to prevent scarcity of materials from holding back energy-conservation efforts.
Rare earth metals are essential materials for wind-turbines and environmentally friendly cars, but they are becoming scarcer by the day. Norway, represented by SINTEF, is on the hunt for suitable methods of recovering them.
Rare-earth metals such as neodymium (Nd) and dysprosium (Dy) have been called the “key enablers” of green technologies. They are vital ingredients in the electricity generators in wind-turbines, and in the electric motors that power electric and hybrid road vehicles. However, the demand for these elements has risen much faster than their supply. Prognoses suggest that many of them will become scarce as early as 2015.
From Seawater to CO2
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process.
"The potential payoff is the ability to produce JP-5 fuel stock at sea reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with no environmental burden and increasing the Navy's energy security and independence," says research chemist, Dr Heather Willauer.
NRL has successfully developed and demonstrated technologies for the recovery of CO2 and the production of H2 from seawater using an electrochemical acidification cell, and the conversion of CO2 and H2 to hydrocarbons (organic compounds consisting of hydrogen and carbon) that can be used to produce jet fuel….continue reading >>
Source: Naval Research Laboratory
Date: 24 September 2012
Scientific Discovery Offers 'Green' Solution in Fight Against Greenhouse Gases
A low-cost new material that could lead to innovative technologies to tackle global warming has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham.
The porous material, named NOTT-300, has the potential to reduce fossil fuel emissions through the cheaper and more efficient capture of polluting gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The research, published in the scientific journal Nature Chemistry, demonstrates how the exciting properties of NOTT-300 could provide a greener alternative to existing solutions to adsorb CO2 which are expensive and use large amounts of energy…. continue reading >>
Source: University of Nottingham
Date: 24 September 2012
Cancer Research Yields Unexpected New Way to Produce Nylon
In their quest for a cancer cure, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute made a serendipitous discovery -- a molecule necessary for cheaper and greener ways to produce nylon. The finding, described in the Sept. 23, 2012, issue of the journal Nature Chemical Biology, arose from an intriguing notion that some of the genetic and chemical changes in cancer tumours might be harnessed for beneficial uses…. continue reading >>
Source: Duke Health
Date: 23 September 2012
Solvent Guide to Replace DCM in Chromatography
A quick bench-top solvent guide reference has been developed in order for alternative solvents to dichloromethane (DCM) to be selected for separation of a variety of organic molecules.
Chromatography is widely used by synthetic chemists for purification as it can be broadly applied to a vast range of compounds and is very adaptable. However, the largest contributor of chlorinated solvent waste in the medicinal chemistry industry is chromatography – primarily DCM. Given the significant human and environmental toxicities associated with DCM, reduction or ideally replacement of this solvent is important… continue reading >>
Source: RSC Blogs, Mary Babcock
Date: 18 September 2012
Spinach Power Gets a Major Boost
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a way to combine the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon, the material used in solar cells, in a fashion that produces substantially more electrical current than has been reported by previous “biohybrid” solar cells.
More than 40 years ago, scientists discovered that one of the proteins involved in photosynthesis, called Photosystem 1 (PS1), continued to function when it was extracted from plants like spinach. Then they determined PS1 converts sunlight into electrical energy with nearly 100 per cent efficiency, compared to conversion efficiencies of less than 40 per cent achieved by manmade devices. This prompted various research groups around the world to begin trying to use PS1 to create more efficient solar cells... continue reading >>
Source: Vanderbilt University
Date: 4 September 2012
Waste Cooking Oil Makes Bioplastics Cheaper
Bioplastics’ that are naturally synthesized by microbes could be made commercially viable by using waste cooking oil as a starting material. This would reduce environmental contamination and also give high-quality plastics suitable for medical implants, according to scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick.
The Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) family of polyesters is synthesized by a wide variety of bacteria as an energy source when their carbon supply is plentiful. Poly 3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the most commonly produced polymer in the PHA family. Currently, growing bacteria in large fermenters to produce high quantities of this bioplastic is expensive because glucose is used as a starting material.…. continue reading >>
Source: Society for General Microbiology
Date: 3 September 2012
Researchers Explore a Sustainable Bio-based Chemical Economy
With cyanobacteria, carbon dioxide and sunlight, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers aims to create a sustainable alternative source of commodity chemicals currently derived from an ever-decreasing supply of fossil fuels. Funded through a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program, the team will develop and evaluate a systems-level biorefinery strategy for using photosynthetic methods to produce chemical compounds…. continue reading >>
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Date: 23 August 2012
Turning Wastewater into Food
German researchers have developed an efficient and environmentally friendly process to recover phosphate from wastewater for use in fertiliser. The electrochemical process, which is currently being tested in a mobile pilot plant, could contribute towards a sustainable future for agricultural phosphorus use.
Phosphorus is essential for all living organisms. As a result, it is applied to agricultural fields across the world in the form of a phosphate fertiliser. However, the world's main source of phosphorus – phosphate rock – is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive due to high global demand for fertiliser. The knock-on effect is increasing food prices and food insecurity…. continue reading >>
Source: Chemistry World
Date: 22 August 2012
Bacteria-Eating Viruses May Power Cell Phones
In their search for eco-friendly energy sources, scientists have learned how to harness power from ever smaller living things: first corn, then algae, now bacteria. By figuring out how to generate electricity using the M13 bacteriophage, a virus that infects bacteria, engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have gone smaller still. Although the virus-powered device produces only a tiny bit of energy, it may one day pave the way for cell phones that can be charged while you walk.…. continue reading >>
Source: Scientific American
Date: 11 August 2012
Putting Green Chemistry into Mobile Apps to Communicate Globally
Several new mobile applications (Apps) have been recently released, for the Apple iOS platform, which incorporate green chemistry concepts. This represents a highly novel way to communicate science and bring green chemistry to a bigger audience, which has not previously been appreciated.
We certainly sense there is an untapped audience for these types of applications due to the large number of people who now own a mobile device across all demographics. Green Chemistry related information is generally proprietary and papers on the topic are commonly behind paywalls. Making the information freely available or at low cost is a paradigm shift…. continue reading >>
Source: RSC Blogs, Anna Simpson
Date: 12 July 2012
New Class of Catalysts Opens Up Green Route to a Range of Chemical Products
Caltech chemists in the lab of Nobel laureate Bob Grubbs have developed a new class of catalysts
that will increase the range of chemicals—from pharmaceuticals, insect pheromones, and perfume
musks to advanced plastics—that can be synthesized using environmentally friendly methods. The
new chemicals include the metal ruthenium and help drive a chemical reaction called olefin
metathesis. That reaction has proven useful and efficient for making chemical products that involve
pairs of carbon atoms connected by double bonds.
Date: 9 July 2012
Programmable DNA Scissors Found for Bacterial Immune System
Genetic engineers and genomics researchers should welcome the news from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) where an international team of scientists has discovered a new and possibly more effective means of editing genomes. This discovery holds potentially big implications for advanced biofuels and therapeutic drugs, as genetically modified microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, are expected to play a key role in the green chemistry production of these and other valuable chemical products.
Date: 28 June 2012
New American Chemical Society Journal To Publish Research Aimed at Advancing Sustainable Processes
The journal scope will emphasize five focal areas of research:
- Life-cycle assessment
- Green chemistry
- Waste as resources
- Alternative energy
- Green innovative manufacturing
Date: 2 May 2012
Inexpensive, abundant starch fibres could lead to 'ouchless' bandages
A process that spins starch into fine strands could take the sting out of removing bandages,as well as produce less expensive and more environmentally-friendly toilet paper, napkins and other products, according to Penn State food scientists.
Date: 1 May 2012
Update to the Endangered Elements Periodic Table
Dynamic change is an inevitability which is why we should be building our economies and businesses to be more resilient (just as Nature is). Those who expect the world to carry on as it does now usually end up with a shock. The pace of change can sometimes be startling.
Date: 1 May 2012
DCU researcher creates green solution to MRSA superbug
Researchers at Dublin City University, using ‘a synergy of green chemistry and medicinal chemistry’, have created an antimicrobial drug which targets highly resistant strains of the MRSA superbug. Green drug for MRSA.
Date : April 2012
French say oui to algae
INRA - the French public agricultural research institute - announce €160 million new collaborative platform to bring together key players in the development of microalgae in France. The primary goal of the GreenStars programme is to develop compounds of interest, such as efficient biofuels and high added value substances with microalgae feeding on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and nutrients contained in waste.
Date: 23 April 2012
Sugar fatty alcohols near commercialization
Developers of sugar-based surfactants expect commercialization by 2013-2015. Several US developers of sugar-based fatty alcohols are looking for funding sources as they gear up to compete in the global surfactants market in the next two to three years. Codexis estimates the annual global market for detergent alcohols at $4bn.
Date: 20 April 2012
Living battery – biofuel cells operating in vivo in clams
Biofuel cells implanted in living clams and producing sustainable electrical power in vivo were integrated in batteries. The “electrified” clams, being biotechnological living “devices”, were able to generate electrical power using physiologically produced glucose as the fuel.
Date: 12 April 2012
“Life Cycle Analy zer ” supports sustainable solutions in concrete
The BASF “Life Cycle Analyzer” assesses the environmental profile of concrete based on selected
indicators, such as Global Warming Potential (also known as “carbon footprint”), Primary Energy
Demand or Acidification Potential. In addition, it evaluates the cost impact, in order to determine the
eco-efficiency. The tool allows quick calculation of the environmental and cost impact of different
concrete mix-designs, allowing direct comparison of different scenarios.
Date: 10 April 2012
Special report: MICROALGAE - A Future cornerstone of green chemistry
With rising prices and the likelihood of fossil fuel scarcity, industry is showing an ever-increasing
interest in renewables. Amongst these, as yet little-used microalgae could be used to supply various
sectors of industry.
Date: March 2012
Industrial Green Chemistry World 2013
6-8 December 2013, Mumbai, India
GPCA Sustainability Conference
17-19 December 2013, Dubai, UAE
Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2014
11-14 March 2014, The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA
Green Polymer Chemistry 2014
18-20 March 2014, Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany
26-29 March 2014, Jena
4th International Congress on Green Process Engineering
7-10 April 2014, Sevilla, Spain
Cleantech Forum Europe 2014
19-21 May 2014, The Brewery and Stockholm City Hall, Sweden
10th International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries
4-6 June 2014
Green Chemistry and Sustainable Engineering
29-31 July 2014, Barcelona
All of the events listed have at least one session on green or environmental chemistry. If you know of other events which should be included, then please email us.