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Providing Real-Life Experience While Learning Green Chemistry Principles Dalila Kovacs Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI


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Title: Providing Real-Life Experience While Learning Green Chemistry Principles Dalila Kovacs Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI

Providing Real-Life Experience While Learning
Green Chemistry PrinciplesDalila KovacsGrand
Valley State UniversityAllendale,
MI GCEC-Washington-June 08
Grand Valley State University Grand
Rapids/Allendale, MI
  • 24,000 students
  • over 4,900 freshmen
  • GVSU Chemistry Department mission
  • strong undergraduate education!

Education for the 21st century
  • Meeting responsibilities
  • economic
  • social
  • environmental

  • Strong need for on the job training
  • Green principles
  • Sustainability
  • Atom economy
  • Life cycle analysis

Amy Duvall, Director Regulatory Technical
Affairs, American Chemistry Council, Dec 07,
DEQ, Lansing, MI.
Why should we teach
  • Real-life cases are still marginal material or
    additional reading in the textbooks
  • Fundamentals of real-life cases are curiosities
  • Atom economy and life cycle analysis concepts are
  • Halogenated solvents are the first or the only
  • etc

Have you heard of Green Chemistry
December 2006, GVSU campus
Have you heard of Green Chemistry
December 2006, GVSU campus
What next?
  • We were compelled to change!

  • Teaching Green Chemistry Sustainability
  • Start right! Green principles
  • Challenges and solutions
  • Real-life case studies
  • Sample of student work

  • Connecting principles of green chemistry
    sustainability with the currently applied
    industrial processes brings two main challenges
  • To provide access to the newest developments in
    the industrial fields
  • To align both the teaching content and the
    teaching strategies with the continuing updating
    requirements imposed by economic and
    environmental factors

Solutions to the challenges
  • Move away from traditional topics toward
    real-life cases.
  • Change the design and methodology to fit this new
  • Initiate and develop partnership with local area
    businesses interested in greening' their
    production/operation while providing real-life
    cases for study.
  • Use the practical cases as an ideal ground for
    challenging the students' ability to analyze and
    understand the existing problems and to develop
    their critical thinking, while finding creative

Green Chemistry Industrial Processes
Objective 1
  • Start with Green Chemistry principles
  • Students will gain knowledge in chemistry-based
    industrial processes starting from the green
    chemistry principle instead of the traditional
  • Essential green chemistry concepts will be used
    as the tool of choice in analysis
  • Atom efficiency (AF)
    Environmental (E) factor,
  • Effective mass yield (EMY) Life
    Cycle Analysis (LCA).

Industrial Chemistry Topics
  • Introduction
  • History, chemical industry survey (Top
    20), traditional industrial chemistry
  • Major Inorganic Chemical Processes Bulk
    Commodity Chemicals
  • Industrial Gases N2, O2, NH3, Cl2, CO2
  • Industrial Acids/Bases H2SO4, H3PO4, HNO3,
    NaOH, Na2CO3,
  • Major Organic Chemical Processes Fine Specialty
  • Fossil Fuels Petrochemicals
    Ethylene, propylene, ethylene dichloride,
    benzene, MTBE, vinyl chloride etc.
  • Polymer Chemistry PVC, acrylic,
    polyethylene, polystyrene, teflon.
  • Major Commercial Products Food additives,
    refrigerants, dyes, surfactants, pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental Impact Challenges/Solutions
  • Global warming, acid rain, smog,
    ozone depletion, eutrophication, toxic metals,
    carcinogens, endocrine-disrupting substances

Green Chemistry Topics
  • Definition, Tools, and Principles of Green
  • Feedstock, Starting Materials, Reaction Types
  • Methods to Design Safer Chemicals Waste
    Minimization, Energy and Environment
  • Solvents, Catalysis, Polymers, Acids Bases,
    Racemic resolution, etc
  • Green Alternative Solutions Materials for a
    Sustainable Economy

Anastas Warner Matlack Lancaster
Green Chemistry Industrial Processes Objective
  • Use key factors
  • sustainability industrial process
  • environmental efficiency
  • throughout the course
  • Focus continuously on
  • perennial availability of resources
  • elimination of waste.

Green Chemistry Industrial Processes Objective
Use real-life cases as vehicle to provide an
interactive problem-solving approach
  • Investigate a scaled-up processes currently
  • Reflect on the application of green chemistry
  • Explore exhaustively the current status of
    knowledge and innovation in the filed
  • Propose creative solutions.

A viable solution academia-business partnership
  • Use the course as a vehicle to provide the
    students with
  • theory and philosophical principles
  • the opportunity to manifest their creativity in
    applying the green chemistry principles to
    existing, unsolved problems in industrial
    scaled-up processes.

How to do it?
  • Build a partnership among the local area
    businesses interested in greening their
    production and/or operation and the GVSU
  • The business will provide the real-life problem.
  • The students will apply and practice their
    knowledge of green chemistry principles aiming
    toward providing new and innovative approaches to
    the real-life problem presented.

At beginning of the semester
  • Available project/partnerships presented to the
  • Students choose the problem they will like to
    work on.
  • Once the student-company partnership is
    established, the company have an excellent
    opportunity to directly involve the students.

To the student At the end of the semester you
should be able to
  • Locate, evaluate and use the available
    information connected with green chemical
  • Integrate the area of Green Chemistry into your
    own of chemistry expertise
  • Integrate the variety of data addressing both the
    effect of humans on the environment and the
    effect of the environment on the humans using
    green chemistry principles.
  • Effectively articulate green chemistry principles
    through effective speaking.
  • Articulate green chemistry principles through
    effective writing.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the important
    role chemistry and its industrial applications
    play in our everyday lives.

Student gain
  • Knowledge in industrial processes based on green
    chemistry principle instead traditional approach
  • Understanding of sustainability and the
    environmental efficiency with focus on benign
    chemistry, renewable resources and on
    elimination, recovery and reutilization of waste
  • Direct involvement in solving real-life problems
    by investigate and reflect on the application of
    green processes currently in-use and propose
    creative solutions to the problem they engaged in

Business gain
  • Opportunity to actively participate in the
    education of West Michigan future workforce.
  • Opportunity to mentor the student in what would
    be most likely his/her first exposure to
    production scaled processes.
  • A free consultant with time and imagination on
    his/her side interested to explore all the
    available answers and solutions to the problem
    they are presented with and capable to propose
    unbiased and creative solutions.
  • Opportunity to be part of a unique partnership
    and a model for the implementation of green
    chemistry as an educational tool in real-life

GVSU network
  • Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI)
  • http//
  • The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy
    center (MAREC)
  • http//
  • West Michigan Science Technology Initiative

Area businesses interested in
  • Herman Miller
  • Crystal Flash
  • Crutchall
  • Xtendercorp
  • Barrier Technology

What do we hope for?
  • students will have a better understanding of the
    fundamentals of green chemistry and of the ways
    to avoid pollution by benign molecular design.
  • students will bring a new way of thinking in the
    working place they will be trained to approach
    problem creatively, and be open to change.

Future Plans
  • Continue networking with area businesses.
  • Find avenue of interest for the greening of
    scaled-up processes.
  • Explore the opportunity for hands-on research
    component specific to each partnership company.

Student work topic choices
  • Degradable biomedical supplies sutures, drug
    delivery devices and dialysis
  • Lumber preservation
  • Vegetable-based resins
  • Tires disposal
  • Green cement
  • Polystyrene alternatives
  • Biodegradability of polymers
  • Green car-racing
  • Paper manufacturing
  • Spray-paint application
  • Starch-based polymers in films bags
  • Enzymatic catalysis

Web-based companies analysis
  • The two companies I compared are ITW DEVCON
    FUTURA DSM NEORESINS INC. The former is a
    custom compound purchased resins company located
    in my hometown of Oxford, Michigan, while the
    latter is involved with plastics, materials and
    resins located in my former home of Frankfort,
    Indiana. ITW DEVCON FUTURA has no on-site
    releases, 223 off-site releases and 7711 total
    transfers for further waste treatment. DSM
    NEORESINS INC has 1229 on-site releases, 196
    off-site releases, and a total waste managed of
    23894. ITW's most significant wastes were
    diisocyanates and lead compounds, but DSM's
    significant wastes were much more varied. DSM
    lists 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, acrylic acid,
    acrylonitrile, butyl acrylate, glycol ethers,
    ethyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate,
    propyleneimine, and styrene.
  • What is clear from these examples, is that resins
    cannot be categorized as one thing and wastes
    from one type of resin might be very different
    from another.
  • I wonder if their products can be used
    interchangeably or if Indiana and Michigan have
    different regulations for toxic release.
  • B. K., student, GVSU

I have an idea an Osmosis Tower
Idea eliminate the energy needed to pump water
up to the top of water towers and purify the
water at the same time by use of solute pumping
and distillation by the suns rays. Principle
behind the solute pump osmosis. Each level
would have an increasing concentration of salt.
The water would be pumped to the top and at the
top, the heat of the sun, focused by lens,
causing the water to distill. This would
increase the concentration and cause a chain
reaction of more water being pumped up. The pure
H2O could be collected for distribution

Feddeler Landfill, Lowell, Indiana
  • Nobody ever expected Feddeler Construction/Demolit
    ion Landfill to be such a hazard to the town of
    Lowell, Indiana. Sure, landfills are dirty and
    smelly, but small town residents usually trust
    that the owner of such a landfill would follow
    state regulations to keep the town safe. Thats a
    very wrong assumption to make in this particular
  • From 1971 to 2003, the 40 acre Feddeler Landfill
    took in construction material, demolition waste
    and buried at least 500 barrels of toxic
    acrylonitrile underground. However, the
    conspiracy is not a new one. Dumps built since
    the 1970s have natural or synthetic liners at
    the bottom to prevent seepage, but it is assumed
    that the founder, Robert Feddeler, had been
    taking waste into the dump since the 1950s.

Green Chemistry Article
  • my search of the web site for
    turned up 20,800 results for the query green
    chemistry. For, I found
    32,000,000 results, and at,
  • Compare this to my search of 91
    results, many not specific for green chemistry,
    or, not even about the subject (some were
    advertisements). Similar results were obtained at, and (the
    New York Times).
  • What this seems to indicate is a lack of
    dissemination of information on green chemistry
    beyond the confines of professionals and students
    who work in the field of chemistry.

Green Chemistry Article- Assignment
  • Green chemistry is going to create a paradigm
    shift in the way products are manufactured.
  • It is such a change from business as usual
    that amazing stories about it should be on the TV
    and in newspapers every week.
  • However, given the fascination our populace
    has for the sensational, the lurid and the
    trivial, I am not surprised that the news outlets
    dont run stories much more often.
  • Part of the problem is definitely how to
    package the story to make it exciting, maybe with
    a little touch of science fiction. A good science
    writer could provide that element. In any case,
    most of the public, judging by the paucity of
    results found at the news outlet web sites, have
    never heard of green chemistry.

  • Most of the public, judging by the paucity of
    results found at the news outlet web sites, have
    never heard of green chemistry.
  • They are not likely to anytime soon. This is sad,
    because most stories about accelerating
    environmental problems paint a scenario that
    counsels despair.
  • Green chemistry shows that we humans have a
    powerful tool that we can employ to reduce
    pollution, re-use materials, and greatly reduce
    the amount of toxic materials entering the
    biosphere. Green chemistry fosters hope that the
    human intellect and capacity for ingenuity can,
    combined with the political will, snatch our
    planet away from the brink of the abyss. And the
    need for the political will to exert itself is
    why the public needs to hear about green
    chemistry! They are the political will.

Dear Editor
  • A wonderful tool has been unraveled in just the
    last 15 years that allows the chemical industry
    to revolutionize the manufacture of all the
    products we have come to expect as part of
    everyday life. It is called green chemistry. It
    consists of replacing one manufacturing process
    which uses too many starting materials and
    creates a lot of sometimes toxic unusable waste
    with a new process. This new process utilizes
    smaller amounts of non-toxic (or less toxic)
    starting materials, requires less fossil fuel and
    produces little to no waste, and, usually, no
    toxic by-products. Hence the designation green
    chemistry to indicate that it is friendly to the
    environment. Green chemistry is still in the
    early stages of replacing the old paradigm of
    manufacturing. That was based partly on something
    we used to believe that we will never run out of
    anything. Now we know we can. So we must begin to
    prepare for a time of scarcity. The ingenuity of
    green chemistry is in the ability of chemists to
    find substitute methods that greatly reduce waste
    and toxics. This staves off scarcity, buying us
    time to create an alteration in lifestyle
    expectations, which will surely have to occur as
    the world population continues its upward
    trajectory. The replacement of old manufacturing
    methods with those of green chemistry should give
    hope to the public that we neednt give up all
    comforts and conveniences in order to save the
    planet. Human creativity and intellectual
    prowess, coupled with political will, has gotten
    us through in the past. It should suffice in the

Regional National support
  • American Chemical Society
  • Green Chemistry Institute
  • State of Michigan Governor
  • executive directive No 2006-06, encourage the
    adoption of green chemistry principles in
  • The directive specifically states that all
    agencies "shall establish a Green Chemistry
    Support Program to promote and coordinate state
    green chemistry research, development,
    demonstration, education, and technology transfer
    activities in Michigan".
  • P2 grant-MIDEQ