In this session three main speakers and a panel of additional speakers were asked to provide an overview of the current status of green chemistry and engineering education by addressing how green chemistry and engineering bring value to the chemistry and chemical engineering curricula and to consider why some educators choose to incorporate or not incorporate green chemistry and engineering educational principles into their teachings.
The first speaker, Dr. David Allen (director, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, University of Texas, Austin), gave a presentation titled “Green Engineering: Environmentally Conscious Design.” He described the framework used at his center as an example of the current status of green engineering. This framework incorporates green concepts into chemical engineering and other initiatives to reformulate the engineering curriculum.
According to Allen, the evolution of green engineering began 20 years ago when the chemical engineering community began exploring waste minimization. In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a considerable amount of commitment to bringing the concepts of waste reduction into the design of chemical processes and chemical products. The idea of waste reduction eventually evolved into pollution prevention. In the mid-1990s a series of textbooks and course modules on pollution prevention began appearing. In 2000 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Allen, and some of his colleagues established a partnership to develop green engineering materials specifically for the chemical engineering curriculum. Allen stated that the current and future education focus should progress from greening the chemical engineering curriculum to incorporating some green concepts into other engineering disciplines.
Allen went on to identify two tools he uses when teaching green engineering: (1) assessment and (2) improvement. He uses assessment tools to determine what constitutes a green product or process and improvement tools to answer the questions, “Will new engineering design tools be necessary, or will our existing tools that allow us to minimize mass and energy consumption be sufficient?”1 Allen said that it is possible to apply assessment to a variety of design stages and scales (i.e., molecular, process, and system scales), but that determining whether a process or product is green through assessment is not as simple as it might seem. The potential environmental impacts are considered when completing an assessment of a particular chemical process or product. However, comparing one product or process with another is difficult because most products and processes have unique fingerprints.
To emphasize the complexity of making such assessments, Allen provided the audience with a typical chemical engineering problem given to undergraduate students: “You have a vent stream that contains, in this case, two compounds, say toluene and ethyl acetate. You don’t want to emit this to the atmosphere. So, you are going to use an absorbing column. That absorbing column contacts your gas vent stream with absorbing oil, captures those emissions, or at least some fraction of those emissions. Then you would send the material that has been absorbed in this absorbing column to a distillation column. You recover the materials that you have absorbed, and you recycle the oil back to the absorption column, a very simple chemical engineering process, junior level material.” According to Allen, the problem
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2 Current Status In this session three main speakers and a panel of addi- Allen went on to identify two tools he uses when teach- tional speakers were asked to provide an overview of the ing green engineering: (1) assessment and (2) improvement. current status of green chemistry and engineering education He uses assessment tools to determine what constitutes a by addressing how green chemistry and engineering bring green product or process and improvement tools to answer value to the chemistry and chemical engineering curricula the questions, “Will new engineering design tools be neces- and to consider why some educators choose to incorporate sary, or will our existing tools that allow us to minimize mass and energy consumption be sufficient?”1 Allen said or not incorporate green chemistry and engineering educa- tional principles into their teachings. that it is possible to apply assessment to a variety of design stages and scales (i.e., molecular, process, and system scales), but that determining whether a process or product is MAIN SPEAKERS green through assessment is not as simple as it might seem. The first speaker, Dr. David Allen (director, Center for The potential environmental impacts are considered when Energy and Environmental Resources, University of Texas, completing an assessment of a particular chemical process Austin), gave a presentation titled “Green Engineering: En- or product. However, comparing one product or process with vironmentally Conscious Design.” He described the frame- another is difficult because most products and processes have work used at his center as an example of the current status of unique fingerprints. green engineering. This framework incorporates green con- To emphasize the complexity of making such assess- cepts into chemical engineering and other initiatives to re- ments, Allen provided the audience with a typical chemical formulate the engineering curriculum. engineering problem given to undergraduate students: “You According to Allen, the evolution of green engineering have a vent stream that contains, in this case, two com- began 20 years ago when the chemical engineering commu- pounds, say toluene and ethyl acetate. You don’t want to nity began exploring waste minimization. In the late 1980s emit this to the atmosphere. So, you are going to use an ab- and early 1990s there was a considerable amount of commit- sorbing column. That absorbing column contacts your gas ment to bringing the concepts of waste reduction into the vent stream with absorbing oil, captures those emissions, or design of chemical processes and chemical products. The at least some fraction of those emissions. Then you would idea of waste reduction eventually evolved into pollution send the material that has been absorbed in this absorbing prevention. In the mid-1990s a series of textbooks and course column to a distillation column. You recover the materials modules on pollution prevention began appearing. In 2000 that you have absorbed, and you recycle the oil back to the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Allen, and some absorption column, a very simple chemical engineering pro- of his colleagues established a partnership to develop green cess, junior level material.” According to Allen, the problem engineering materials specifically for the chemical engineer- ing curriculum. Allen stated that the current and future edu- cation focus should progress from greening the chemical 1Allen, D., and D. Shonnard. 2001. Green engineering: Environmen- engineering curriculum to incorporating some green con- tally conscious design of chemical processes and products. AICHE Journal cepts into other engineering disciplines. 47(9):1906-1910. 3
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4 EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES IN GREEN CHEMISTRY with this approach to capturing emissions from the chemical • Identification of chemical hazards; process is that a large amount of energy is expended. It is • Chemical exposure and environmental contamination; possible that there is another process that does not expend as • Evaluation of chemical hazards; much energy, but it may have some other adverse effect. • Introduction to green chemistry; Carrying out an assessment of a chemical process or product • Alternative solvents; may give an ambiguous result such as in the example pro- • Alternative reagents; vided, but at the very least an assessment can help identify • Reaction design and efficiency; and the potential limitations of the process. Allen said that he • Alternative feedstocks and products. also provides his students with screening metrics to com- plete an assessment of such items as environmental impacts, For example, in the development of the experiments to costs, and sustainability metrics. find greener alternatives, Hutchison includes molecular as- Deciding where improvements for products or processes sessment to observe potential hazards or inefficiencies and can be made requires the consideration of whether new engi- to find and test alternatives. Hutchison has found that this neering design tools are necessary or whether existing tools process teaches students how to develop greener laboratory that allow us to minimize mass and energy consumption are experiments while performing them (see Figure 2.1). sufficient. According to Allen, most improvement for tradi- Hutchison identified several challenges in implement- tional systems is achieved through the use of conventional ing green chemistry in an already crowded curriculum. Three tools of process design, but the examination of new systems of the challenges are: (1) developing new experiments that will require the development of new tools for improvement. illustrate green chemistry concepts and are effective in teach- Some new tools of improvement for integrating material and ing labs; (2) developing state-of-art concepts that also inte- energy flows across industrial sectors include sustainable grate essential chemistry concepts with green chemistry; and technologies, mass-energy balances, life-cycle assessments, (3) providing a flexible option for integrating green chemis- and national scale material and energy flows. try into the existing curricular framework. In an effort to In closing, Allen highlighted some specific tools “de- address these challenges Hutchison suggested that the qual- signed to dovetail with the fundamental reform that is occur- ity of teaching be ensured by thorough testing, a wide range ring in chemical engineering education.” These tools should of choices in the curricular framework, and replacing old be actively disseminated throughout the scientific commu- material with new material. nity. He said that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Integrating green chemistry into the organic laboratory at is leading the advancement of undergraduate chemical engi- the University of Oregon revealed several incentives for neering curriculum2 through the discipline-wide initiative implementing the greener alternatives. First, the amount of Frontiers in Chemical Engineering Education. According to waste generated from experiments has significantly decreased. Allen, the initiative is exploring the extension of several ba- Second, university and community public relations are im- sic themes in collaboration with other branches of engineer- proved. The University of Oregon’s green chemistry program ing and other audiences: (1) the focus of chemical engineers has generated 25 globally published journal articles. The green in the future, (2) multiscale engineering, (3) molecular trans- chemistry program has also enhanced student recruiting at formations, and (4) sustainable systems engineering. both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Third, the classes The second speaker in this session was Dr. James were an opportunity to upgrade curricula and facilities. Be- Hutchison, professor of chemistry and director of the Mate- cause the green experiments do not require fume hoods, the rials Science Institute at the University of Oregon, who de- laboratory atmosphere can be designed to be more inviting to scribed his green organic chemistry laboratory course. His students and provide a better view of the entire laboratory presentation was titled “Green Chemistry Education Status: environment. Such improvements in the teaching environment Lessons from the Organic Chemistry Laboratory Experi- are particularly attractive to a school with older facilities (e.g., ence.” Hutchison explained that his goal at his institution is a community college with a 40-year-old laboratory that may to accomplish “broad implementation of green chemistry in have inadequate ventilation). Fourth, increased safety, de- the curriculum both at the undergraduate and graduate level,” creased liability, and reduced energy costs are all major incen- and his course is just one step toward achieving this goal. tives to implementing green chemistry into a curriculum. Over the course of teaching this laboratory series, Hutchison The final main speaker in this session was Dr. Steven developed a student laboratory manual, “Green Organic Howdle, the chair of chemistry at the School of Chemistry at Chemistry: Strategies, Tools, and Laboratory Experiments.”3 the University of Nottingham. Howdle discussed the divide Using this manual, students perform green chemistry experi- between chemistry and chemical engineering in his presenta- ments and learn 19 concepts. Topics in the manual include: tion titled “Mind the Gap: Bridging the Divide Between Chem- istry and Engineering.” Howdle explained how he developed the Green Chemistry for Process Engineering program as a new undergraduate degree at the University of Nottingham. The pro- 2http://mit.edu/che-curriculum. gram has been running for four years. The program brings mod- 3Doxsee, K., and J. Hutchinson. 2004. Green Organic Chemistry: Strate- ules from chemistry and chemical engineering together to train gies, Tools, and Laboratory Experiments. 1st ed. Florence, KY: Brooks/Cole.
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5 CURRENT STATUS undergraduates in aspects of chemistry and chemical engineer- ceutical industry and learn how pharmaceutical research ing. According to Howdle, the first year has a module that pre- and development is performed. sents “hot” green topics and serves as a way to explain why the Pfizer also has a few programs targeted at middle school classes are important beyond the classroom to any student, not students. Green Chemistry and Environmental Sustainability just chemists. In addition to chemists, students from other ma- provides a 10-day module that contains exercises, readings, jors (e.g., music, English) are taking the module, which is now as well as experiments in science, math, language and arts, the most popular module on the campus at Nottingham. The and social studies. The program has been mapped to national chemical engineers, however, cannot fit the class into their education standards. There is currently a 10-school pilot pro- densely packed program. gram in southeast Connecticut, and Pfizer expects a national Although his course is very popular now, Howdle rollout near Pfizer research sites in 2006. Samjam, a science pointed out that the overall program has not been over- and math jamboree, and Smart Science and Math are two whelmingly successful in that “only two students per year more programs for middle school students sponsored by for the last four years have signed up full-time for the Pfizer. More than 3,000 students a year participate in the course.” Despite this unpleasant result, however, he said that Samjam modules, and more than 200 Pfizer employees take other universities are following the example of this program time out to produce and run experiments for middle school by developing courses to bring chemistry and chemical en- students. gineering together. Cue highlighted other current green chemistry efforts, such as the elementary school-level coloring book “Pollu- tion Solution: A Green Chemistry Story.” The coloring book PANEL SPEAKERS was developed by a group of organic chemistry students at While most of the speakers in this session were experi- Suffolk University and was based on SEA-NINE 211™, a compound that received the 1996 Green Chemistry Award.5 enced professors and career professionals, Dr. Amy Cannon, a recent graduate of the Green Chemistry Ph.D. Program at Other notable green chemistry efforts are the ACS Green the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), provided a dif- Chemistry Summer School program at McGill University ferent point of view. Cannon is the first graduate of the “the and Pfizer’s internal award recognition program. world’s first green chemistry Ph.D. program” at UMASS Cue closed with an action item for industry: “In every Boston. This program was started in 2001 and currently has job advertisement for chemists and chemical engineers, add 15 students. In addition to core chemistry courses, the pro- one sentence: A knowledge of green chemistry (or green gram requires courses in toxicology and risk assessment, engineering) is desirable. If the students respond to our chal- environmental fate and transport, environmental economics, lenge to learn green chemistry, industry has to respond by and environmentally benign synthesis. In addition, students hiring them.” are required to defend three independent research proposals Dr. Kenneth Doxsee (National Science Foundation and to a committee. the University of Oregon) discussed the current existence of Cannon discussed her experience entering the workforce green chemistry education in educational institutions. as a new graduate in green chemistry. She is employed by Doxsee highlighted “green islands,” which are “relatively Rohm and Haas’s Electronic Materials Division and designs small pockets of activity in green chemistry education.” waveguide materials for optical electronic devices. Cannon These islands are Carnegie Mellon University, Gordon Col- also teaches the Introduction to Green Chemistry course at lege, Hendrix College, University of Massachusetts, Uni- UMASS Lowell and an undergraduate and online course at versity of Oregon, University of Pittsburgh, and University UMASS Boston. of Scranton. Doxsee indicated that the connections between Dr. Berkeley Cue, a retired pharmaceutical executive these islands are very important, but it is even more impor- and Green Chemistry Governing Board member, was able tant to expand green chemistry into more research extensive universities 1 (R1).6 to provide another dimension to the current status of green chemistry education. In his talk titled “What Industry Can Doxsee described how the University of Oregon hosts a Green Chemistry Education Workshop7 that focuses on Do to Encourage Green Chemistry Education: A Pfizer Case Study” Cue indicated that industry is interested in implementing green chemistry into organic chemistry cur- promoting green chemistry because industry now recog- nizes its social responsibility to the community.4 Cue de- scribed Pfizer’s development of the Pfizer Groton Labs 5 Rohm and Haas was recognized for its development of SEA- Green Chemistry Workshop. In the workshop, 25 to 30 stu- NINE®211 antifouling agent, an effective and more environmentally ac- dents, both undergraduates and graduates, are invited to ceptable ingredient for use in marine antifouling paints, compared with many currently used biocides. the Groton Labs where they are introduced to the pharma- 6The term “R1” is used in the United States to describe Research Exten- sive Universities 1.’R1s offer a full range of baccalaureate programs with 4Rottas, M., M. Kirchoff, and K. Parent. 2004. Pfizer works with future research having a high priority. There are currently 88 public and private scientists to promote environmentally responsible science. inChemistry universities classified as R1s. 7http://chemistry.gsu.edu/CWCS/green.php. Magazine. 13(4):17.
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6 EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES IN GREEN CHEMISTRY riculum. At the University of Oregon workshop, faculty In closing, Doxsee emphasized that green “educational members try new experiments, learn approaches to incorpo- needs go beyond our undergraduates and beyond the K-12 rate green chemistry into their curriculum, and network with level. We need to educate industry; we need to educate our other educators. This workshop is jointly sponsored by the colleagues.” University of Oregon, National Science Foundation (NSF), The final panel speaker of this session, Dr. Tyler and the NSF-sponsored Center for Workshops in the Chemi- McQuade, from Cornell University, described a different cal Sciences. According to Doxsee, the University of Or- method of green education. He has a program that encourages egon has been hosting this workshop for five years with the postgraduates to focus on the business side of green chemistry sixth year in summer 2006. He said that there is a tremen- and engineering with the goal of developing and educating dous amount of interest from community colleges, high green entrepreneurs and innovators. His group at Cornell, schools, and four-year teaching colleges, but the workshop which is a combination of chemistry, biology, and materials lacks representation from R1 institutions, the top funded science engineering, works on innovations in industry using major research institutions in the country. the field of green chemistry. McQuade highlighted the many Doxsee shared his interest in getting the R1 institutions different topics his group covers, which include: to buy into green chemistry for several reasons. First, accep- tance by R1 institutions may increase acceptance in the • Commerce issues; broader education community. Second, major institutions • Patenting; train a large number of students. Third, they provide a con- • Interactions with industry; siderable amount of intellectual capital to major industrial • Business idea competition; employers. Fourth, R1 schools are training the next genera- • Interactions with business schools; tion of faculty. According to Doxsee, the lack of attendees • Interaction with campus entrepreneur organiza- from R1 institutions at the organic chemistry laboratory tions; and workshops is due to their attitude toward green chemistry. • Reaction efficiency with technologies, such as tele- He believes that there is a reluctance to move away from the scoping. traditional method of teaching at R1 institutions. Doxsee also believes R1 institutions may feel they do not need any help BREAKOUT SESSIONS with green chemistry implementation and concepts, they are just not interested in green chemistry, or think that green On the second day of the workshop, planned breakout chemistry is a bad idea. sessions began that allowed participants to delve deeper into Despite the reluctance at many R1 institutions, Doxsee the issues surrounding green chemistry and engineering. pointed out signs of hope in gaining support from some R1 Workshop participants were pre-assigned to breakout groups institutions. The support includes representation of R1 and the results of those breakout sessions that correspond schools, such as MIT and Cornell, at this workshop; research with the current status of green chemistry and engineering endeavors in graduate programs at research intensive uni- education are listed below. versity graduate programs; and international workshops that provide a platform to introduce new educational materials to Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and the educators where high levels of R1 representation are com- New Faculty mon. Doxsee pointed out that although these endeavors are positive, because of their rarity, they do not make as much of During this breakout session, participants discussed fac- an impact. ulty efforts to implement green principles. Participants felt In addition to highlighting the University of Oregon’s that existing faculty members view new faculty who bring organic chemistry laboratory and the supplementary labora- green concepts into the curriculum either favorably or with tory manual, Doxsee mentioned a German-authored textbook ambivalence. The ambivalence stems from concerns about that will also be published in English, titled Chemistry Experi- the rigor of research despite the use of green principles. Be- mentation for All Ages.8 The textbook focuses heavily on cause the new faculty’s green efforts are commonly not rec- microscale chemistry and has at least one chapter that dis- ognized one way or the other, those who do try to incorpo- cusses green chemistry. The book targets students at elemen- rate green principles are not sure what type of impact they tary levels, including kindergarten, through high school. In are making on the department. On the other hand, green prin- advance of publication the German editor has already intro- ciples are seen as a positive addition in cases where new duced the book to high school students in Germany. students are attracted to the institution or a school is recog- nized due to green chemistry or engineering. The breakout group participants also discussed the im- pact of teaching green principles on the tenure process. Some 8Schwarz, P., M. Hugerat, and M. Livneh. 2006. Chemistry Experimen- believed teaching or incorporating green chemistry and en- tation for All Ages. Arab Academic College for Education in Israel: Haifa, Israel.
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7 CURRENT STATUS gineering into the curricula helps graduates in their future green chemistry graduates would propel the industry to seek careers and can also help in acquiring research funding. out this expertise. Some participants, however, believed that A summary of key roadblocks for new or tenured fac- green chemistry and engineering practitioners are not find- ulty trying to adopt green chemistry and engineering include ing employment because large companies can depend on traditionalists, lack of guidance or mission statement from smaller companies to provide green expertise on an ad hoc professional society, lack of funding, and lack of publication basis. The cost is probably much less than directly hiring in top journals. Addressing these roadblocks, collaborating green chemists or engineers as full-time staff because the with green chemists and engineers at other institutions, and company must provide a competitive salary and benefits. It developing a Green Chemistry Institute workshop for new is important to note that the definition of a green chemist or faculty may provide inspiration and therefore encourage new engineer is still a gray area; some scientists practice green faculty to incorporate green chemistry and engineering con- chemistry or engineering but do not label themselves as cepts into their curricula. green chemists or engineers. Industry and academia are promoting green chemistry and engineering to make their respective organizations more Green Chemistry and Green Engineering Industry and competitive. Industry is greening R&D programs, while Education academia is developing green chemistry and engineering Industry views green chemistry and engineering in dif- programs. ferent ways. Green thinking could potentially be a success- The participants identified the following actions that ful business investment. Creating a new product that can be may aid in addressing issues related to green chemistry and sold at a higher price, because it has a more intricate devel- engineering in industry and academia: opment process that requires a higher level of expertise or can be marketed as being green, and decreases waste is fa- • The federal government and nonprofit organiza- vorable for the chemical industry’s reputation and profit tions could promote green principles to the general public in margin. Green thinking could also be added to the industry’s two ways: (1) through entertainment and educational events, current sustainable development efforts. On the other hand, and (2) by teaching green chemistry and engineering to green chemistry and engineering could lead to the develop- young children, to potentially influence the next generation ment of new regulations or be seen as alternative forms of to carry green chemistry and engineering into the future. environmental chemistry or sanitary engineering, both of • Professional societies could provide more funding which some companies view as energy intensive efforts and create more interest through promotion, for example, at without many positive benefits. professional society meetings and conferences or through Participants had varying answers to the question, “Are society-sponsored journals, to place more emphasis on green green chemistry and engineering practitioners readily find- chemistry and engineering. ing employment?” Some participants believed that more