Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Recent HOT articles in Green Chemistry

Check out the following HOT articles, these have all been made free to access for a limited time:

Graphical Abstract
Life Cycle Inventory improvement in the pharmaceutical sector: assessment of the sustainability combining PMI and LCA tools

Daniele Cespi, Evan S. Beach, Thomas E. Swarr, Fabrizio Passarini, I. Vassura, Peter J. Dunn and Paul T. Anastas
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00424A

Conventional and microwave assisted hydrolysis of urban biowastes to added value lignin-like products
Daniele Rosso, Jiajun Fan, Enzo Montoneri, Michele Negre, James Clark and Davide Mainero
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00357A

Efficient Bromination of Olefins, Alkynes, and Ketones with Dimethyl Sulfoxide and Hydrobromic Acid

Song Song, Xinwei Li, Xiang Sun, Yizhi Yuan and Ning Jiao
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00528K

Nanoclusters of Cu (II) Supported on Nanocrystalline W (VI) Oxide: A Potential Catalyst for Single-Step Conversion of Cyclohexane to Adipic Acid
Shankha S. Acharyya, Shilpi Ghosh and Rajaram Bal
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00379B

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Richard P. Wool

Professor Richard P. Wool, a leading figure in the green chemistry community, sadly died on 24th March 2015. Richard Wool was Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware in the United States, and headed the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources (ACRES), which carried out work to develop uses for bio-materials such as chicken feathers and soybeans to create a diversity of products from tractors to circuit boards to a synthetic fabric named Eco-Leather.

After completing his Bachelors degree in Chemistry in his hometown of Cork, Professor Wool moved to Utah in the United States where he completed his Masters degree and Ph.D.. This is also where he started to build his illustrious career that focussed on improving materials synthesis in order to reduce the impact this may have on the environment and on human health. He received a number of accolades for his contribution to green chemistry, including the ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry, the U.S.A EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work in Sustainable Polymers and Composites and he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in January 2015.

Professor Wool was also a member of the Green Chemistry Advisory Board and his contribution to the journal and the community will be sincerely missed. Green Chemistry would like to send our deepest condolences to Richard Wool’s family and friends.

Credit: University of Delaware

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Recent publication in Green Chemistry on fracking – Open Forum

Green Chemistry has recently published an article on the topic of fracking entitled ‘Stimuli-responsive/rheoreversible hydraulic fracturing fluids as a greener alternative to support geothermal and fossil energy production’. This manuscript caused some debate at the Editorial Office in Cambridge due to the controversial nature of fracking and, more specifically, the validity of publishing an article on this topic in Green Chemistry.

After examination by a number of reviewers, the Editorial Office and the Chair of the Editorial Board, Professor Walter Leitner, it was decided that the manuscript was suitable for publication in Green Chemistry. However, given the controversy surrounding this topic we felt the article should be accompanied by an Editorial explaining to the community why we chose to publish and offering an avenue for debate and discussion via the online comments section on this blog.

Professor Leitner has prepared an Editorial that can be viewed below and we invite an open discussion via the comments thread of this blog. We welcome any comments to be made or opinions voiced.

If you would like to contact the Editorial Office directly you can do so by emailing green-rsc@rsc.org.

The subject of ‘fracking’ in Green Chemistry

Chair of the Editorial Board Walter Leitner discusses the subject of ‘fracking’ in Green Chemistry.

Dear Readers,

On 2nd October 2014, we received a manuscript entitled “Stimuli-Responsive/Rheoreversible Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids as an Alternative to Support Geothermal and Fossil Energy Production” at the Cambridge office. Upon careful examination of its content, we had a very serious discussion at the Editorial Office on whether the paper would fall within the scope of Green Chemistry and should be sent out for review. In the end, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to have the scientific quality examined through the review process and to gather the opinions of those reviewers on whether the work was in keeping with the Principles of Green Chemistry. Three referees suggested acceptance with some revisions, and you can find the final result published in this issue (DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01917B).

It is highly unusual to comment on a single paper and in particular on the reviewing process in an Editorial. Let me try to explain the reasons for this, which are closely related to our initial (and still existing) dilemma. Fracking is a very controversial technique for which a number of potential hazards to the environment are discussed. Most significantly, one may raise the fundamental question of whether an increased exploitation of fossil resources is inherently incompatible with the Principles of Green Chemistry. To be honest, we were unable to find a consensus and a final answer to this question ourselves. Thus, we turned to the classical maxim “in dubio pro reo” (Lat.: when in doubt, for the accused) and decided to evaluate primarily the scientific and technological aspects of the work.

When asked about the relationship between Sustainable Development and Green Chemistry, I have often used the phrase “If Sustainability is your goal, Green Chemistry is the way”. Is unconventional oil and gas recovery a sustainable technology? Certainly not in the long term – but it is and will be for quite some time influencing the basis of our raw material and energetic value chain, having an enormous impact on many aspects of our environment today. “That’s a fact. It’s a thing we can’t deny” (Katie Melua, Nine Million Bicycles). Thus, we cannot close our eyes and ignore the environmental problems that are associated with this technology. One of them is the use of the fracking fluid and all reviewers agreed that the authors of the study have carried out a sound and in depth study and presented data that might help to lower the impact of this particular aspect of the fracking industry. They have addressed this important issue following a molecular design approach in line with green chemistry principles.

Does this mean that we will now all at a sudden encourage the green chemistry community to focus on improvements of existing technologies, even if they are only incremental steps aside into the right direction on otherwise clearly unsustainable paths? Certainly not: we need to continue our efforts to contribute with fundamentally new approaches to a sustainable chemical industry and lay the basis for disruptive green technologies. However, we also recognize that things are not always black or white and there are more than 50 shades of green. In this particular case, we have decided to bring the topic on the table and to shed some light on the chemistry that is involved in fracking from the green chemistry perspective. We would be very much interested to get your feedback on this decision and have opened a discussion forum on the Green Chemistry blog.

I wish you a stimulating reading, not just with this article, but of course also with the many other fascinating examples of scientific creativity and dedicated research efforts in the issues of the Green Chemistry journal.

Walter Leitner

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Professor Martyn Poliakoff knighted in the New Year’s Honours list

Professor Martyn Poliakoff

Green Chemistry is delighted to announce that Professor Martyn Poliakoff has been awarded a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.

Professor Poliakoff is closely associated with Green Chemistry and was Chair of the Editorial Board from 2006–2012. He says, “I have been associated with Green Chemistry almost from the outset, and I continue to regard it as the leading journal in the field. Long may it continue!”

Professor Poliakoff is an inorganic chemist, whose work has been taken up by industry, notably in the construction of the world’s first multi-reaction supercritical fluid plant. He is a global leader in the field of green and sustainable chemistry and his work in engaging the public with chemistry has been recognised internationally, including through the Periodic Table of Videos on YouTube. Make sure to take a look at the special video made recently to announce the knighthood for Professor Polaikoff online here. Shortly before Christmas he was also elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Poliakoff said “I feel both honoured and somewhat overwhelmed.  I see the award very much as recognition of all the work being done in green and sustainable chemistry in the School of Chemistry by my colleagues, by my research team and by our technical staff whose efforts underpin so much of our research.”

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “What a richly deserved accolade. Sir Martyn contributes so much as a research leader, educator and communicator of science to the wider public. He will receive this honour with his customary modesty, but will be surprised at how widely applauded it is. We are very proud to have him as a colleague.”

Professor Kenneth Seddon

Professor Kenneth Seddon, Green Chemistry Advisory Board member, has also been honoured in the New Year’s Honours list with an OBE for services to Chemistry.

In addition to his ground-breaking research into ionic liquids Professor Seddon has also been very busy recently, having been involved with a featured exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, presenting the Inaugural Lecture of the “Frontiers of Knowledge Lecture Series”, House of Commons, receiving four IChemE awards, the Nicklin medal, and the RSC Teamwork award.

The New Year Honours lists recognise the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK, you can read more about them here.

Take a look at some recent contributions to Green Chemistry from Martyn Poliakoff and Kenneth Seddon. These are all free to access until the end of February.

15 years of Green Chemistry
James Clark, Roger Sheldon, Colin Raston, Martyn Poliakoff and Walter Leitner
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC90047A, Editorial

Synthesis of metal–organic frameworks by continuous flow
Peter A. Bayliss, Ilich A. Ibarra, Eduardo Pérez, Sihai Yang, Chiu C. Tang, Martyn Poliakoff and Martin Schröder
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00313F, Paper

Synthesis of antimalarial trioxanes via continuous photo-oxidation with 1O2 in supercritical CO2
Jessica F. B. Hall, Richard A. Bourne, Xue Han, James H. Earley, Martyn Poliakoff and Michael W. George
DOI: 10.1039/C2GC36711D, Paper

Enhanced laccase stability through mediator partitioning into hydrophobic ionic liquids
Lars Rehmann, Ekaterina Ivanova, H. Q. Nimal Gunaratne, Kenneth R. Seddon and Gill Stephens
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC42189A, Paper

Tailoring ionic liquid catalysts: structure, acidity and catalytic activity of protonic ionic liquids based on anionic clusters, [(HSO4)(H2SO4)x] (x = 0, 1, or 2)
Karolina Matuszek, Anna Chrobok, Fergal Coleman, Kenneth R. Seddon and Małgorzata Swadźba-Kwaśny
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00415A, Paper

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A greener recipe for copper nanowires – GC article in Chemistry World

Written by William Bergius

In an ingenious application of food chemistry more commonly associated with the searing of steak or baking of bread, scientists in Singapore have developed a green synthesis for well-defined copper nanowires (CuNWs).

Indium tin oxide (ITO) is the most widely used transparent conductor in today’s consumer technology, featuring in solar cells, touch screens and LED displays. However, alternatives are being sought due to the high cost and finite supply of indium. Films made from silver or copper nanowires are promising candidates, exhibiting high conductivity and optical transparency in addition to being flexible….

The Maillard reaction is responsibile for the delicious aroma of baked bread, grilled steak and roasted coffee © iStock photo

Interested to know more?

Read the full article by William Bergius here

Read the research article in GC:

Facile control of copper nanowire dimensions via the Maillard reaction: using food chemistry for fabricating large-scale transparent flexible conductors

M. Kevin, Gregory Y. R. Limb and  G. W. Ho  

Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article

DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01566E

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Sleeping sickness fly trap in a nutshell – GC article in Chemistry World

Written by Charlie Quigg

An international team of chemists has developed a green method for creating odour attractants to trap the insects that spread African sleeping sickness.

Sleeping sickness or African trypanosomiasis is transmitted by tsetse flies and is a threat to millions of people, and their livestock, across sub-Saharan Africa. Trapping these flies can reduce the number of sleeping sickness cases. Unfortunately, the odour attractants that draw the flies in are often prohibitively expensive – barring buffalo urine, which has unfortunate hygienic and olfactory detractions – limiting their use…

Tsetse flies feed on the blood of vertebrate animals © Image Quest Marine/Alamy

Interested to know more?

Read the full article by Charlie Quigg here

Read the research article in GC:

Synthesis of tsetse fly attractants from a cashew nut shell extract by isomerising metathesis

S. Baader, P.E. Podsiadly, D.J. Cole Hamilton and L.J. Goossen

Green Chem., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01269K

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Driving towards success with biomass-derived petrol – GC article in Chemistry World

Chinese scientists have overcome previous limitations to generate high octane number petrol from biomass-derived γ-valerolactone (GVL), an organic compound that is already often blended in small amounts with petrol or diesel. Using an ionic liquid catalyst, the conversion churned out a 2,2,4-trimethylpentane-rich substance with an octane number of 95.4, the highest reported for biomass derived fuel.

GA

Process for converting GVL into high octane number petrol

Petrol, the liquid many of us use to run our cars, is typically obtained from fossil fuels. But, with energy demands rocketing, producing a renewable and sustainable alternative has become a challenge for many researchers…

Interested to know more?

Read the full article by Anisha Ratan in Chemistry World here…

Read the article in GC:

Conversion of biomass derived valerolactone into high octane number gasoline with an ionic liquid
Jiayu Xin, Dongxia Yan, Olubunmi Ayodele, Zhan Zhang, Xingmei Lu and Suojiang Zhang
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01792G

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EPA Announces Winners of 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

Green Chemistry would like to congratulate the recent winners of the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry. These prestigious annual awards recognize chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use. The 2014 submissions were formally judged by an independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute.

The winners include:

  • Academic: Professor Shannon S. Stahl, University of Madison for his work on developing aerobic oxidation methods for Pharmaceutical Synthesis.
  • Small Business: Amyris, for engineering a yeast to make a renewable fuel replacement for petroleum diesel.
  • Designing Greener Chemicals: The Solberg Company, for developing a new safer firefighting foam which is free from persistent toxic chemicals.
  • Greener Reaction Conditions: QD Vision, Inc., for the production of new LED lighting material that can bring massive energy savings.
  • Greener Synthetic Pathways: Solazyme, Inc., for making soaps, laundry detergents, food products and fuels while reducing energy and water use, waste and impacts on forests.

For further information on the award winning research and how to enter for the 2015 awards take a look at the EPA website.

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Waste office paper comes to a sticky end

Paper cannot be recycled into new paper indefinitely

A process for generating aluminium–aluminium bonding adhesives from waste office paper could give a purpose to paper than can no longer be recycled into more paper. 

Paper can typically only be recycled as a new paper product 3–4 times, after this the fibres become too short to be used in new paper or cardboard. Finding alternative ways of reusing this readily available resource is crucial.

To read the full article please visit Chemistry World.

Low-temperature microwave-assisted pyrolysis of waste office paper and the application of bio-oil as an Al adhesive
Zhanrong Zhang, Duncan J. Macquarrie, Mario De bruyn, Vitaliy L. Budarin, Andrew J. Hunt, Mark J. Gronnow, Jiajun Fan, Peter S. Shuttleworth, James H. Clark and Avtar S. Matharu  
Green Chem., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00768A, Paper

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Flue gas reclaimed as polymer feedstock

The first systematic environmental assessment of an industrial plant that produces polyols from carbon dioxide has revealed that they significantly reduce both carbon dioxide emissions and the demand on fossil fuel reserves.

Polyols are the major component of polyurethanes, which make up foams or thermoplastic urethanes in a wide range of applications from mattresses to ski boots. Most polymers are made from fossil fuel-based feedstocks.

To read more on this article please visit Chemistry World.

Life cycle assessment of polyols for polyurethane production using CO2 as feedstock: insights from an industrial case study
Niklas von der Assen and André Bardow  
Green Chem., 2014,16, 3272-3280
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00513A

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