The Green Chemistry Initiative at the University of Toronto
GCI Video 8: Reduce Derivatives
The Green Chemistry Initiative shows that, although chemically useful, derivatives such as protecting groups are wasteful and should be avoided whenever possible.
Check out our other videos on the principles of green chemistry at our Youtube Channel
Taking Concrete Steps to CO2 Sequestration
By Annabelle Wong, Member-at-Large for the GCI
With heightened concerns on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in recent years, scientists and engineers have come up with some innovative solutions to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. One solution is to utilize and covert CO2 to everyday products such as fuels and plastics. Recently I learned that CO2 is now being converted into cement on an industrial scale.
Solar energy is arguably the most abundant and environmentally friendly source of energy that we have access to. In fact, crystalline silicon solar cells have been employed in parts of the world at a comparable cost to the price of electricity derived from fossil fuels.1 The large-scale employment of solar cells, however, remains challenging as the efficiency of existing solar cells still needs to be improved significantly.
University of Toronto signs the Green Chemistry Commitment!
We're excited to announce that the University of Toronto has recently become the first school outside of the United States to sign onto the Green Chemistry Commitment! By signing the commitment, the Department of Chemistry at U of T is one of 33 colleges and universities to ensure that all chemistry undergraduate students gain knowledge of green chemistry in their courses through systematic changes in the way chemistry is taught. This ensures that when graduates of the university enter the workforce, they are armed with the knowledge of how to design less toxic molecules made by more sustainable protocols.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy – An Eco-Friendly Process for Pectin and Essential Oil Extraction From Lemo
By Alex Waked, Member-at-Large for the GCI
Industrial scale chemistry is not typically given much thought by most chemists in academia. But if the end goal is to produce our products for eventual commercial use, then why not design our syntheses and processes at the beginning to ensure that the scaling up will be smooth?
Announcing the Symposium Schedule! Plus Early Registration Closes Tomorrow
Take advantage of the Early-Bird registration rate, which ends at midnight tomorrow, April 22! Register for the symposium here!
We're also happy to announce the symposium schedule! Take a look below to get an idea of the great speakers and events that we have planned. For more details, visit our Symposium page.
Call for Applications: GCI Symposium Travel Scholarship & Early Bird Registration Extended!
The Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI), in cooperation with our sponsors, is pleased to call for applications for this year’s competition of the GCI Symposium Travel Scholarships. The purpose of these awards is to allow undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows the chance to attend the GCI's 4th annual event - "Innovations in Chemistry towards Sustainable Urban Living." Details of the travel scholarship application can be found here.
Registration for "Innovations in Chemistry towards Sustainable Urban Living" symposium now opened!
The “Innovations in Chemistry towards Sustainable Urban Living” symposium is our 4th annual symposium and will take place May 11-13, 2016 at the University of Toronto St. George campus. The theme focuses on environmental sustainability and greener chemical processes associated with urbanization and modern urban life.
This year, we are expanding our symposium to include a keynote public lecture and a hands-on case study session for the first time! A crash course on green chemistry, a poster session, and networking events are also included in the schedule. The symposium will include topics on innovations in crop protection, smart windows, sustainable syntheses and formulations, and more.
Registration open for "Green Chemistry Applied in Industry" symposium!
We're thrilled to be organizing our third annual event, now a symposium, which this year will focus on Green Chemistry Applied in Industry. The symposium will take place on May 13-15, 2015, at the University of Toronto's St. George Campus.
The symposium will include topics such as industrialization of green chemistry, non-traditional synthesis methodologies, and waste repurposing. We have speakers lined up from many chemical companies including Dow Chemicals, VWR, Xerox, 1366 Technologies, Proteaf Technologies, Green Chemistry Commerce Council, and GreenCentre Canada, with a few academic speakers to give their perspectives as well. A poster session, panel discussion, and networking events are also scheduled.
Visit our symposium page for more details, including registration information!
Green Chemistry Seminar: Amy Cannon on green chemistry education (February 6, 10 am)
We're excited to be co-hosting Amy Cannon for the next talk in our Green Chemistry Seminar Series, which will also be part of the Chemical Education Colloquium.
The full title of the talk is: "Green Chemistry Education: Techniques and resources for adopting green chemistry theory and practice in K-12 through higher education programs", and it will be held on February 6, 2015 at 10 am in Davenport East Seminar Room. The full abstract is available on our Seminar Series page. You can also join our Facebook event here.
If you happen to be visiting the Davenport Wing in the Department of Chemistry at U of T, you will notice along the side of each fumehood a ruler with hues of orange and grey with thumbs pointing up and down. Why? Well, because the fumehoods in Davenport are variable-flow fumehoods! In other words, the flow through the fumehood is dictated by the sash height. The higher the sash → the higher the flow → the higher the energy consumption → the lower the thumb. Read more at the GCI Blog.
GCI 12 Principles Video Blog #4: Designing Safer Chemicals is up!
The GCI video series the 12 principles of green chemistry is steadily growing with the release of our latest Youtube video: Principle #4: Designing Safer Chemicals. One of the new initiatives for this year is a video series which separately outlines each of the twelve principles of green chemistry in a fun way. Check out our first three videos as well at our YouTube channel!
Chemical Waste FAQs
By: Peter Mirtchev, Member-at-Large for the GCI and Laura Reyes, Co-Chair for the GCI
December 1, 2014
All chemists create chemical waste, it’s simply part of our job. Recently, we started a Waste Awareness Campaign to track the amount of waste being generated by our chemistry department. Aside from this, the chemical waste disposal process was a bit of a mystery. Learning how to properly sort, label, and dispose of chemical waste should be part of every chemists’ early training, but typically gets overlooked. In academic research labs, waste disposal habits tend to get passed down from one person to the next, and often stem from tradition rather than regulation. With this post, we hope to clarify some of the confusion surrounding proper disposal of different types of chemical waste. Read more at the GCI Blog
Iceland is Greener Than You Think
By Peter Mirtchev, Member-at-Large for the GCI
October 15, 2014
This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Iceland as part of the Global Renewable Energy Education Network’s (GREEN) 10-day program in Renewable Energy & Sustainability. GREEN organizes educational adventure workshops in a number of unique locations including Iceland, Costa Rica, and Peru. The trips are focused on a central theme such as Renewable Energy or Water Resource Management, and are open to undergraduate and graduate students from around the world through a competitive application process. Read more at the GCI Blog.
GCI 12 Principles Video Blog #3: Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis is up!
We would like to draw everyone's attention to the GCI's Youtube video: Principle #3: Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis. One of the new initiatives for this year is a video series which separately outlines each of the twelve principles of green chemistry in a fun way. Check out our first two videos as well at our YouTube channel!