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Green Chemistry
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The Green Chemistry Initiative at the University of Toronto

Real-Time Analysis for Pollution Prevention - Green Chemistry Principle # 11

The Green Chemistry Initiative explains some real-time analytical techniques which can help reduce hazards in chemical reactions.



Read the corresponding blog post and check out our other videos on the principles of green chemistry at our YouTube channel.


Highlights of the 2018 GCI Symposium

Want to catch up on the 2018 GCI Symposium? One of our members, Rachel Hems, wrote a newsletter article for the Chemical Institute of Canada highlighting talks from invited speakers and interactive case studies. Click here to find out more.


Upcoming Seminar: Quantifying Environmental Contaminants at Environment and Climate Change Canada

On May 8th, 2018 Magali Houde from Environment and Climate Change Canada will be coming to the University of Toronto to discuss the development of analytic techniques to quantify environmental contaminants in aquatic systems. Case studies include threatened populations in the St. Lawrence River ecosystem as well as trends in chemical contamination in the Canadian Arctic. To learn more about the seminar please visit our seminar series page.


Early Bird Registration for the GCI Symposium is Extended!

Are you planning on attending the GCI Symposium but haven't finalized your plans? You are in luck, the Early Bird Registration has been extended to Sunday April 22nd, 2018! Register now here!

For full details, please visit our Symposium page.


Announcing the 2018 Symposium!



The GCI is proud to announce our 2018 symposium will be held at the University of Toronto this year, and will also include a crash source on the fundamentals of Green Chemistry. More information can be found here.




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Green Chemistry 101

One of our members, Rachel Hems, wrote an article for the Let's Talk Science online platform Curiocity called Green Chemistry 101. It highlights the basics of green chemistry, sustainability, and how you can incorporate green chemistry in and out of the lab! More information can be found here.


Design for Degradation - Green Chemistry Principle # 10

The Green Chemistry Initiative explains Designing For Degradation: synthesizing molecules that degrade to harmless molecules once their desired function is complete.



Read the corresponding blog post and check out our other videos on the principles of green chemistry at our YouTube channel.


Ecocatalysis: Harnessing Phytoextraction for Chemical Transformations

By Karlee Bamford, Treasurer for the GCI

What is ecocatalysis? I had never heard this term before until reading a recent publication from Grison and coworkers in the RSC journal Green Chemistry entitled “Ecocatalyzed Suzuki cross coupling of heteroaryl compounds”.1 In this work, the authors perform the familiar Suzuki cross-coupling of arylboronic acids (Figure 1) with heteroaryl halides. However, they use a thoroughly unfamiliar palladium catalyst: the common water hyacinth.


Figure 1. The general reaction for Suzuki cross-coupling (Ar = substituted phenyl, thiophene, or indole groups).

Continue reading at our blog.


Catalysis - Green Chemistry Principle # 9

The Green Chemistry Initiative explains how catalysts work, and why they are so useful in making chemical reactions more efficient.




Check out our other videos on the principles of green chemistry at our Youtube Channel


Upcoming Seminar: Sustainability at Sanofi Pasteur

On July 11th 2017 Mr. Douglas Kube of Sanofi Pasteur will be coming to the University of Toronto to discuss sustainability at Sanofi Pasteur. To learn more about the seminar please visit our seminar series page.



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Issues of Sustainability in Laboratories Outside the Field of Chemistry: Pipette Tips

By David Djenic, Member-at-Large for the GCI

As a biochemistry student in the Green Chemistry Initiative, I'm interested in looking at how to implement the principles of green chemistry in molecular biology and biochemistry labs. While molecular biology labs focus more on studying biological systems and molecules rather than synthesizing new molecules, like in synthetic chemistry, there are still problems when it comes to performing environmentally sustainable research.

Read more at our blog.


Going to CSC 2017? We have a Green Chemistry and Sustainability Travel Scholarship!

Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) and GreenCentre Canada (GCC) are offering up to five (5) travel scholarships valued $300 each for 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition attendees. These travel scholarships will be awarded to those who are in financial need, and those to whom share an interest sustainability.

The due date of this application is April 10th, 5:00 pm EDT

For specific details on eligibility and how to apply please visit our Symposium Webpage here and look under "Green Chemistry and Sustainability Travel Scholarships".



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.

Read more at our blog.


Announcing the 2017 Symposium!

The GCI is proud to announce our 2017 symposium will be part of CSC this year, and will also include a Green Chemistry crash course.

More information can be found here.




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Recycling Perovskite Solar Cells

By Judy Tsao, Member-at-Large for the GCI

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.

Read more at our blog.


GCI Video 7: Use of Renewable Feedstocks

The Green Chemistry Initiative explains what renewable feedstocks are, and how we can use them in the lab.



Check out our other videos on the principles of green chemistry at our Youtube Channel


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?

Read more at our blog.


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.