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Green Chemistry
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The Green Chemistry Initiative at the University of Toronto

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.


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.



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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.



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.



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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.

Early Bird Registration has also been extended to Friday April 22,2016! Register now at https://gcisymposium2016.eventbrite.ca

For full details, please visit our Symposium page.


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.

Make sure to take advantage of the Early Bird tickets before April 15, 2016! For full details, please visit our Symposium page.


Mark your calendars for the "Innovations in Chemistry towards Sustainable Urban Living" symposium!



We're excited to announce our 4th annual symposium! Save the date into your calendar, and stay tuned for further updates!

Innovations in Chemistry towards Sustainable Urban Living

May 11-13, 2016
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

...more details will be announced in the next few months!


GCI Video 6: Design for Energy Efficiency

In our latest video, we measured how much energy is consumed by ordinary lab equipment, and show the importance of designing reactions to be as energy efficient as possible.

To see the energy calculations we used in the video and read more about Principle #6, take a look at our blog post: http://bit.ly/grchem6

Thanks to Allison Paradise of My Green Lab for her guest appearance! Check out their website for great resources on how labs can reduce their energy usage: http://mygreenlab.org/



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



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Our symposium was featured in ACCN!



We're thrilled to share this article written by Laura Reyes (Co-Chair), highlighting our symposium in ACCN, the magazine of the Chemical Institute of Canada. Our Green Chemistry Applied in Industry symposium was a huge success! Thanks to all participants and invited speakers. Read all about it here.


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.


Shut It campaign blog post is up!

By Nadine Borduas, Member-at-Large for the GCI

January 8, 2015

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!