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Green Chemistry

Green Chemistry Seminar Series

The seminar series is designed to bring world-class researchers and experts in the field of green chemistry to the University of Toronto, so that they may share their experiences and ideas with the students and faculty here in the Department of Chemistry and with the university as a whole. The GCI strives to organize a balanced seminar program that highlights green chemistry principles and advances in all of the sub-disciplines of chemistry, from both academic and industrial perspectives.

Past Seminars

Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Concern: From the St. Lawrence to the Canadian Arctic

Presented by: Magali Houde, Research Scientist in Aquatic Ecotoxicology, Environment and Climate Change Canada

May 8th, 2018 at 2:00 PM in Davenport East Seminar Room

Modern life generates the production and use of thousands of chemicals to meet the daily needs of human populations. Assessing the environmental risks associated with these compounds is an important mandate of the federal government. To do this, it is necessary to evaluate the accumulation and characterize the effects of the chemicals of interest, especially emerging substances, for which very little information is available. The development of analytical methods allows the quantification of these contaminants in environmental compartments. New high-throughput technologies (-omics), for their part, assist in the comprehensive and objective identification of biological systems that can be affected in aquatic organisms experimentally exposed to individual substances or mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations. These tools can also be used in the field and help evaluate biological effects resulting from chronic exposure of aquatic organisms to cumulative environmental stressors. Organisms including some particularly threatened populations of the St. Lawrence River, such as the Lake Saint-Pierre perch and the Estuary beluga whale, are currently on going.

Atmospheric and oceanic transport of chemicals also makes the Canadian Arctic an important reservoir of contaminants. The federal Northern Contaminants Program evaluates trends in chemical contamination in abiotic compartments in addition to fish and Arctic wildlife consumed by northern populations. These studies, including a ringed seal project, allow identification and tracking of new substances at isolated sites and are done with the essential collaboration of northern communities. The integration of traditional knowledge and climate parameters is an integral part of these long-term monitoring and surveillance studies.

BIOGRAPHY: Magali Houde has been studying the accumulation and effects of emerging contaminants in aquatic ecosystems for many years. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph during which she studied the accumulation of polyfluoroalkyl substances in wild bottlenose dolphins in collaboration with the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota Bay, Florida. She is currently a research scientist in the Aquatic Contaminants Research Division at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Her work aims to evaluate the effects of environmental stressors on the health of aquatic organisms (invertebrates, fish, and marine mammals) using tools such as toxicogenomics. Her research projects in relation to federal mandates lead her to work on the St. Lawrence River as well as in the Arctic. In addition to managing a research team, Magali co-supervises the work of several graduate students and is an adjunct professor within the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

Surface Chemistry of Environmental Interfaces

Presented by: Prof. Hind Al-Abadleh - Wilfrid Laurier University

November 22nd, 2017 at 3:00 PM in Davenport East, Seminar Room

Most environmental processes occur at the interface between the different phases of matter present in natural and industrial systems. In each of these processes, surfaces, mainly oxides and hydroxides of transition metals, are present under very different ambient conditions. This talk will present an overview of research activities in Al-Abadleh’s lab at Laurier in the area of environmental surface chemistry. Specifically, projects on the fate of arsenic compounds in simulated geochemical environments in the absence and presence of organic matter will be presented. Also, recent results will be shown on the atmospheric chemistry of iron in secondary organic particle formation from aliphatic and aromatic precursors. The significance of this research will be highlighted in relation to the cycling of arsenic in water and soil, and potentially new pathways for metal-driven atmospheric brown carbon formation and aging of mineral dust aerosols.

Solvent Recycling - The Path to Green Chemistry and a Sustainable Laboratory

Presented by: Chris Miller - CBG Biotech, LTD

September 20th, 2017 at 2:00 PM in Davenport East, Seminar Room

The ability to reuse and recycle organic solvents is a major challenge towards increasing the sustainability of synthetic chemistry laboratories. Used in major academic institutions in the United States, such as Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, acetone and other solvent recycling systems have proven to be effective tools for this task. The implications and outcomes of this technology will be discussed, and the following questions will be addressed:
• How do solvent wastes effect the world we live in and our future?
• Where does our solvent waste go?
• Can we use solvents without creating so much waste?
• How does solvent recycling work?
• How will it affect how we currently operate in the lab?
• What would change if we recycled our solvents?
• Is recycling solvents energy efficient?

Sustainability at Sanofi Pasteur: Prevention, Toxics Reduction & Efficiency

Presented by: Mr. Douglas Kube, EP, CHSC, OHS-A, Senior Director Sanofi Pasteur

July 11th, 2017 at 10:00 AM in Davenport East Seminar Room

Founded in 1914, as the University of Toronto's Antitoxin Laboratories, later named Connaught Laboratories, Sanofi Pasteur has been at the forefront of discovery research and production of vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. Over the past 10 years, Sanofi Pasteur has been on a journey to improve sustainability by implementing pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and the use of substances that are less toxic to human health and that are inherently safe to prevent accidents. In this presentation, we will discuss the evolution of the company's environment and sustainability program: how Sanofi Pasteur implemented a strategy using 'toxics reduction' principles and executed a plan to significantly reduce water consumption and its' environmental footprint. Case examples will be shared to help participants understand the successes and challenges associated with implementing these strategies and protocols at this 100-year-old biological manufacturing and research site.

Opportunities for Chemical Recovery at Kraft Pulp Mills

Presented by: Dr. Michael Paleologou, Research Leader, Biorefinery, FPInnovations

May 12th, 2017 at 2:00 PM in Lash Miller Room 128

It is widely recognized that the global economy and ecology can no longer be sustained by non-renewable carbon resources. Biomass represents an abundant and renewable resource with great potential for the production of biochemicals, biomaterials and bioenergy. In the last few years, a large number of biorefinery approaches and strategies have been proposed and a screening process has already begun to identify and implement the most cost-effective of these options. The main objective of this seminar is to provide an overview of chemical recovery and biorefinery technologies developed by Dr. Paleologou and his team at FPInnovations that are currently being considered, demonstrated and/or implemented in the Canadian and global forest industries. These technologies will be reviewed with respect to technical feasibility, process integration, product options and economics.

Green Chemistry Curriculum Design, Implementation, and Rewards

Presented by: Jane E. Wissinger - Center for Sustainable Polymers

February 24th, 2017 at 11:00 AM in DB East

ABSTRACT: Beginning with a 'token' experiment fifteen years ago, green chemistry is now a core component of our sophomore level organic chemistry laboratory course at the University of Minnesota. From the start, the topic ignited the interest of undergraduate and graduate students seeking to pursue research opportunities that contribute to the design of greener curriculum materials for both the high school and college level. Of particular emphasis, was the development of polymer experiments in association with the Center for Sustainable Polymers which demonstrate the use of greener solvents, renewable feedstocks, and design for degradation. Surprisingly, numerous discoveries made in an effort to modify experimental protocols for the non-stringent environment of the teaching labs ultimately benefited fundamental research efforts in our department. Examples of these experiments will be shared as well as survey results from the diverse population of students enrolled. The ultimate reward has been witnessing a high percentage of the individuals involved in this work continue on with independent careers as high school and college instructors incorporating green chemistry and sustainability principles in their own research and classrooms.

BIOGRAPHY: Jane Wissinger received her B.A. from Susquehanna University and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Northwestern University. She was employed as a research scientist at Rohm & Haas Company for five years before beginning her academic career at the University of Minnesota in 1992. As a Senior Investigator for the Center for Sustainable Polymers Wissinger�s teaching and research interests focus on the development of curriculum materials for the college and high school levels that exemplify modern green chemistry methodology and new sustainable polymeric materials. These experiments have been incorporated on campus, in local public schools, and shared nationwide through presentations and publication.

Beyond Fossil Fuels: Turning Renewable Resources into Consumer Products through Catalysis

Presented by: R. Tom Baker, Department of Chemistry, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

December 9th, 2016 at 10:00 AM in LM 158

Abstract: Economic prosperity can be linked directly to ready access to an inexpensive source of energy.1 Current exploitation of fossil fuels includes power generation, production of transportation fuels, and manufacture of chemicals and materials that go into our consumer products. With predicted escalations of energy demand, increasing costs of fossil fuel extraction and climate change linked to its combustion, we need to develop renewable sources of power and transportation fuels and obtain more of our consumer products from renewable resources such as agricultural and wood waste.2 In this presentation we discuss the growth of this new chemical manufacturing business sector (through discrete examples) and its prospects for supplementing and replacing current routes to commodity petrochemicals. Three examples will be presented from our research group: 1) oxovanadium complexes for selective aerobic oxidation catalysis; 2) tandem catalysis for n-butanol production from ethanol; 3) one-pot, multistep catalysis of homocitrate to C6 diacids in water.

1. http://secondlawoflife.wordpress.com/2007/05/17/energy-consumption-and-gdp/
2. Clark, J. H.; Luque, R.; Matharu, A. S. Ann. Rev. Chem. Biomol. Eng. 2012, 3, 183-207.

LanzaTech - Carbon Recycling by Gas Fermentation of Waste Carbon Feedstocks

Presented by: Nick Bourdakos, Senior Fermentation Engineer at LanzaTech

March 18th, 2016 at 3:00 PM in Davenport East Conference Room

ABSTRACT: LanzaTech is an industry leader in biofuels and biochemicals technology from unconventional feedstocks. The LanzaTech process ferments industrial waste gases towards fuels and chemicals, primarily using carbon monoxide as a carbon source. Major feedstocks include steel mill waste gases, syngas from agricultural and forestry wastes, syngas from municipal solid waste (MSW) and a number of other industrial waste gas streams. The majority of our industrially relevant processes utilize variants of C. autoethanogenum, however our gas fermentation technology has been applied to other microbes making a range of products.

The focus of this presentation will be an introduction to the LanzaTech process and underlying biochemistry and technology, from a lab scale up to a commercial scale facility. The potential benefits and reduction in emissions from the use of this technology will also be discussed.

BIOGRAPHY: Nick Bourdakos is a Senior Fermentation Engineer at LanzaTech and has been working there since 2012. His role at LanzaTech is cross-functional, involving lab scale research into gas fermentation process optimization, scale up to pilot and commercial scale systems, process and metabolic modelling, as well as new technology development and research into the underlying microbiology and biochemistry. During his time there he has contributed to a number of patents involving new reactor systems, strain optimization, and biochemical processes. He has an M.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto in Chemical Engineering, where he studied different communities of bacteria in microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment and power generation.

Regulatory Science in Action - How Science Supports Programming at the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Presented by: Julie Schroeder - Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

February 26th, 2016 at 3:00 PM in Davenport East Conference Room

ABSTRACT: The Environmental Science and Standards Division of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (the ministry) supports the development and implementation of ministry policies and programs through the provision of scientific and technical analysis and advice. The division carries out comprehensive chemical, toxicological and engineering analyses to identify contaminants in the environment, assess risks to human health and ecological receptors, and to develop solutions to protect and restore the Ontario environment. This presentation will introduce the ministry's science division and provide examples of how science has been used to support various regulatory programs such as those of the Toxics Reduction Act and the Environmental Protection Act.

BIOGRAPHY: Julie Schroeder has worked for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for 15 years in the Environmental Sciences and Standards Division. Her role for the past five years has been as Standards Development Branch's (SDB's) manager of the Human Toxicology and Air Standards Section. Earlier positions in the ministry included manager of SDB's Water Standards Section and group leader of Laboratory Services Branch's Aquatic Toxicity Unit. Julie's academic history includes a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Guelph and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in aquatic toxicology from the University of Waterloo.

Transition Metal Complexes of N-Heterocyclic Carbenes and Derivatives

Presented by: Prof. Gino G. Lavoie - Department of Chemistry, York University

January 22nd, 2016 at 3:00 PM in Davenport East Conference Room

ABSTRACT: N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) have played an ever-increasing role as spectator ligands in catalyzed organic transformations. The coordination of heteroditopic substituted NHC^imine bidentate ligands to nickel and palladium will be presented, along with results of thermal stability and reactivity towards electrophiles. This class of bidentate/hemilabile ligands was also used to prepare a ruthenium benzylidene complex to mediate olefin metathesis. Upon activation, the complex formally underwent an intramolecular insertion of the NHC into the Ru=CHPh bond, generating a new ruthenium benzyl complex. A similar reaction was observed in a related study of ruthenium complexes containing a low-valent phosphaalkene. The reactivity of these new complexes provides valuable insight into the stability and lifetime of ruthenium benzylidene complexes and will be instrumental in designing new catalysts with enhanced performance.

BIOGRAPHY: Professor Gino G. Lavoie completed his BSc degree in Chemistry with First-Class Honours in 1991 from McGill University. He received a PhD degree from MIT in 1995, working under the supervision of Professor Richard Schrock, the 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry. His research related to the development and use of high-oxidation state molybdenum alkylidene complexes for the synthesis of metal nanoclusters, electroluminescent materials and stereoregular polymers. He further developed his expertise on catalysis as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Robert Bergman at the University of California at Berkeley, where he worked on olefin polymerization and C-H activation. In 1997, he joined Eastman Chemical Company (ranked 9th largest chemical company in the US - C&E News; May 11, 2015 issue) as a research chemist, where he remained for almost 10 years, designing new catalysts for the manufacture of polyolefins and polyesters, and for the oxidation of para-xylene to terephthalic acid, one of two building blocks for PET (polyethylene terephthalate). He joined York University in 2006, leveraging his knowledge and expertise in the industry to address important shortcomings of catalysts.
While at York, he developed and taught "Industrial and Green Chemistry", sharing with students his industrial experience and issues related to the large-scale manufacturing of chemicals. In addition to his fourth-year and graduate courses on "Advanced Transition Metal Chemistry", he has also taught the "Introduction to Polymer Chemistry". He is the recipient of the Faculty of Science "Excellence in Teaching Award". He is currently the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Chemistry at York. He has organised several conferences at York, including the Inorganic Discussion Weekend, the "New Directions in Chemistry" with the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the "ACS on Campus" with the American Chemical Society.

Labs of the Future: Transforming Research Labs into Sustainable Spaces

Presented by: Allison Paradise - My Green Lab

November 20th, 2015 at 3:00 PM in Davenport East Conference Room

ABSTRACT: The broader environmental impact of research is often obscured in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The desire to follow existing, successful protocols in the lab combined with the widely-held belief that sustainability is synonymous with sacrifice have served to marginalize conversations about laboratory sustainability in the past. Yet with laboratories consuming more resources and producing more hazardous waste than most other buildings on campus, the need to transform laboratories into sustainable spaces is clear. Laboratories of the future must reduce their environmental impact while preserving their scientific integrity. Many scientists around the world are embracing My Green Lab's holistic approach to laboratory sustainability; these 'green labs' will be paving the way for the next generation of scientists to have the resources they need in order to continue their research.
For more information visit: http://www.mygreenlab.org/

BIOGRAPHY: Allison Paradise is the Executive Director of My Green Lab, a non-profit dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of laboratories. She holds degrees in Neuroscience from Brown and Harvard, and prior to co-founding My Green Lab she worked as a scientific consultant.

Is Land-Applying Municipal Biosolids A Sustainable Strategy?

Presented by: Dr. Lynda McCarthy - Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:00 PM in Davenport West Seminar Room

ABSTRACT: The prominent Great Lakes ecotoxicologists Cairns and Mount once stated that "no instrument has yet been devised that will measure toxicity and while chemical concentrations can be measured with an instrument, only living organisms can be used to measure toxicity". Additionally, chemical analyses of potentially stressed aquatic and terrestrial systems are slow, expensive, and limited to the chemicals that standards have been developed for. With that caveat forming the fundamental foundation for three decades of scientific study, Dr. Lynda McCarthy's research team has accessed, followed, and provided refinement for protocols in aquatic ecotoxicology experiments and subsequent terrestrial bioassays. The ensuing extensive knowledge base is helping to inform a CWN-funded biosolids bioassessment study that attempts to answer the over-arching question: Is the practice of land-applying biosolids a sustainable strategy? Dr. McCarthy will discuss her ecotoxicological experiments alongside a historical perspective of Great Lakes environmental science.

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Lynda McCarthy is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University. Her research includes aquatic ecotoxicology, Great Lakes pollution and remediation, and the impact on organisms from land-applied pulp mill and municipal biosolids. She is the recipient of several merit awards and is frequently an invited speaker at international conferences. Dr. McCarthy has acquired approximately $1.8M in the past decade to support her research and graduate students from funding sources such as NSERC and NCE's Canadian Water Network. Dr. McCarthy is a passionate lecturer and her talks focus around ecotoxicology, limnology, and environmental biology; she has been the recipient of several teaching excellence awards. She attended both Queen's University and the University of Waterloo where she gained a BSc and a PhD respectively and was a Department of Fisheries and Oceans federal government scientist for many years at the Great Lakes institute Canada Centre for Inland Waters (CCIW). At Ryerson University, Dr. McCarthy is the founding visionary behind Ryerson Urban Water (RUW) and is currently an Executive Member. She is also leading an initiative that brings Ontario school boards and the Ministry of Education together with education experts to find a path forward for educating our youth in environmental education. Dr. McCarthy has contributed to Advisory Boards and Conference Committees and is currently National Co-Chair of the Water Dialogue of the International Woman's Forum. Her motto is: from the classroom to the boardroom to the legislature.

Economic Policies to Reduce Global GHG Emissions

Presented by: Dr. Erik Haites - Margaree Consultants Inc.

April 16th, 2015 at 10:00 AM in Davenport East Conferance Room - Lash Miller

To stabilize atmospheric gas concentrations, global net GHG emissions by all sources in all countries must be reduced to zero. To do this at minimal cost, there should be a single 'carbon price' that applies to all sources in all countries. In principle two policies could do this - a carbon tax or an emissions trading system. The Kyoto Protocol established a global emissions trading system. The 38 developed countries had national emissions caps and the 158 developing countries could earn tradable credits from emission reduction projects. Failure of the US to ratify (and Canada's withdrawal) significantly reduced demand, leading to very low prices. Many developed countries implemented domestic emissions trading systems and some implemented carbon taxes to reduce emissions. Trading system caps have generally been too lax, and tax rates vary widely by jurisdiction. Trading systems cover a much larger share of global emissions, however neither policy approaches the ideal design. Recent negotiations have focused more on 'climate finance', financial incentives to developing countries to reduce emissions or adapt to climate impacts. However, these incentives are unlikely to minimize the cost of reducing emissions. The global total cost is $340 to $650 billion/year (in USD) and flow from developed to developing countries is $40 to $115 billion/year. This total is much smaller than subsidies for fossil fuels.

Dr. Haites has been a consultant to the UNFCCC secretariat since 1998 on the Kyoto mechanisms and climate finance. He is the editor and co-author of several chapters of International Climate Finance. He is a lead author of the IPCC Working Group III chapter on climate finance and contributed to four other IPCC reports. He contributed to designs of greenhouse gas emissions trading programs for Alberta, Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has published several papers on emissions trading, linking emissions trading schemes, the Kyoto mechanisms and technology transfer. Currently he is helping to draft the first biennial assessment for the UNFCCC's Standing Committee on Finance.

Green Chemistry Education: Techniques and Resources for K-12 through Higher Ed Programs

Presented by: Amy Cannon, Beyond Benign

February 6th, 2015 at 10:00 AM in Davenport East Seminar Room

Abstract: Green chemistry by definition involves the intentional design of safer products and processes that reduce or eliminate hazardous substances. In order to ensure the adoption of green chemistry practices on industrial scales, green chemistry must be wholly adopted into educational systems from K-12 through higher education. Molecular designers, chemists and engineers must all come to the research bench or factory setting with the knowledge and tools that will enable the reduction of hazard within the processes or products they design.

This presentation will discuss techniques and resources for adopting green chemistry throughout our educational systems and highlight Beyond Benign's K-12 and higher education programs that are aimed at transforming chemistry education. K-12 programs include curriculum design and professional development for middle school and high school teachers, along with a green chemistry college student ambassador program. Higher education programs include the Green Chemistry Commitment, a voluntary, flexible framework for chemistry departments to adopt green chemistry theory and practice. The Commitment aims to transform chemistry education in higher education to arm students with the skills and knowledge to design safer, more sustainable products and processes.

Bio: Amy holds the world's first Ph.D. in Green Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston where her research involved the environmentally benign synthesis of photoactive materials. She is the co-founder and executive director of Beyond Benign, a non-profit organization dedicated to green chemistry education. She received her M.S. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Boston and her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. Amy worked as an Assistant Professor of Green Chemistry and Director of Outreach and Community Education at the Center for Green Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Lowell until September of 2007 when she left to co-found Beyond Benign. Amy has industrial experience working as an analytical chemist for the Gillette Company and as a scientist for Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials. She was awarded the Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Award in Green Chemistry in 2004 for her work on titanium dioxide semiconductors and their application in dye-sensitized solar cells. Amy was awarded the 2012 EPA New England Environmental Merit award for her leadership and work on green chemistry education. Amy is passionate about transforming the general public's relationship with chemistry. She focuses on chemistry education to better prepare students and scientists to enter the workforce trained with the skills to create sustainable materials and products. Through Beyond Benign, she leads many educational initiatives to bring together multiple stakeholders around this common goal. At Beyond Benign, Amy runs regular professional development workshops for educators, designs green chemistry curriculum, and collaborates with educators and professors to advance green chemistry in K-12 and higher education.

TAML Activators and the future of water purification

Presented by: Professor Terrence Collins, Carnegie Mellon University

December 11th, 2014 at 3:00 PM in Lash Miller 155

Abstract: TAML activators were the first and are still the only practical, full-functional, miniaturized replicas of the peroxidase enzymes that are vital to aerobic life. They were first achieved in 1995 after following my iterative oxidation catalyst design protocol for fifteen years. We continue to apply the protocol today for their further improvement. With molecular weights typically <500 Daltons, TAML activators are =1 % the size of the peroxidase enzymes. Iterative design has led to catalysts that maintain their structural integrity and operational efficacy over a wide pH range (3 to >14) and temperature for long enough to enable copious catalysis, but not indefinitely so as to represent environmentally persistent compounds. I will sketch the design process and the deep understanding we have developed of the mechanisms of TAML/peroxide catalytic cycles. TAML/H2O2 in water is capable of performing thousands of turnovers per minute with near quantitative efficiency.

In the lecture, I will show how TAML/peroxide is being developed at CMU and through international collaborations for the removal of micropollutants from municipal and industrial wastewater. TAML processes effectively degrade numerous recalcitrant hazardous pollutants in water including polychlorophenols (used as pesticides), azo dyes, dibenzothiophenes, the products and byproducts of the nitroaromatic explosives industry (including trinitrobenzene), and many more. TAML/peroxide is also remarkably effective at killing pathogens, including the hardiest of pathogens, bacterial spores. I will also describe the Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption (TiPED), which for the first time allows chemists to design against endocrine disruptors with the authority of state of the art science. TAML activators were the first chemicals used to test the TiPED to probe for endocrine activity we are developing catalysts commercially that have exhibited no endocrine activity across a broad concentration range in a variety of assays including zebra-fish developmental assays.

Bio: Terry Collins is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry and the Director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Collins designed and invented TAML activators, the first full functional, high performance mimics of the peroxidase enzymes as well as of any of the great families of oxidizing enzymes that run aerobic life. He is currently building his second CMU spin-off company based on TAML activators. Collins has won over 20 awards and honors for research in his career. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a fellow of the American Chemical Society and an Honorary Professor and Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Auckland. Collins taught the first course in green chemistry starting in 1992 and has been iteratively developing it ever since the highly popular course is now called Chemistry and Sustainability.

Catalytic Hydroaminoalkylation: Catalytic C-C Bond Formation via C-H Activation

Presented by: Professor Laurel Schafer, University of British Columbia

September 17th, 2014 at 3:00 PM in Davenport East Seminar Room

Abstract: Early transition metals of low toxicity are ideal candidates for building novel catalytically active complexes for preparing industrially important small molecules and materials. The Schafer group has pioneered the synthesis of simple N,O-chelated early transition metal complexes for applications in C-O, C-N and C-C bond forming reactions that are 100% atom-economic. Recent developments include transformations that reduce the need for protection/deprotection protocols and minimize or even eliminate the use of solvent. An overview of Green Chemistry research projects in the Schafer group will be provided with an emphasis on hydroaminoalkylation catalyst development efforts. Hydroaminoalkylation is an emerging catalytic technology for the synthesis of selectively substituted amines and N-heterocycles via C-H alkylation with simple alkenes as reagents.

Bio: Professor Laurel Schafer completed her Honours B.Sc. at the University of Guelph in 1993 before pursuing NSERC supported graduate studies at the University of Victoria. She completed her PhD in 1999 and went on to an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California - Berkeley. She began her independent career at UBC in 2001 as an NSERC UFA recipient, where she has risen through the ranks and was promoted to Full Professor in July 2012. Laurel has received numerous awards: the Boehringer Ingelheim Young Investigator Award for Organic Synthesis (2004), an A. P. Sloan Fellowship (2007), a Humboldt Research Award (2010), an NSERC Discovery Grant Accelerator Award (2011), Canada Research Chair in Catalyst Development (2011 - 2016) and presently she is the Director of Industry CREATE Sustainable Synthesis (2013 - 2019). In addition to accolades for her research contributions, Laurel has also been acknowledged as an outstanding teacher in both the classroom (Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2003) and in the research laboratory environment (Killam Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, 2013).

Solvent Free Synthesis of Metal Nanoparticles Fe(0) as Sustainable Catalysts and Catalyst Supports

Presented by: Dr. Audrey Moores, Assistant Professor, McGill University

May 1st, 2014 at 4:00 PM in Davenport East Seminar Room

Abstract: Fe, an earth-abundant and non-toxic metal, appears as a very interesting candidate to substitute noble metals used as catalysts in chemical processes. In particular, Fe-based nanoparticles (NPs) offer an interesting means to couple activity with high recovery potential, through magnetic separation.(1) We established that iron-iron oxide core-shell nanoparticles (Fe CSNPs) are active in the hydrogenation of olefins in ethanol and in the presence of water.(2) We further improved this system and showed that amphiphilic polymer-coated Fe(0) NPs (APCFeNPs) could protect effectively in situ produced Fe(0) from water oxidation, while allowing a high catalytic activity in alcohol and water-rich mixtures.(3)

Reaction Scheme:


These Fe CSNPs were also used as seed, reducing agents, and supports to generate iron/copper nanoparticles that are able to heterogeneously catalyze the Huisgen condensation.(4)

We developed a novel synthetic method for the scalable production of metal NPs under solvent-free, mechanochemical conditions.(5) The synthesis of Au NPs proceeds fast (1.5 hours) and provides access to gram amounts of monodisperse and ultra-small NPs in the size range of 1-4 nm, without external reducing agents or bulk solvents. We used as a stabilizer long chain amines and observed a dependency of the NP size on the amine carbon-chain length. Novel methods, using biomass-based reducers allow access to other metal NPs, including Ag, Pd, Ru, Re and Rh.

(1) A. H. Lu, E. L. Salabas, F. Scheth, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 1222-1244.
(2) R. Hudson, A. Riviere, C. M. Cirtiu, K. L. Luska, A. Moores, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 3360-3362.
(3) R. Hudson, G. Hamasaka, T. Osako, Y. M. Yamada, C.-J. Li, Y. Uozumi, A. Moores, Green Chem. 2013, 15, 2141-2148.
(4) R. Hudson, C. J. Li, A. Moores, Green Chem. 2012, 14, 622-624.
(5) M. J. Rak, N. K. Saad, T. Friecic, A. Moores, Green Chem. 2014, 16, 86-89.

Bio: Dr. Audrey Moores is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University and Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry since 2007. She is also a co-associate director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Catalysis, funded by Quebec. She completed her PhD from the Ecole Polytechnique, France in 2005, under the supervision of Prof. Pascal Le Floch. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University in 2006 under the guidance of Prof. Robert H. Crabtree. With her team, she now studies how nanoparticles can be successfully used as greener catalysts and the more sustainable synthesis of nanomaterials. In 2011, she was awarded a Science Communication Fellowship for Green Chemistry by Environmental Health News and Advancing Green Chemistry.

Sowing the Seeds of a Greener Economy

Presented by: Sean Drygas, Vice President of Corporate Development, Bullfrog Powers

April 14th, 2014 at 10:00 AM in Davenport East Seminar Room

Abstract: Bullfrog Power is Canada's 100% green energy provider. By sourcing electricity and green natural gas (bio-methane) from renewable, pollution-free sources and injecting them into the energy grids, Bullfrog makes it easy for Canadian homes and businesses to switch to renewable energy. The presentation and discussion will focus on Bullfrog's mix of customers and suppliers, its efforts to stimulate the development of new renewable energy production across Canada, and potential future directions for the industry.

Bio: Sean Drygas is Vice President, Corporate Development at Bullfrog Power, responsible for expanding the scope of the company's business. Sean joined Bullfrog at the beginning of 2014 after nearly a decade in Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Canada Bread and its parent company Maple Leaf Foods, for which he led the development of an environmental sustainability strategy. His background also includes forecasting and analytics at FedEx, general management at a videoconferencing start-up in the late 1990s, and teaching and teacher-training in Tokyo. He has been a Bullfrog customer since 2010 and has partnered with Bullfrog to power neighbourhood environmental events with renewable energy.