Plastics permeate every aspect of our society. Although, students and the public recognize their many benefits, reports of their alarming buildup in our oceans and resulting harm to aquatic life is a topic that resonates with all.
Chemical product design, with its emphasis on formulations and a mixture of quantitative and qualitative specifications, always leads to problems with trade-offs, where improvement in one desired outcome inevitably leads to a decline in another. In effect, you’re trying to please two sets of customers, one human and the other Mother Nature.
Should “good science” be constrained by either safer or greener practices? Furthermore, is “good science” mutually exclusive from safety and green chemistry? It can be seen that the practice of chemistry in academia has been slow in adopting greener chemistry, and in addition, safety standards in academic laboratories are perceived as less rigorous than those found in industrial settings.
The global demand for energy continues to soar and the interface of biology-chemistry to fossil fuel replacement may be the next breakthrough. How is chemistry preparing for this challenge? What technologies are holding promises? Will biofuels be the solution or create other problems?
In some parts of the world, treatable diseases still take many lives. Even though a vaccine may exist, access to medical care is limited. Curious to learn how green chemistry can positively impact public policy and improve global health? Dr. Joseph Fortunak discusses sustainable medicine and how different organizations are working to help everyone gain access to treatments they need.