Green Chemistry

About Green Chemistry

Although concepts of Green Chemistry have been considered for decades, there is a newfound focus on this approach. Broadly speaking, Green Chemistry is defined as the art of chemical bond-making and chemical bond-breaking—with a specific emphasis on sustainability. Sustainable efforts are those that meet basic human needs without destroying nature, degrading the environment, or impinging on the ability of future generations to accomplish the same. Timely topics in this area include: the utilization of biorenewable feedstocks instead of finite fossil fuels; the avoidance of toxic or harmful chemicals in consumer products; the maximization of chemical efficiency and the minimization of wasteful by-products in chemical manufacturing; the programmed degradation of consumer products into benign waste; and the harnessing of solar energy for building molecules.

Stephen Miller


  • Stephen A. Miller

    Stephen A. Miller, US

    Butler Polymer Research Laboratory University of

    In 1994 Stephen A. Miller received coterminal B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from Stanford University, where Robert M. Waymouth served as his undergraduate and M.S. Thesis advisor. He then earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1999 with John E. Bercaw before conducting postdoctoral research with Nobel Laureate Richard R. Schrock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during 2000-2001. He held the position of Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University from 2001 until 2007, when he accepted his current positions of Associate Professor of Chemistry and Member of the Butler Polymer Research Laboratory at the University of Florida. His primary research efforts include olefin polymerization with single-site catalysts and the synthesis of biorenewable and degradable polymers that mimic petroleum-based plastics. He is a co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer of Florida Sustainables ( and of U.S. Bioplastics ( He is a member of the Global Young Academy ( and has twice attended the World Economic Forum/Annual Meeting of the New Champions as a Young Scientist (2010, Tianjin; 2011 Dalian). Notable awards include the National Science Foundation CAREER grant (2005–2011) and the 2011 Cade Prize for Innovation.

    Presentation "Current Research"

    Worldwide efforts have increased greatly to identify polymeric building blocks that are not derived from fossil fuels and to employ these monomers to create polymers that readily degrade in natural environments. The Miller Research Group has developed novel methods for synthesizing linear thermoplastic polymers from a variety of biogenic feedstocks, including sugars, triglycerides, lignin, and C1 feedstocks obtained from trees. By controlling the polymer microstructure, the thermal and mechanical properties of the polymers can be finely tuned. This approach has led to several novel biorenewable polyacetals, polyesters, polycarbonates, and polyoxalates that mimic the properties of conventional packaging plastics. Moreover, our polymers are generally amenable to biodegradation or water-degradation, affording benign metabolites already present in nature. A commercial venture (U.S. Bioplastics) has already targeted our technology to convert sugarcane bagasse waste into replacements for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS).

  • Bernardo A. Frontana-Uribe

    Bernardo A. Frontana-Uribe, Mexico

    Laboratorio de Electroquímica y Electrosí

    Dr. Bernardo A. Frontana Uribe carried out his Chemistry BSc and MSc studies at Faculty of Chemistry UNAM. Later, he studied his PhD in the field of synthetic organic electrochemistry at University of Rennes in France. After a postdoctoral stay at University of Freiburg in Germany he incorporates in 1999 as associated professor to the Instituto de Química of UNAM to create the laboratory of electrochemistry and electrosynthesis. He has been visiting researcher in University of California Santa Barbara in USA and University of Bonn in Germany. In 2009 he moved to the Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable (Joint Center in Sustainable Chemistry Research) located in Toluca city. He is actually full professor level B and belongs to the SNI level II. He is author of 47 peer reviewed international scientific articles and 3 chapters in books. His scientific interest deal with synthetic organic electrochemistry, conducting polymers applied to organic photovoltaic cells, electroremediation of polluted water.

    Presentation "Green and Environmental"

    Electrochemistry has been recognized nowadays as a powerful tool to contribute to a sustainable world. Due to its clean nature, where only electrons are exchanged at the electrodes interfaces, it has great potential in solving chemical environmental problems. This talk will discuss the potential of “Green Electrochemistry” and “Environmental Electrochemistry”; home lighting, organic synthesis, organic solar cells and water remediation are some examples.

  • Jenny Yang

    Jenny Yang, US

    Department of Chemistry University of California

    Jenny earned her B.S. in Chemistry at UC Berkeley and completed her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at MIT with Prof. Daniel Nocera. She did her postdoctoral appointment at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with Dr. Daniel DuBois. In 2009 she was hired as a senior staff scientist in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at PNNL. In 2011 she moved back to California as a research scientist at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at the California Institute of Technology. She began her appointment as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine in 2013. Her research interests are the discovery of inorganic electrocatalysts for the generation and utilization of chemical fuels. Prior research has included oxygen activation, hydrogen production and oxidation, and carbon dioxide reduction. The studies are focused on the effect of secondary coordination sphere interactions and the effect of thermochemical properties on catalytic activity. In her free time, she enjoys ice hockey, hiking, backpacking, and travelling.

    Presentation "Current Challenges in Catalysis for a Renewable Energy Economy"

    One of the most important scientific challenges of our time is how to shift our energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to renewable resources. The most abundant renewable resource is solar, which illuminates the planet at 170,000 terawatts a year, compared to 20 terawatts of worldwide consumption in 2008. However, the intermittent nature of solar requires improvements in energy storage to supply energy on demand. Energy storage in the form of chemical bonds is often cited as the most viable form of high density storage, particularly for transportation applications. The utility of chemical bonds for energy storage is reflected in the natural world. Energy from photosynthesis is stored in C-H and C-C bonds, which we use in the form of fossil fuels and food. The transition to a solar energy economy has prompted intense interest in developing a cycle to mimic nature and create devices for artificial photosynthesis. However, there is a pressing need for improved catalysts that oxidize water and reduce water and carbon dioxide to fuels. The current options and ongoing research towards viable catalysts will be discussed.

  • Francesca Kerton

    Francesca Kerton, Canada

    Department of Chemistry at Memorial University of

    Francesca (Fran) Kerton is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. She obtained her BSc and PhD in the UK (Sussex, 1999), and then came to Canada to perform postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia. She subsequently returned to the UK and was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of York and was associated with the well-known Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence there. Since returning to Canada in 2005, she has received Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund Awards (2007, 2013) for her research in the field of Green Chemistry. Her current research group is developing environmentally benign transformations of bio-sourced molecules/materials and carbon dioxide. This involves the use of catalysts and alternative reaction media (water, ionic liquids and supercritical fluids). In her career to date, she has trained 47 undergraduate researchers and 24 graduate students (incl. her current group members). She has authored over 40 papers, and also contributed book chapters (‘Introduction to Chemicals from Biomass’ and ‘Chemical Processes for a Sustainable Future’) and two editions of a textbook entitled ‘Alternative Solvents for Green Chemistry’ for the Royal Society of Chemistry's Green Chemistry Series. Outside of chemistry, she enjoys music and travel. She also volunteers with science outreach activities and is involved with the local section of Women in Science and Engineering.

    Presentation "Renewable feedstocks from the oceans"

    Oceans cover approx. 71% of the earth's surface and they present the opportunity for a wealth of renewable materials. We are interested in using waste materials from ocean-based industries as a source of chemicals. Around 50 wt.% of harvested fish upon processing becomes waste. This includes the shells from shrimp, crab and lobster, which contain large amounts of a biopolymer called chitin (a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine, NAG). We have developed ways to transform chitin and NAG into new molecules. For example, we have studied the dehydration of NAG and chitin to an amidofuran (up to 70% yield) in ionic liquids, dipolar aprotic solvents and most recently water. In order to further understand these transformations, we have been performing mechanistic and computational studies with the goal of reducing environmental burden while increasing efficiency. We propose that such conversions of aminocarbohydrates could pave the way for new renewable N-containing feedstocks, which would be desirable precursors for new plastics and drugs.

  • Dylan Boday

    Dylan Boday, US

    IBM’s Materials Engineering and Process

    Dr. Dylan J. Boday is the Senior Engineer Team Lead for IBM’s Materials Engineering and Process Laboratory. In this role, he leads efforts across the IBM global divisions to advance technological capabilities and enhance product performance. Additionally, his efforts focus on the source of materials used within the IBM product. This effort lead to Dylan establishing and now leading a global team focused on the incorporation of renewable materials in the IBM product set. Dylan organizes strategic partnerships to leverage new materials development that aligns with specific business needs for IBM. External to IBM, Dylan has become a key leader in the renewable materials development market and is a member of the American Chemical Society Polymer Board providing leadership to the broader polymer science field. His technical contributions have led to more than 75 patent filings and numerous published articles. Dylan holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a doctorate degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Arizona.

    Poster Presentation "Addressing Technology Challenges through the Development of Renewable and Advanced Materials"

  • Susana Porcel García

    Susana Porcel García, Mexico

    Institute of Chemistry at

    Dr. Susana Porcel García received her B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Granada (Spain) in 2001. After a predoctoral stay (2001-2003) in the "Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles" (Gif-Sur-Yvette, France) with Dr. S. Arseniyadis she returned to Spain and completed her Ph.D in 2007 under the supervision of Pro. A. M. Echavarren. She pursued postdoctoral studies (2007-2010) at the "Laboratoire de Hétérochimie Fondamentale et Appliquée" (University of Toulouse, France) in the group of Dr. D. Bourissou. Then she moved to Mexico, and after a brief postdoctoral stay with Dr. E. Juaristi (CINVESTAV-IPN, México D.F.) she joined the Institute of Chemistry at UNAM in september 2010 as an associate researcher. Her research interests focus on the development of new transition metals catalytic reactions with application in organic synthesis. These include the design of new catalysts and the study of the mechanism involved in the processes. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, jogging and practicing yoga.

    Presentation "Gold catalyzed cycloisomerizations of alquinoic acids to alquiliden lactones and 2H-chromenes"

  • Robert T. Mathers

    Robert T. Mathers, US

    Department of Chemistry Pennsylvania State

    Robert T. Mathers obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University and a PhD in Polymer Science at The University of Akron (2002). After two years of postdoctoral research at Cornell University with Professor Geoffrey W. Coates in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, he joined Pennsylvania State University. Currently, Rob is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the New Kensington campus. His research supplants petroleum-based chemicals with bio-derived alternatives in an effort to create sustainable materials with minimal environmental impact. Preferably, these polymers are derived from non-edible biomass and involve catalytic approaches. In 2011-2012, Rob took a two-semester sabbatical in the laboratory of Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski at Carnegie Mellon University to expand his background in polymer chemistry and find new methods to integrate bio-based chemicals into the field of polymer chemistry. In his spare time, Rob enjoys climbing and taking his daughters hiking.

    Presentation "Bio-Based Platform for Sustainable Materials"

    Using the 12 principles of green chemistry, four research goals have been emphasized to create a platform of sustainable materials. These goals include minimizing petroleum-based chemicals, addressing end of life issues, decreasing energy consumption, and reducing the formation of chemical waste. This template for designing sustainable processes has resulted in degradable biomaterials, conductive bio-based elastomers, and polymers with a variety of architectures. Additionally, we have investigated the benefits of transforming bio-based chemicals under continuous flow conditions.

  • Jean-Philip Lumb

    Jean-Philip Lumb, Canada

    McGill University in Montreal,

    Prof. Jean-Philip Lumb obtained his B.A. from Cornell University in 2002, graduating Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Chemistry and French Literature. In 2003, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an ACS Organic Division Fellow in the lab of Professor Dirk Trauner. From 2008 to 2011 he was a Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, working under the supervision of Prof. Barry M. Trost. In 2011, Lumb began his independent career at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, focusing on chemical synthesis. He holds grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FQRNT) and McGill University. His is the recipient of the 2014 Thieme Journal Award for young investigators, as well as a Nouveaux Chercheurs Research Grant from the FQRNT. His group blends synthetic organic and bioninorganic chemistry to develop catalytic aerobic transformations that are patterned on biosynthesis. Applications of his technology include the low-energy synthesis of biologically active small molecules and modern magnetic materials.

    Presentation "Finding Inspiration in Biosynthesis to Solve Modern Challenges in Sustainable Chemical Synthesis"

    The efficiency of chemical synthesis is intimately linked to the ease with which feedstock chemicals are oxidized. This is particularly evident in the production of biologically active chemicals (pharmaceuticals), which are laden with nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur atoms. Since most chemical feedstocks or void of these elements, they must be installed by removing hydrogen atoms, which remains a difficult and costly challenge of modern chemical synthesis. This poster presentation deals with this challenge, and illustrates a novel technology developed in the Lumb group which allows nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur to be inserted into feedstock chemicals while creating water as the sole waste by-product. Central to this advance is a novel catalyst that mimics the reactivity of the ubiquitous enzyme tyrosinase. This allows the Lumb group to apply the exceptional efficiency of the enzyme to numerous applications in synthetic chemistry. This presentation will be of interest to researchers in the broad areas of green chemistry, as well as specialists of organometallic and synthetic organic chemistry.

  • Lourdes Cabrera Vargas

    Lourdes Cabrera Vargas, Mexico

    Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable UAEMé

    Ph.D. Lourdes Cabrera is a researcher assistant at the Chemistry Institute of the Autonomous National University of Mexico. Her research focuses on the synthesis of metal oxides nanostructures by electrochemical techniques, such as magnetite and maghemite nanoparticles, or zinc oxide depositions. She is also interested in the synthesis and characterization of metal nanoparticles and the synthesis of metal/metal oxide composites. She studies the application of such materials in hybrid solar cells, photo-catalysis, and as substrates for the heterogenization of organometallic catalysts.

    Ph.D. Cabrera got her bachelor degree in chemistry at the UDLA-P, her M.SC. in organometallics at the University of Windsor under the guidance of Professor Douglas Stephan, and her Ph.D. in material chemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid and University of Guanajuato, with Professor Herrasti’s group and Dr. Gutierrez’s group, respectively. She did a one-year post-doc at the Materials Science Institute, Madrid with Dr. Puerto Morales, and a year and a half post-doc at the Laboratory of Molecular Magnetism, at the University of Florence, with Caneschi’s group. She has sixteen international publications in indexed journals.

    Presentation "Sonosynthesis of Gold Nanoparticles for Their Application on the Design of a Photoanode"

    Sonosynthesis of metal nanoparticles is a very environmental friendly synthetic technique, since it is clean, it does not require organic solvents, or toxic precursors, and it does not generate any waste. The purification of the product is simple and inexpensive.[1] The use of sonchemical techniques for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles in a conventional ultrasonic bath is here reported. Spherical gold nanoparticles with particle size of 25 nm are generated by this method using sodium dibasic tartrate as a stabilizer in aqueous media.[2]

    Gold Nanoparticles are anchored to ZnO nanorods deposited on indium-tin oxide (ITO), in order to form the system ITO/ZnO/Au (figure 1).


    The author acknowledges PAPIIT for the financial support with the project IB200113-RR260113. Dr. Diego Martínez, M. Sc. Alejandra Núñez, M.Sc. Lizbeth Triana, Dr. Moreno, and Dr. Tiburcio, for their help in the characterization of the materials.

    1. Ashokkumar, M. and F. Grieser, Sonochemical preparation of colloids. Encyclopedia of Surface and Colloid Science, 2002: p. 4760-4774.

    2. Nagata, Y., et al., Sonochemical Formation of Gold Particles in Aqueous Solution. Radiat. Res., 1996. 146: p. 333-338.


Sunday June 22nd

11:30 - 13:00

Green Chemistry

  • Stephen Miller Introduction to the Section

    “Green Chemistry: Sustainable Polymers from Biorenewable Feedstocks” (15 Min)

  • Bernardo A. Frontana-Uribe, Mexico

    “Green and Environmental Electrochemistry” (25 Min)

  • Jenny Yang, US

    “Current Challenges in Catalysis for a Renewable Energy Economy”(25 Min)

  • Francesca Kerton – Canada

    “Renewable feedstocks from the oceans” (25 Min)

13:00 - 13:45

General Discussion