After this course, you are:
- able to explain the concept of sustainability both from a societal and from a (bio)chemical perspective,
- able to discuss examples of the successful chemical and biochemical conversion of renewable resources into energy, energy carriers, commodities, and products,
- able to identify key sustainability challenges for the molecular sciences,
- familiar with concepts such as atom economy, energy efficiency, and the twelve principles of green chemistry,
- aware of the ways in which sustainability can be quantified, and able to interpret the life cycle assessment method,
- able to assess a scientific poster (style and content).
This course provides students with the consciousness of the sustainability of chemical processes and energy generation. It will present the fundamentals of the 12 principles of green chemistry and sustainability metrics within life cycle assessment, and their necessary evolution to pursue a circular economy. In addition, this course presents how chemical processes can be developed in a sustainable way with the use of environmentally benign methods (e.g., catalysis and green solvents) and how chemical waste is treated. Besides, this course exhibits how biomass is used by the chemical industry to make new biomaterials and to produce energy.|
- Introduction to green and sustainable chemistries (history and evolution of green chemistry, 12 principles of green chemistry, circular chemistry, sustainability metrics, atom economy, LCA).
- Green solvents (water, supercritical carbon dioxide, fluorous solvents, ionic liquids, liquid polymers).
- Catalysis (homogenous and heterogeneous catalysis).
- Waste prevention and management. Wastewater treatment.
- Renewable chemical feedstocks (biomaterials and biofuel) and determination of impacts of renewables.
Quizzes: 40% (best four out of five; minimum 5.5); assignment: 30%; poster and assessment of poster: 30% (no final exam).
The course will be given in five four-hour sessions with breaks plus two weeks to prepare an assignment and a poster (weeks 6 and 7). Each session will be divided into a lecture (2 × 45 min) followed by a tutorial (2 × 45 min). The tutorials will start with a 30-minute test/quiz based on the contents of the week before. At the end of the course, there will be a poster session.