P42: Converting organic chemistry laboratory curriculum into green: Strategies, challenges and successes

Author: Iraj B. Nejad, Mt. San Antonio College, USA


Date: 8/3/14

Time: 2:45 PM3:05 PM

Room: LMH 114

Related Symposium: S7

Green Chemistry utilizes a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture, and application of chemical products. Rather than focusing on the reduction of chemical waste and exposure, green chemistry seeks to prevent pollution by reducing or eliminating chemical hazards through the replacement of hazardous substances with less or non-hazardous substitutes. In summer 2008, the author attended the cCWCS Green Chemistry Workshop at the University of Oregon to learn how green chemistry can be implemented into the organic curriculum. Upon return and through a subsequent sabbatical leave opportunity, he led the complete conversion of the year-long organic laboratory curriculum at the college to green. Green experiments were developed and/or adapted from multiple resources, the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Infrared (IR) instrumentation was expanded in conjunction with the green experiments, and computational activities using Spartan molecular modeling were developed and implemented all into a renovated organic laboratory curriculum. The new curriculum teaches traditional organic laboratory skills, while at the same teaches the principles of green chemistry, identification of waste, hazard reduction, and solvent reduction or replacement to emphasize environmental and green concepts. This presentation will provide an overview of the strategies employed, the challenges faced and the successes that resulted from this endeavor. A few examples of the green experiments from the new curriculum will also be presented.