Dr. Dorothy Zolandz of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences is supported by the Chemistry Division to convene a workshop with leaders from the academic and industrial chemistry community to frame possible research areas that should be considered under a Sustainable Chemistry Basic Research program. This workshop is to be done partially in response to the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010, which calls for the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a Green Chemistry Basic Research program to award competitive, merit-based grants to support research into green and sustainable chemistry. This workshop addresses the society's critical need for safer, economical, and more environmentally sustainable chemical products and processes. This one-day workshop will engage about 20 technical experts drawn from both industry and academe to discuss the most pressing questions and greatest technical and research opportunities related to sustainable chemistries.

Project Report

On April 28, 2011, the National Research Council’s Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology held a workshop titled "Basic Research to Advance Sustainable Chemistry." 36 people were in attendance, including 11 from industrial firms, 14 from universities, and the remainder from government agencies or non-profits. In addition to these in-person participants, over 120 researchers participated remotely via webcast. The purpose of the day was to bring together industrial and academic researchers to discuss what precompetitive basic research problems the industrial sector needs solved in order to move its business to better environmental sustainability while remaining competitive internationally. Academic researchers gained knowledge of the research needs of their industrial colleagues, and the industrial participants gained new insight into the research going on at our nation’s universities. The needs in four industrial sectors were discussed: traditional chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and consumer products. Speakers from industry discussed topics such as sustainable raw material sources, reduction of toxicity of raw materials and end products, and product end-of-life issues such as recycling or reuse of materials. The workshop achieved the exchange of scientific information on questions of importance to the societal goal of environmentally sustainable manufacturing and commerce. A recap of the meeting discussions can be found at http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/bcst/miscellaneous/Sustainable_Chem_Recap.pdf

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Tingyu Li
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National Academy of Sciences
United States
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