Fall Lecture, North Shore Chapter of Sigma Xi
October 25, 2012
Dwight Tshudy, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Gordon College
The term “green” has been used by many as a synonym for “good for the environment.”
Green chemistry has also been touted for a number of years as a new and better
way of doing chemistry. Sustainability has now become a “buzzword” to cover
a multitude of activities, and its use has become fashionable in many circles.
But what is the connection between “green” and sustainability? How might
it make a difference that would really matter
s to any of us? These
are big questions that should be discussed, debated, disagreed with and modified
as we learn more of the world around us.
Sustainability and green chemistry are not black and white ideas, but ones that come with many shades and variations. There will be successes and also opportunities, both for green chemistry and sustainability. Ultimately we must act on the best of these ideas. At Gordon, we are exploring how TAML (tetra-amido-macrocyclic-ligand) catalysts can be used for chemical synthesis and degradation. These catalysts were developed Terry Collins at the Institute for Green Science using biomimetic principles to try to mimic what naturally occurring enzymes are able to accomplish. Chemical approaches using catalytic reactions like these fall under the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. Our understanding of sustainability and green chemistry can guide what takes place in the classroom, in the teaching laboratory, in the research laboratory, and beyond.