Beyond Benign

Higher Ed

Green Chemistry University Curriculum

All Course Materials for the Green Chemistry University Curriculum

The Yale-UNIDO University Curriculum is a semester long course developed in collaboration with Beyond Benign. This free course is designed for undergraduate students and teaches (i) how the principles of green chemistry can help resolve global human health and environmental issues, (ii) how green chemistry functions and (iii) how it is implemented. The curriculum was developed as part of the Global Green Chemistry Initiative (GGCI), a joint initiative between the Center for Green Chemistry and Engineering at Yale and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and was funded by GEF (Global Environment Facility). The GGCI consists of six primary projects to raise awareness and provide instruction and information on green chemistry. You can find more information at https://www.global-green-chemistry-initiative.com/

All course materials can be downloaded here

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All Course Materials for the Green Chemistry University Curriculum

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Course Syllabus

This course will explore the fundamentals of chemistry, how chemistry can help address global human health and environmental issues. It provides an introduction to the foundational principles of chemistry including atoms, molecules, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, chemical/physical properties, and periodic table trends. This knowledge is then related to various environmental and human health issues, and develop the appropriate solutions using green chemistry approaches covered in the course.

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Course Syllabus

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Lecture 01 – Course Introduction and Accidents and Their Unintentional Consequences

In this lecture students will learn about the course requirements and the innovative capabilities of Green Chemistry which will be covered during next 14 weeks. Students will also learn that accidents can be reduced or prevented with a thoughtful design using Green Chemistry principles.

Lesson download includes:

Lesson Plan: Lecture 1

PowerPoint Presentation: Lecture 1

Optional/Supplemental Readings: Bhopal Plant Disaster Situation Summary

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Lecture 01 – Course Introduction and Accidents and Their Unintentional Consequences

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Lecture 05 – The Molecule

In this lecture, students will be introduced to molecules and how to properly draw and assign nomenclature. This lecture will focus on the fundamental ways to identify molecules and extrapolate to organic nomenclature. Since the majority of the content in later lectures will focus on organic molecules and their functional groups, it is important that student have the skills to name and draw organic structures

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Lecture 05 – The Molecule

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Lecture 07 – Limiting Reagent, Yield, and Atom Economy

In this lecture, students will be introduced to the concepts of limiting reagents, yield, and atom economy. Building upon their working knowledge of balancing equations and stoichiometry, students will apply those core skills to determine the efficiency of reactions based upon molecular factors. This lecture will focus on the fundamental ways molecules are evaluated on their efficacy and extrapolate to the Green Chemistry metrics. Since the majority of the content in this lecture focuses on organic molecules and their functional groups, it is important that student have these skills reinforced by continuing to name and draw organic structures when performing calculations.

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Lecture 07 – Limiting Reagent, Yield, and Atom Economy

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Lecture 09 – Sustainability

In this lecture students will learn about what Sustainability is and the common misconceptions among individuals today. The lecture covers the typical myths about Sustainability and provides evidence to justify. Furthermore, the lecture will cover the importance on sustainability in business and the various methods in which green chemistry positively effects business operations.

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Lecture 09 – Sustainability

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Lecture 15 – Catalysis

In this lecture students will learn about the importance of catalysis and the added benefits it provides in all levels of chemistry. Students will see how catalysts make reactions more efficient by means of the activation energy. More importantly, students will be introduced to alternative types of catalysis that Green Chemistry utilizes to create more environmentally responsible processes.

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Lecture 15 – Catalysis

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Lecture 16 – Solvents: Understanding Their Role

In this class students will learn the roles and responsibilities that solvent have in chemical transformations. The advantage and disadvantages will be discussed followed the various categories of solvent used today. After learning about the effects of solvent use, student will be introduced to the need for alternative solvents and their role in advancing technology, humans, and the environment.

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Lecture 16 – Solvents: Understanding Their Role

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Lecture 17 – Working without Solvents

In this class students will learn the possibilities to perform chemical transformations without the presence of an organic solvent. Students will explore alternative methodologies ranging from supercritical fluids to solventless conditions. The goal of this lecture is to not only inform student of alternative methodologies, but to provide real example of how these approaches are used today.

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Lecture 17 – Working without Solvents

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Lecture 19: Green Chemistry and Energy

In this lecture students will learn about the current state of energy production and consumption. Traditional sources of energy include non-renewable sources such as coal and oil. Renewable energy sources will be explored such as biofuels, solar cells and fuel cells. Students will learn how energy is used within the laboratory to heat, cool and for processing, along with alternative energy sources for performing synthetic reactions. The next generation of energy applications will also be discussed.

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Lecture 19: Green Chemistry and Energy

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Lecture 21 – Introduction to Toxicology

This lecture introduces toxicology. Students will learn different toxicology terms, including definition, types of toxic compounds, and factors influencing toxicity. At the end of the lecture, students will revise potential toxicology endpoints to molecular features which are derived from the periodic table. In addition to periodic table trends, the lecture also introduces the concept of pKa and links it to a skin irritation through the class activity.

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Lecture 21 – Introduction to Toxicology

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Lecture 22 – Chemical Exposure and Dosage

In this lecture, students learn components of risk – hazard and exposure and how green chemistry aims to minimize hazard, which ultimately leads to minimizing the risk.  This lecture also defines the concept of dose and how the toxicity testing is currently done through dose-response curves. A small class activity on the dose-response curve for solvents allows student to use their newly learned knowledge on dose-response in practice and a quiz at the end summarizes the key concepts covered during this class period.

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Lecture 22 – Chemical Exposure and Dosage

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Lecture 23 – Molecular Toxicology

This lecture introduces Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion (ADME) concepts and how chemists can take advantage of physicochemical parameters like logP, molecular weight, and vapor pressure to redesign molecules that won’t absorb into the body, limit distribution, and facilitate metabolism and excretion. These concepts are reinforced by an in-class exercise that explores potential absorption routes by benzene. The lecture also explores new approaches to hazard minimization through molecular design.

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Lecture 23 – Molecular Toxicology

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Lecture 25 & 26: Safe Chemical Design Game

The last two lectures, lecture 25 and lecture 26, allow students to explore safer chemical design and ADME through educational online computer game. The game encourages students to think like professional chemical designers and to develop a chemical product with respect to function and improved human and environmental health. The developed worksheet leads students through the game challenges and tests their understanding of the content as they progress through the game. The eight questions in the worksheet can be used as an individual assignment or as an in-class discussion. These questions are designed to be answered as students play the game.

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Lecture 25 & 26: Safe Chemical Design Game

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