Beyond Benign

Higher Ed

Organic Chemistry

A Guide to Green Chemistry Experiments for Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Labs

The resource guide features measurable benefits from implementing greener alternative organic chemistry labs, including waste reduction, economic benefits, and hazard reduction. The guide also provides an assessment of some qualitative benefits of green chemistry implementation, including energy efficiency, use of renewable resources, and use of safer solvents. To download a full copy of the Resource Guide, please contact us, or go to the following link: https://www.mygreenlab.org/gccg-form.html

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A Guide to Green Chemistry Experiments for Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Labs

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Case Study: Alcohol Dehydration

The dehydration reaction of alcohols to generate alkenes are commonly performed reactions in the Organic Chemistry laboratory. The reaction generally proceeds by heating the alcohols in the presence of a strong acid, such as sulfuric or phosphoric acid, at high temperatures. Both acids can cause serious burns to the skin and eyes. A greener alcohol dehydration reaction is outlined in this case study, which uses a reusable catalyst and avoids the use of concentrated acids.

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Case Study: Alcohol Dehydration

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Case Study: Greener Oxidation

Oxidation reactions are commonly performed in the organic chemistry laboratory course. The reactions are typically performed using chromium compounds, such as pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC), one of the most common oxidizing reagents. Chromium compounds are known to be carcinogenic and many also have reproductive and developmental hazards associated with them. A greener method for performing this reaction is described that uses a molybdenum catalyst.

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Case Study: Greener Oxidation

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