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Reducing chemical waste in-situ: SoluSave

SoluSave is a company that is looking at recycling laboratory solvents with an in-situ, microscale device. They are a start-up based in Toronto, Ontario and they are currently working with an entrepreneurial incubator called the University of Toronto Hatchery. The SoluSave team consists of undergraduate engineering students at the University of Toronto and a recent chemistry graduate. 

This idea was formulated by SoluSave’s original co-founder’s Leanna and John in March of 2019. They both noticed that the issue of solvent waste was ever prevalent in undergraduate laboratories where liters of solvent waste were generated in every laboratory course. At the University of Toronto, there is a strong emphasis on the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry in the undergraduate laboratory courses, this is in part due to the department signing onto the Green Chemistry Commitment program in 2016. However, the department has had a long history of fostering a culture of Green Chemistry practice among students, so it’s not surprising they were inspired to reduce their solvent waste as undergraduates. However, as they moved into the graduate research laboratories, they noticed that the extent of solvent waste was still prominent in these settings.

SoluSave was fortunate to be awarded the 2019 University of Toronto Sustainability and Innovation Prize. The team behind the idea is from the University of Toronto. John Russell completed his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and will be attending the University of Pennsylvania to earn his Ph.D. in Chemistry. Leanna Smid recently completed her undergraduate degree specializing in biological chemistry. Leanna will be pursuing a Masters of Business and Science at Utrecht University. Joseph Kamangu joined the SoluSave team earlier this year and is pursuing a major in Civil Engineering. Diana Li is studying in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and is also minoring in Engineering Business and Environmental Engineering.

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