Summer School on Green Chemistry 2006 edition (9th event) -
NATO Advanced Study Institute
Green Chemistry is the use of chemistry for pollutant source reduction; the definition encompasses therefore all aspects and chemical processes that reduce impact on human health and on the environment. Its goal is to improve the quality of life and the competitiveness of industry, by developing alternative syntheses for important industrial chemicals. Green Chemistry is multidisciplinary and includes by definition all areas of chemistry as well as related fields (engineering, biology, risk assessment, economics, etc.).
There are five focus areas, whereby Green Chemistry can be achieved, and that are currently the main focus themes of this area of research in Europe: 1.Alternative synthetic pathways, based on atom (and mass) economy, achievable through catalysis and biocatalysis, natural processes, such as photochemistry, electrochemistry and biomimetic synthesis. 2.Alternative reaction conditions, based on the use of solvents that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment, increased selectivity and reduced wastes and emissions. 3.The design, use, and production of chemicals that are less toxic than current alternatives, inherently safer with regard to accident potential. 4.Alternative feedstocks and safe reagents to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and the potential for accidents. 5.The evaluation of the risk connected to chemical processes, to chemical products and reagents, to by-products To this end, significant challenges are available for chemists to design new syntheses that are less polluting, and to gain detailed understanding of the scientific facts and of the technical base needed to support sustainable development and environmental protection. The School will provide the unique opportunity to bring together a number of experts in the field of Green Chemistry and young researchers interested in this topic, this synergy of competencies will certainly be a valuable occasion to promote diffusion of the knowledge in this emerging field.
The teaching will be divided in basic themes (Atom economy, Industrial Processes, Alternative Solvents, New Feedstocks and Products, New Reactions and New Synthetic Methods), and special topics selected according to the availability of the teachers. In addition topics related to current research in Green Chemistry will be addressed with the aim to familiarize the students with the strategies behind the planning and designing of efficient and "greener" synthetic routes. It is expected that the ASI will provide high level training and understanding in the five focus areas outlined above. As an added value it will give rise to new research projects and collaborations. These will be effectively carried out by the exchange of young researchers, particularly students from developing nations. The proposed ASI will allow participants to become part of the network of European green chemists. All these students will be ambassadors of (green) chemistry in their institutions, in their countries, and to their peers. In this they will be aided by the volumes which will be published as proceeding, by the lectures of the schools disseminated on the internet, and through the network of practitioners of which they will effectively become part of.