International Conference on Green Chemistry: Tel Aviv University

25 02 2007

International Conference on Green Chemistry
June 6-7, 2007

In recent years we have seen a tremendous legislative and policy effort world over to regulate and re-examine national chemical policies. Some examples are the new European REACH directive for assessment and registration of chemicals, new laws in California to assess human exposure to chemicals and new legislation in Michigan to promote alternative, cleaner business methods. This trend is the result of public opinion increasingly connecting chemicals with health hazards, whereby the word “chemicals” has for some people become synonymous with “poison”. In addition to the health risks, chemicals and chemical processes present huge environmental problems, not to mention the contribution of energy intensive processes in industry to global warming.

Green Chemistry
The above concerns have given rise to new research and educational initiatives both in academia and in industry to study and teach the potential for cleaner, more sustainable chemistry, with the development of a field now known as “green chemistry”. The purpose of this field is to try to design chemicals and chemical processes that will be less harmful to human health and the environment. In 2005 the field achieved world recognition when 3 chemists received the Nobel Prize for their research in green chemistry. The business world has not lagged behind, and several companies have seen great success after producing products that are considered environmentally safe. Nowadays, intensive R&D work is taking place in industries all over the world to examine alternatives to existing processes and use of materials.

The Situation in Israel
Despite this trend in highly advanced countries, many countries are still in the early stages in the development of this field. Unfortunately the chemical discipline is not always open to new directions and novel methods, as is the situation in Israel where the practice of green chemistry in industry is almost non-existent and only one course in one university (out of more than a dozens universities and colleges) touches upon this field. Due to the above mentioned reasons, and with the purpose of bringing in new international knowledge and insights to encourage activity in this field in Israel, the Porter School of Environmental Studies in Tel Aviv University has convened a group of senior professors from various universities in Israel to design the first international conference on green chemistry in Israel.

The conference will be held on June 6-7th, 2007, at Tel Aviv University and will be entitled: “Green Chemistry – applications, research, and trends”. It will include 4 sessions on the following topics:

Commerical applications of green chemistry
Raw materials recycling, toxicity reduction, renewable fuels, energy efficiency – novel academic research
Environmental and health aspects of home and commercial use of chemicals
Global and national policy on chemical use
The development of the field of green chemistry in Israel is of tremendous importance to the future of industrial and academic development in the country, as well as to the health of the public and the environment in the region. The main purpose of the conference is to introduce academia, industry, government and NGOs in the region to the field – among others, via introducing novel research and trends from abroad. It is the intention of the organizers that the conference will serve as a starting point for numerous other activities, involving industrial associations, government and academia, to bring forward a more sustainable agenda for chemical R&D in the region.

Tel Aviv University
http://www.environment.tau.ac.il/Eng/Index.asp?ArticleID=200&CategoryID=136&Page=1

Urban Core International

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