Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 09:09:31 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: Re: Environmental sustainability in labs?- Friday Hilarity Ensues

From: John Nail 
Date: August 30, 2009 8:55:49 AM EDT (CA)
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Environmental sustainability in labs?- Friday  
Hilarity Ensues

Any use of energy, water or chemicals will have an environmental  
impact. Despite popular wishful thinking, all energy sources,  
including solar, wind and hydro, have adverse environmental impacts.

If '(environmentally) sustainable' means 'minimizing ecological impact  
(while maintaining safety standards)', then this is logically /  
physically possible. I should note as someone who teaches undergrads  
that often 'green' chemistry lab experiments are needlessly confusing  
for the students. As an example, students get that if Cr+6 is being  
reduced to Cr+3, the organic reactant is being oxidized; they don't  
get many of the 'green' oxidization reactions.

Presumably, we all remember the 'degrees of freedom' concept from  
P.Chem. We have to balance safety, good teaching, environmental impact  
and costs. If we maximize any one of these, it forces a compromise in  
the others.


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