1st Edition

Problem-Solving Exercises in Green and Sustainable Chemistry

By Albert S. Matlack, Andrew P. Dicks Copyright 2016
    195 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    195 Pages
    by CRC Press

    When confronted with a problem in science, the way to proceed is not always obvious. The problem may seem intractable or there may be many possible solutions, with some better than others. Problem-Solving Exercises in Green and Sustainable Chemistry teaches students how to analyze and solve real-world problems that occur in an environmental context, and it encourages creativity in developing solutions to situations based on events that have actually taken place.

    The problems described in this book are relevant and stimulating in learning and understanding the principles of green and sustainable chemistry. They address various aspects of the field, including:

    • Toxicity
    • Waste generation and disposal
    • Chemical accidents
    • Energy efficiency
    • New policy development

    The final chapter contains proposed solutions to the presented problems and provides commentaries and references to relevant literature.

    This book also prompts students to become more comfortable with the idea of multiple "correct" answers to problems. It emphasizes the reality that green chemistry is about making practical decisions and weighing multiple factors that are often conflicting, thus making it difficult or impossible to apply one perfect solution to a given situation. Problem-Solving Exercises in Green and Sustainable Chemistry prepares students to solve challenging problems, whether as green chemists, as architects designing energy-efficient buildings, or as environmentally-conscious citizens.

    Foreword by John C. Warner

    Introduction by Professor Hal White

    Toxicity, Accidents, and Chemical Waste
    General Background
    Toxicity of Chemicals in the Environment
    Accidents with Chemicals
    Waste and Its Minimization

    The Chemistry of Longer Wear
    Why Things Wear Out
    Stabilizers for Polymers
    Lubrication, Wear, and Related Subjects
    Inhibition of Corrosion
    The Future

    The Chemistry of Waste Management and Recycling
    Methods and Incentives for Source Reduction
    Overall Picture

    Energy and the Environment
    Energy-Related Problems
    Heating, Cooling, and Lighting Buildings
    Renewable Energy for Electricity and Transport
    Use of Less Common Forms of Energy for Chemical Reactions

    Environmental Economics
    Nature’s Services
    Environment Accounting
    Environmental Economics of Individuals
    Government Actions Affecting Environmental Economics

    The Greening of Society

    Solutions to In-Chapter Problems
    Solutions to Chapter 1
    Solutions to Chapter 2
    Solutions to Chapter 3
    Solutions to Chapter 4
    Solutions to Chapter 5
    Solutions to Chapter 6


    Albert S. Matlack began his career in chemistry with the Manhattan Project before spending 43 years at Hercules Incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware. After he was forced to retire at the age of 70, he volunteered to teach at the University of Delaware, stopping just months before his death at the age of 90 in 2013. He spent more than ten years writing the textbook Introduction to Green Chemistry and compiled the problems covered in Problem-Solving Exercises in Green and Sustainable Chemistry shortly before his death. He was passionately interested in all aspects of chemistry, and devoted his research to problems in the environment caused by chemicals. Andrew P. Dicks is a teaching faculty member at the University of Toronto. After undergraduate and graduate study in the United Kingdom, he became an organic chemistry sessional lecturer in 1999, and was hired as part of the university teaching-stream two years later. He has research interests in undergraduate laboratory instruction that involve designing novel and stimulating experiments, particularly those that showcase green chemistry principles. This work has led to over 45 peer-reviewed publications in the chemistry education literature. He has won several pedagogical awards and is the editor of the textbook Green Organic Chemistry in Lecture and Laboratory . In 2014 he was co-chair of the 23rd IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education. Following the passing of Albert S. Matlack, he assumed editorship of Problem-Solving Exercises in Green and Sustainable Chemistry in order to ensure the issues discussed in this book became available to the broader chemistry community.

    '"Problem-Solving Exercises in Green and Sustainable Chemistry", by Albert S. Matlack, edited by Andrew P. Dicks, is an excellent book which should be a part of the library of educators who teach the subject, and chemists in general. It is a showcase of problem-based learning, so-called PBL, in which students and other learners are fully engaged in learning via problem solving. Anybody who teaches is well-aware of extra time after the lecture is delivered, when one wishes to have some interesting problems to give to students to work on and discuss. This is a problem particularly in green and sustainable chemistry, which is a new field and not much educational material exists. The author has a gold mine of examples that he has developed over his teaching career, which, significantly, followed his long career in industry. Thus, his examples are rooted in reality, and are quite relevant. Also, they are examples of the evolving issues, rather than something that is solved and set in stone. Thus, these examples are excellent for promoting classroom discussion, and assigning problems to students to research them. General solutions for the problems and useful hints are given in the back of the book. Since the material was developed over a period of years, many references are outdated. However, this minor shortcoming of the book can be easily overcome, since the instructors can either update references themselves, or delegate this task to the students. In conclusion, this unique and valuable book is most highly recommended.'

    Vera M. Kolb, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Parkside.