Environmental

The Environmental Group of the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society was formed with the aim to educate and promote awareness about our environment. Our major intent is to protect the environment from the misuse of chemicals. We invite individuals from all professions and studies to join us in promoting environmental sustainability. We support technical seminars with an emphasis on environmental monitoring, remediation and restoration technologies, risk assessment, and public policies as it relates to chemicals in our environment. We also sponsor site visits, social gatherings and networking.

Membership in the Environmental Group is open to all.

If you are interested in Chairing the Environmental Group or want more information, please contact Heather Juzwa, hljuzwa@shimadzu.com.

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ACS Local Section Sustainability Programming Projects

Thanks for the financial support from the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement and Committee on Local Section Activities, the environmental group of ACS Pittsburgh local chapter developed a series of innovative local projects to promote sustainability during April through Sept. 2012.

Project 1. Artwork “What’s CO2 Got to Do with It?”

photo by Steve Ellington

The artwork entitled with “What’s CO2 Got to Do with It?” was on exhibition in the Carnegie Mellon University Artpark Lab from April 1, 2012 to May 31, 2012. The blue curve depicts the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration evolution over the past 800,000 years. To construct the curve, CO2 concentration data from ice coring studies in Antarctica were obtained from digital data library PANGAEA® (http://www.pangaea.de/) and mathematically scaled to fit the dimension of the displaying fence (51 ft x 4 ft) using the technical computing software mathematica®. This work is thus can be said as a merge between art and science. CO2, an naturally occurring chemical, forms an indispensable link in the global carbon cycle. It oscillates with ice ages for the major portion of the entire portrayed time period in the artwork and is largely bounded between 272 and 299 ppm. However, over the last two millennia, an unprecedented growth in the atmospheric CO2 concentration has been occurring with expanded human activities as highlighted by the upward spiraling rope. It is hoped that this artwork will elicit public contemplation about improving our collective behavior to favor a sustainable future.

Project 2. Green Chemistry Educational Outreach Programs

Project 2.1 : Science Olympiad for Allegheny-Hyde Park Elementary School

May 11, 2012, the environmental group made a presentation for approximately 200 fifth and sixth grades students at Allegheny-Hyde Park Elementary School during science Olympiad. The presentation is composed of two major parts, an introductory lecture on chemistry and green chemistry and an interactive dye bleaching experiment to illustrate the concept green catalytical approach to facilitate environmental decontamination. The dye bleaching experiment design was ingenious. The TAML® catalyts and other chemicals in use were generously sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Green Science. Some photos taken during the program are shown below.

Inviting Volunteers

Students Active Participation

Volunteers Reporting Experimental Results

Project 2.2: Science Forum for Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy

Built upon the previous successful experience, the environmental group improved the materials and made a presentation at Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy during their science forum. Approximately 350 high school students from 9th to 12th grades were in the audience on the presentation day Sept 18, 2012. In addition to updating the green chemistry part to tailor the interests of high school students, a career development section was included to provide an overview on the possible professional trajectories for chemists. Some photos taken during the program are shown below.

Elephant Toothpaste Experiment Demo

Hands-on Dye Bleaching Experiment

Q&A Session


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