Green laboratory skills: teaching researchers how to investigate the greener synthesis of sustainable chemicals and materials (part of ‘The Green Laboratory ’ feature session)


Dr Thomas J FarmerClean Synthesis Technology Platform Leader Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, Dept. of Chemistry, University of York

Time & Location

Wednesday: 12.00 to 13.00, Stage 2

About this presentation

As we move towards a greener more sustainable chemical industry, we are seeing the re-emergence of biomass as a fundamental renewable feedstock. Key to the conversion of biomass through to products are a set of small building-block chemicals, so called Platform Molecules. Indeed, a recent study by the Lignocellulosic Biorefinery Network (LBNet) proposed a list of the 10 most promising platform molecules for the UK,1 and these are seen as fundamental to delivering the 2018-2030 UK Bioeconomy Strategy.2The elemental composition difference between conventional fossil resources vs biomass means that platform molecules, and the resultant future sustainable products, will most likely contain significantly higher oxygen content relative to their petrochemical predecessors. The BioLogicTool3 is a simple visual metric developed in York that allows researchers to compare differing pathways from feedstock through to product. Green-minded researcher can use this tool to help guide their research in the early stages, making key decisions on pathways and products that embrace higher oxygen content that could ultimately have significant benefits as processes are scaled to mega-tonne.








Forms part of ‘The Green Laboratory ’ feature session – hosted by Laboratory News

Session overview: ‘The Green Laboratory’ – 1hr feature session (hosted by Laboratory News)

The Green Laboratory: skills, adoption and implementation of green chemistry for both commercial and environment benefits in the modern laboratory

Individual presentations:

1) Green laboratory technology: ‘How come other laboratories use less solvents than mine? I’m going green with envy’

by Dr Simon Osborne, President of Analytix Ltd.

2)  Green laboratory practices: How to extract an income from your commercial waste

by David Hogg, Founder and Managing Director at Rejuvetech ltd.

3) Green laboratory skills: Introducing the BioLogicTool and demonstrating how it can select the most logical routes from bio-based chemicals through to products.

by Dr Thomas J Farmer, Clean Synthesis Technology Platform Leader, Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, Department of Chemistry, University of York.

4) Session Round-up Q & A

Speaker Bio:

Dr Thomas Farmer is leader of the Clean Synthesis Technology Platform within the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York, UK. Tom completed his PhD in York in 2009, moving first to Unilever (polymer scientist) then to a post-doc at the University of Leeds (seaweed as a feedstock for chemicals). He re-joined the GCCE in 2011 to study bio-based routes to PET, taking up a senior research position in the same group in 2013. His current research focuses on the development of cleaner manufacturing technologies and processes where efficiency is maximised and waste is minimised. This includes the application of microwave and ultrasound reactors, heterogeneous catalysis, enzymatic catalysis and the development of new sustainable solvents. Thomas is an expert in biomass building-block chemicals (platform molecules) for the production of higher value chemicals and materials.