Green chemistry no more?!

Oh, this is so disheartening, friends. The EPA has canceled a $20-million fund to promote green chemistry research projects with virtually no explanation of why. Read the Environmental Health News story about this sad turn of events here.

In response to the decision, Graham Jones, chair of the Northeastern Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology says:

This announcement took the academic community by surprise, in part due to the fact that many teams had been working for months on proposals the due date for which is later this month. If there is a silver lining to this, the EPA has hinted that it may re-issue a call for proposals later in the year. One would hope that the academic community will not be deterred from investing time and effort in the response to the next call – for fear of the same thing happening again. The intent of the program, to establish “Centers for Material Life Cycle Safety and Centers for Sustainable Molecular Design” is noteworthy and the vision of the agency was largely applauded.

In case you missed my post a couple weeks ago, green chemistry is the movement toward chemistry that is sustainable from the ground up. Instead of trying to figure out ways to make our current products more sustainable, green chemistry seeks to make new products that were never not sustainable.

Photo: Joshua Drew Vaughn, “Polymers!” December 11, 2011 via Flickr. Creative Commons attribution.