Portland, OR – The annual meeting of green chemistry researchers, educators, and industrial actors commenced from June 18-20, and BCGC was again present and presenting. BCGC Executive Director Tom McKeag and Berkeley graduate student researcher Emily Cook gave a platform presentation: “Finding nature-inspired alternatives to PFASs in durable water repellency (DWR): an academic/industry approach,” which summarized the investigation undertaken by students in our Greener Solutions course in partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates. The challenge was to identify safer alternatives to PFASs for durable water repellency (DWR) in high performance outerwear.
“Working with the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry provides industry the valuable opportunity to get a fresh scientific perspective from multi-disciplinary teams on a complex issue that would benefit from an improved environmental profile,” said Barb Henry, PhD Toxicologist at W. L. Gore & Associates. “We found the teams to be eager to fully understand our challenge and were unconstrained in their approach to proposing alternative solutions. As we continuously strive to reduce our environmental footprint through innovation we are excited about the potential to work with BCGC in the future.”
Dr. Henry also presented on this collaboration in a subsequent talk: “‘Greener solutions’ and ‘PFCs of environmental concern.’” Together, the presentations gave complementary views of a successful public-private collaboration to solve a thorny materials challenge. A helpful summary of the collaboration as well as the full report can be found here.