Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry

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The SAGE Program Celebrates!

The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry is celebrating the completion of six years of the SAGE IGERT program! Our celebration will take place during an all-day symposium at 775 Tan Hall on the Berkeley campus from 8 AM to 6 PM on April 30, and we will be highlighting our research, education and engagement through a series of 20-minute talks, poster session and other activities. We will provide lunch and refreshments throughout.

An agenda for the day:

SAGE Sunset Celebration Packet

Registration is closed for this event. For a complete record of the event please see the SAGE IGERT Sunset Celebration page link on the left side of our home page.

BCGC and Millipore Corporation Sign Accord

The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry and the EMD Millipore Corporation signed a Confidential Disclosure Agreement in February, 2018, marking the first step toward collaboration on a variety of projects. Chief among them will be the testing and review of Millipore’s DOZN software program, a chemical procedure assessment tool based on the principles of green chemistry, and continuation of BCGC’s work in improving the safety of materials and processes in additive manufacturing (AM).

Green Chemistry Fellow at Millipore Samy Ponnusamy and Executive Director of BCGC Tom McKeag are current participants in Northwest Green Chemistry’s Sustainable Materials Roundtable for Additive Manufacturing Members, an outgrowth, in part, of BCGC consulting work with Autodesk starting in 2015.

Greener Solutions teams visit partners WLGore and MycoWorks

During October, our interdisciplinary graduate student teams in our Greener Solutions course visited our challenge partners, WLGore and MycoWorks. The two partners could not be more different in scale, with WLGore of Delaware a $3B revenue per year company of more than 10,000 employees, and MycoWorks a small startup with a lab in San Francisco. Both companies were interested in getting some fresh ideas on how to make apparel or accessories perform better without toxic ingredients. How do we make safer water and oil repellant clothing, and leather-like products more supple and strong? Our teams got to learn first-hand how some of these products might be made; at the lab in San Francisco, and at the WLGore Innovation Center in Santa Clara, California. The teams will present their final recommendations to our partners on December 5. Stay tuned for more details about this public event!



New Book Chapters about Additive Manufacturing, Sustainability, Bio-inspired Design and Green Chemistry

Executive Director Tom McKeag and former SAGE fellow Jeremy Faludi have just published separate book chapters about developing safer and more sustainable additive manufacturing (AM).

Writing in volume 10, of the Handbook of Green Chemistry: Tools for Green Chemistry, ed. Beach, Kundu and Anastas (Wiley)McKeag proposes twelve themes from bio-inspired design to guide additive manufacturing to safer materials and processes. “Shaping the Future of Additive Manufacturing: Twelve Themes from Bio-inspired Design and Green Chemistry” reviews the current trends in AM, cautions about present practices and outlines how themes like self-organization and hierarchy across linear scales could be applied to the industry.

In The Next Production Revolution: Implications for Government and Business by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Faludi compares the environmental impact of today’s typical 3D printing with two classic manufacturing methods, machining and injection molding, citing life-cycle assessments, scoring greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, material toxicity, resource depletion, and other factors. He and co-authors Cline-Thomas and Agrawala argue for incentives to bring certain 3D manufacturing techniques to the mainstream in order to promote greater sustainability.




A Pioneering Partnership with Costco

We are pleased to announce that the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC) and Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) have agreed to a long-term collaborative relationship to assess the current and future chemical management program at Costco. BCGC will be studying and evaluating Costco’s current chemical assessment program and wider chemical policy planning. We will assist Costco in developing a strategic plan for restricting and assessing chemicals of concern within their global supply chain and guiding company procurement now and in the future. We are excited to help the further adoption of green chemistry in the retail sector!

Executive Director Tom McKeag will oversee the overall project planning for the Berkeley research team led by BCGC Associate Director Dr. Ann Blake and Dr. Sally Edwards of  the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachuesetts, Lowell. Dr. Tala Daya, formerly of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS) at UC Berkeley will be assisting in the research and analysis as part of her new postdoc appointment at BCGC. The Berkeley team will work with a high-power, cross-company team at Costco.

This partnership will serve for a regular assessment, refinement and implementation of chemical policy at Costco. The intent of BCGC is to first perform a comprehensive review of relevant factors affecting chemicals management at Costco for three product areas: textiles, furniture, and personal care and household products. BCGC will then review and compare Costco’s current chemical restrictions in relation to a larger list of chemicals of concern as well as to sector restricted substances lists (RSL) and best practices in assessing safer alternatives for each of the three identified product categories. Actionable recommendations for the short, mid and longer term will be provided.

Costco Wholesale has a commitment to provide great products and value to its over 85 million international members and helping them achieve their chemicals management program goals will have a big impact for a safer retail sector.


Mushrooms and Lotus Leaves: Greener Solutions course, fall, 2017


This fall interdisciplinary graduate student teams in our Greener Solutions course are partnering with WLGore, the manufacturer and maker of Goretex, and MycoWorks, a San Francisco startup that makes a mycelium based leather substitute. For Gore a team will look at alternatives to perfluorinated compounds (PFC’s) to impart durable water repellency (DWR) to their technical clothing line. Many of their ideas will come from nature, such as the hydrophobic and self-cleaning characteristics of the lotus leaf. For MycoWorks, a team will look to imparting strength, durability and flexibility to the company’s material without using the harsh chemicals typically associated with the leather apparel industry.


Article about Greener Solutions course at

Board member and founder/ co-instructor of the Greener Solutions course, Dr. Meg Schwarzman, has recently published a good summary of the class in the Right Chemistry section of Insights at You can view the article here: