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BCGC-Sponsored Research Plays Role in World Bank Decision Not to Back Kosovo Coal Plant

Pristina, Kosovo, Oct. 10 – Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank announced on Wednesday that the organization will not be funding a new 500-megawatt (MW) power plant in Kosovo because analysis by the World Bank found that renewable energy sources provide electricity at a lower cost than coal. The decision was informed by reports and analysis led by former SAGE fellow Dr. Noah Kittner, under the direction of Professor Dan Kammen of the Energy and Resources Group and the Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). BCGC helped fund Dr. Kittner’s work to update models for Kosovo’s energy strategy, and to travel to meet with the European Climate Foundation in Brussels, the Kosovar Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) in Pristiana, and the European Energy Commission in Brussels to evaluate alternative and renewable energy options.

Our Kosovo project engaged several members of the BCGC community: Heather Buckley oversaw the chemical analysis of the lignite coal samples, relying on Raj Fadadu and Zac Mathe to do the experimental work to quantify the metal contents of the samples. Once the data had been collected, Megan Schwarzman was then able to provide insight on the human health consequences of exposure lignite coal emissions. Noah then worked with Dan Kammen to contextualize the health outcome data within their models of energy generation in the region and generate the series of reports that contributed to the World Bank’s decision. In response to the news, Professor Kammen remarked: “Rarely does a thesis contribute so directly and so immediately to such an event.”

BCGC at the 22nd Annual ACS Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference

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.

BCGC Board Member Publishes Report on Green Chemistry Innovations in the Textile and Apparel Industries

Marty Mulvihill, co-founder of Safer Made and current board member of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, recently co-authored the publication of an analysis of coming trends in the textile and apparel industry. This report details changes in five key “Innovation Areas” where advances in chemical performance and safety are anticipated to radically alter the textile and apparel industries over the next ten years. The five innovation areas are:

  • New Materials – Synthetic Fibers, Cellulosic Fibers, Leather Alternatives
  • New Safer Chemistries – Safer Finishing Chemistries, Bio-based Dyes
  • Waterless Processing – Waterless Dyeing Processes, Waterless Finishing Processes
  • Fiber Recycling – Cotton, Polyester, Blends, Nylon
  • Supply Chain Information Management Systems – Chemicals Management Information Systems, Traceability systems

The report includes market research and information gathered from brands, suppliers, and start-ups in the textile manufacturing space to provide a comprehensive and thoughtful overview of the coming innovations in this sector.

Copies of the report are available for download at

BCGC Welcomes Amanda Cattermole as its Newest Board Member!

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Amanda Cattermole

The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry is excited to welcome Amanda Cattermole of Cattermole Consulting to its executive board. Ms. Cattermole is a sustainability consultant with over twenty years of Green Chemistry experience. She has been a friend to the BCGC for over five years, beginning with her support with the collaboration between Levi Strauss and the Greener Solutions course. Most recently, she joined us at the SAGE Sunset Celebration, partnering with Marty Mulvihill to discuss how hazardous chemicals have spurred green chemistry innovations in the apparel industry. Now the BCGC is fortunate to have her bring her expertise and insight to our board.

Amanda has provided a short bio:

“In 2014, after a 25 year career at Levi Strauss and Company (LS&Co.), Amanda Cattermole founded Cattermole Consulting, a consultancy that helps organizations develop chemical management strategies that result in safer products made in cleaner supply chains.

Through her work, education and experience, she has significant expertise about hazardous chemicals and how they are used in consumer products, especially in the textile and leather industries.

Her services include business development and strategic advice, education and training, communication and developing innovation strategies to drive profitable growth.

Amanda was the technical point person for LS&Co. during the Greenpeace Detox campaign. She was involved in the initial “Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals” multi-stakeholder group and led one of the work-streams, which was tasked with developing and implementing a prioritization framework to phase out hazardous chemicals used in the apparel and footwear supply chains.

Amanda graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Colour Chemistry from Leeds University in 1987 and a Masters degree in Textile Chemistry from UC Davis in 1989.”

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!