The Greener Solutions program is a project based class that partners students with companies, non-profits, and/or government agencies interested in promoting the adoption of more sustainable chemistry. Every year we recruit teams of graduate students and advanced undergraduates to work closely with our partner organizations on interdisciplinary projects that leverage students’ knowledge in a real-world context.
The goal of these interdisciplinary projects is to understand and characterize the opportunities for the adoption of safer chemicals and materials within the partner organizations. While many of the solutions that our students describe will take many more years of research to develop, others may be built on existing solutions in other sectors. The resulting “opportunity map” creates a guide for the partner organization and UC Berkeley researchers to continue the problem-solving after the end of the initial semester-long project. Many of the projects started in the Greener Solutions program have grown into larger initiatives at Berkeley or within our partner organizations.
The Greener Solutions program has been supported by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control, a Pollution Prevention Grant from Region 9 of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and contributions from our partner organizations.
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Our projects have included:
Designing non-toxic mosquito repellency for polyester clothing with Patagonia (2016)
Identifying strategies for “modular polymers in manufacturing” using safer colorants for a polypropylene chair as a test case with Steelcase (2016)
Providing bio-based alternative colorants for use with PHA biopolymer coatings for marine buoys with Mango Materials (2016)
Levi Straus and Company
CA Department of Toxic Substances Control