Integrating Green and Sustainable Chemistry into Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories: Closing and Assessing the Loop on the Basis of a Citrus Biorefinery Approach for the Biocircular Economy in Brazil

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  • Vânia G. Zuin
  • Mateus L. Segatto
  • Dorai P. Zandonai
  • Guilherme M. Grosseli
  • Aylon Stahl
  • Karine Zanotti
  • Rosivania S. Andrade

One of the keys to achieving the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in education is to introduce novel pedagogical strategies into university curricula in order to promote an enhanced acute sense of sustainability in future professionals, teachers, and decision-makers. This paper aims at analyzing the effectiveness of including green and sustainable chemistry on the basis of a systems thinking framework to introduce a glocal (global scale, local impact) hot-type topic in an experimental chemistry course for first-year undergraduate Chemical Engineering students from a public Brazilian university located in Saõ Paulo state, Brazil. The enormous amount of waste generated locally by the citrus processing industry was used as a case study for a guided-inquiry laboratory experiment that addressed concepts found in interfaces with other systems, such as biorefineries, biocircular economies, and green technologies and professional education programs. On the basis of student feedback, the alternative procedure proved to be technically and pedagogically effective, showing that problem-based glocal issues can be useful tools for developing sustainability-minded future professionals. Additionally, a set of green and sustainable chemistry education (GSCE) principles composing a new metric called the Green and Sustainable Chemistry Education Compass Rose was proposed that could help educators develop and assess novel experiments to modernize and introduce the scientific concepts and tools needed to face the world's greatest challenges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2975-2983
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10.12.2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

    Research areas

  • Agricultural Chemistry, First-Year Undergraduate/General, Green Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Laboratory Equipment/Apparatus, Laboratory Instruction, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Student-Centered Learning, Systems Thinking, Testing/Assessment
  • Chemistry