On December 12th 2017, Yale Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering and National Center for Cleaner Production of Serbia conducted the Awareness Raising Workshop in Belgrade, Serbia. The event was tremendously successful and widely attended by 112 representatives from industry, education, science, state administration, and civil society. The workshop which was organized by Dr. Branko Dunjić, Director of the Center for Cleaner Production of Serbia and Dr. Bojan Radak, Associate Director of the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, was held at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.
The GEF funded event is part of Yale – UNIDO initiative which aims to increase a global awareness on Green Chemistry approaches for the design of products and processes that advance global environmental benefits. The one-day Awareness Raising Workshop in Serbia was the first in a series of global workshops and was uniquely customized to introduce Green Chemistry and its possibilities to industry, government, academia, and non-profit organizations, which are interested in catalytic dissemination of green chemistry practices.
The event started with a warm welcome from Mr. Slobodan Perović, Assistant Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Serbia, Professor Ivanka Popović, Vice-Rector of the University of Belgrade, Professor Vesna Mišković-Stanković, President of the Serbian Chemical Society, Mr. Dušan Stokić, Director of the Center for Environmental Protection of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Branko Dunjić. The welcome remarks were followed by the workshop led by Professor Adelina Voutchkova from the George Washington University in Washington DC, assisted by Dr. Karolina Mellor from the Yale Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering.
Workshop consisted of four distinct modules:
1. Introduction: Chemicals in the Society
In the first module Professor Voutchkova highlighted the importance of the chemical industry in everyday life and showed how its development is closely linked to the changes in the global society and economics. She also acknowledged the many environmental problems born with these advances and discussed the current approaches and solutions to them.
2. Fundamentals of Green Chemistry
In the second module Professor Voutchkova explained the 12 Principles that define Green Chemistry as a field. The 12 Principles consist of guidelines for chemists to design chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances. This module also compared green chemistry based technologies to traditional techniques, showing that it is possible to reconcile high performance and yield with environmental concerns.
3. Areas of Research in Green Chemistry
In the afternoon module, Professor Voutchkova discussed the many aspects of research in Green Chemistry, highlighting the advances in technologies related to chemical feedstock, catalysis, solvents, and waste. She also defined the importance of each one of these four aspects and established the connection between advances in these fields and the principles of Green Chemistry.
4. Partners Content
The last module was designed to showcase Green Chemistry that is currently practiced in Serbia. It included presentations from Professor Jonjaua Ranogajec, Professor Branimir Jovančićević and Professor Vladimir Beškoski, who shared their strategies and approaches on Green Chemistry implementation in their research groups. The resulting panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Bojan Radak.
The event ended with questions from the audience and closing remarks from the organizer, Dr. Branko Dunjić. This event will be followed by a 5-day workshop where the Yale team and a Green Chemistry expert will train Serbian facilitators to further disseminate green chemistry nationally.