Green chemistry conference to be held in Auckland

06 December 2017

The first-ever international green chemistry conference will be held in Auckland this weekend.

Leading chemists from around the world will gather at the University of Auckland for the two-day conference on 8-9 December to discuss the search for less environmentally harmful, safer alternatives to existing technologies and chemical processes.

New methods to clean polluted water, creating useful materials from fishing waste and developing non-flammable rechargeable batteries are just some of the topics that will be discussed.

“The development of environmentally friendly technologies, pollution prevention and reducing society’s reliance on fossil resources are global challenges with chemistry at their core,” says Associate Professor Jonathan Sperry from the University of Auckland’s School of Chemical Sciences.

“We need to design new ways of preventing, or even reversing, the harm human activity is having on the planet and green chemistry has a very important role to play in that.”

Speakers at the two-day conference include:

  • Professor Philip Jessop (Queen’s University, Canada)
    Using a process called forward osmosis, Professor Jessop has developed a new technology that can produce fresh water from polluted water and even seawater. This process is currently being tested on an industrial scale. Professor Jessop is a Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry, the technical director of GreenCentre Canada and Editor-in-chief of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry.
  • Dr Lauren Heine (Northwest Green Chemistry, USA)
    Dr Heine is the Executive Director of Northwest Green Chemistry, a centre that enhances human and environmental health by fostering innovation and economic opportunities through sustainable and green chemistry and engineering solutions. Lauren is an expert in chemical hazard assessment and the identification of greener products for industrial applications. She serves on the Apple Green Chemistry Advisory Board, which is tasked with integrating green chemistry into Apple’s products and supply chain, and has also drafted Policy Principles for Sustainable Materials for the OECD.
  • Professor Amy Prieto (Colorado State University, USA)
    Professor Prieto is developing novel nanomaterials for next generation rechargeable batteries that are safe and non-flammable. She is the founder and executive director of Prieto Battery which is taking this technology to the commercialisation stage, in partnership with global leaders such as Intel.
  • Associate Professor Ning Yang (Singapore)
    Professor Yang has pioneered the shell biorefinery concept and is an expert on the catalytic conversion of waste into valuable society-enhancing products. Ning has discovered several novel applications for shellfish waste, millions of tonnes of which is dumped into the sea annually, causing environmental harm.

Green Chemistry New Zealand 2017 is hosted by the Centre for Green Chemical Science (CGCS) at the University of Auckland and is sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

To register, visit the conference website.

For more information contact:

Anne Beston I Media Relations Adviser, Communications, University of Auckland
Email:, Tel: +64 9 923 3258, Mobile: + 64 (0) 21 970 089