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NOP - Sustainable organic teaching lab
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Sustainable development needs chemical researchResearch and innovation are preconditions for the transformation ...

Sustainable development needs chemical researchResearch and innovation are preconditions for the transformation of economic and social processes in favor of a sustainable development. Chemistry, the science and practice of the transformation of matter, is of central importance. Everyone dealing with chemistry can contribute substantially to sustainable development and holds special responsibility. Already in education the links between reactions and substances with the consumption of energy and resources, toxicology and environmental pollution have to be treated consciously, so that graduates can provide for them in their professional life.Organic chemistry lab courses are central for chemical educationOrganic chemistry lab courses are obligatory in university courses in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pharmacy, physics, medicine and even in some engineering science courses. Most of these courses are being carried out in the traditional manner: Students learn basic experimental techniques of synthesis and analysis as well as dealing with dangerous chemical substances. The efficiency of a reaction is generally only looked at in terms of its stoichiometric yield. Students don't learn to evaluate the overall efficiency of a chemical transformation which is a direct measure of its sustainability. Procedures for possible improvements of their efficiency are not taught in an explicit way.Education contents must be complementedIn order for future generations of scientists to pay more attention to the topic of sustainable development already during their education, traditional contents and concepts of chemical education in schools, vocational schools, academies and universities have to be changed. Important contents of organic chemistry lab courses have to be preserved: Experiencing the joys of experimental activities, practicing of experimental skills, getting to know substances, equipment and reactions, safe handling of dangerous substances complying with legal regulations. These topics shall be complemented by aspects of efficiency and sustainability of a reaction. From this broader perspective students learn to plan, conduct and analyse organic synthesis reactions, including effects of the reaction on man and environment into the scope of their activities. Sustainability starts with planning the reaction! Course material offered in a new way...Depending on aim and level of studies the contents to be conveyed differ strongly. Therefore a new format was chosen for the new organic chemistry lab course. Not a textbook or script but an interactive database was designed to offer all relevant information. The offer is meant for lab instructors and teachers responsible for practical education in organic chemistry in universities, academies and vocational schools. The NOP material is intended to help set up modern lab courses and seminars, to get concepts and tools of sustainable chemistry across to generations of scientists to come.Lab experiments with experimental instructions, security information, safety information and analytical data have been amended with non-classical issues like life cycle assessment (LCA), energy consumption and (eco-)toxicological evaluations....and open for your contributionsContrary to the "closed" nature of a textbook, only evolving by new editions in a confined way, this lab course is "open", meaning that authors not belonging to the original team can contribute. All materials are free of charge for students as well as teachers. For their application in a specific course, the instructor chooses adequate parts of the NOP collection. A preselection of topics, amplitude and structure of a course has been deliberately avoided. We hope that this open form of offering course material will widely be accepted and used on the different levels of education. Classical contents like experimental instructions are directly linked to, but not mixed with information, articles and data concering sustainability, environmental protection and (eco)toxicology. In this way it is envisioned to convey these contents together with the classical "program".The project was funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt.This is cordially acknowledged.

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University of Regensburg
B. Koenig M. Bahadir B. Jastorff H. Hopf R. Störmann J. Ranke B. Ondruschka G. Kreisel J. Metzger U. Biermann C. Braig D. Lenoir