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Transition Year Programme Emphasises Sustainable and Green Chemistry

An outreach initiative From Lab to Life – The Journey to Sustainable Chemistry and Materials was developed by Dr Gillian Collins, lecturer in Sustainable Materials as part of a new Transition Year programme at the School of Chemistry and the ERI.

The programme is centred around hands-on experiments and interactive demonstrations to inspire students to think critically about the environmental impact of chemical processes and materials. Experiments include turning copper coins in ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ highlighting our dependence on critical raw materials in modern technology such as mobile phones and illustrates the real-world relevance of fundamental concepts such as electrochemistry and catalysis. Other interactive and fun activities include making biodegradable from seaweed and using everyday materials to design greener reactions and showcase the principles of green chemistry in action. The programme was also delivered by Dr Brendan Bulfin and PhD students Rachel Breen and Doireann O’Leary Brennan with a key aim of encouraging students to pursue STEM at third level.