This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Incorporating Green Chemistry Principles in Heterogeneous Catalysis Operations




Bacik, Deborah

Type of Degree



Chemical Engineering


Many commercial processes for the production of chemicals involve harsh organic solvents as well as numerous by-products that are detrimental to the environment. For many years it was common practice to implement a process in manufacturing, without consideration of the environmental impact, simply because the process worked. The twelve principles of green chemistry, which are widely accepted by the scientific community, present an ideology for addressing these environmental concerns. The twelve principles include several important topics such as the incorporation of benign solvents, solvent-free processes, highly selective catalysts, waste reduction and prevention, and the design of less energy-intensive chemical processes. The focus of this dissertation involved the substitution of harsh organic solvents with more environmentally benign solvents, the development and use of more selective catalysts for an environmental application, the development of a more atom-efficient synthetic approach for the production of commodity chemicals, and the synthesis of petrochemicals from a renewable feedstock.