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Tolman shares insights into green chemistry

William Tolman, chair of the Department of Chemistry, shares his insights into "green chemistry" with Tom Niemisto, a video production specialist with Minnesota 2020—a public policy think tank. In the video, Tolman talks about the importance of and the philosophy behind "cradle to cradle" green chemistry for scientists at the University of Minnesota interested in seeking solutions to today's environmental issues.

Niemisto featured Tolman and the Department of Chemistry because of their involvement in the Adding Value Through Green Chemistry Forum, which was conducted, Friday, January 7, 2011. The forum was presented by the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum and the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs. The forum brought together business, non-government organizations, public policy, and academic leaders to explore the benefits of green chemistry for businesses, the economy, public health, and the environment.

The Department of Chemistry's Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) supported the Green Chemistry Forum. Professors Tolman and Marc Hillmyer are leading researchers in the development of polymers (plastics) made from sustainable, renewable resources. Hillmyer co-organized the forum, and Tolman served on a summary panel that concluded the forum.

Hillmyer is director of the CSP, and Tolman is one of the center's principal investigators. The Humphrey Institute's Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy is also a CSP partner. The CSP is a unique integration of science, technology, and public policy initiatives aimed at reducing the used of finite fossil fuel reserves for the creation of polymers. In addition to advancing cutting-edge polymer research at the University of Minnesota, the center's mission encompasses forming partnerships with industries, teaching students about sustainable materials, and educating and engaging the public.

The Department of Chemistry is part of the College of Science & Engineering.