• UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    2 late goals give UCSB a 2-0 win over UCR. Congrats to Tim Vom Steeg, now the first coach to ever reach 100 Big West wins @UCSBMensSoccer
    1 hour 5 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    After beating 3 defenders, @acheampong_iv puts his rocket left foot to work and gives UCSB a 2-0 lead over UCR
    1 hour 17 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    DePuy scores from the left side in the 70th minute to put UCSB up 1-0 over UCR!
    1 hour 27 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos almost find the breakthrough with the ball dropping nicely to @AhInGa03 but he can't get his shot past the keeper on target
    1 hour 42 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    DePuy and @acheampong_iv with a nice 1-2 and DePuy's shot from the edge of the box forces UCR's keeper to make a nice save. UCSB 0, UCR 0
    1 hour 50 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Kosti Moni gets off a pretty effort with a defender on his side, but the shot goes just past the post. Tied 0-0 with under 2 min left in 1st
    2 hours 13 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    UCSB outshooting Riverside 8-5 with 11 min to go in the first half, but still tied 0-0 @UCSBMensSoccer
    2 hours 23 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos get the ball deep into the box Nick DePuy's close range effort sails high. @UCSBMensSoccer still looking to open the scoring
    2 hours 36 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    15 min in @UCSBMensSoccer in full control against UCR. Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg needs just 1 win to be first ever to reach 100 Big West wins
    2 hours 42 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    MWP: No. 6 Gauchos Taking on Top Contenders in So Cal Tournament http://t.co/ez8L2CbCkS
    3 hours 28 min ago
  • UCSBLibrary twitter avatar
    #TBT Angela Davis speaks at UCSB, Nov. 4, 1969 http://t.co/wrdfpDBn3d
    5 hours 44 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    UCSB Instructional Development Seeks TA Development Program Coordinator #UCSB
    5 hours 45 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Versatile Ph.D. Online Panel Discussion Oct 19-23: 'Careers in Publishing' #UCSB
    7 hours 20 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship Program #UCSB
    7 hours 20 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Resume and Cover Letter Workshop on Oct. 13 #UCSB
    7 hours 20 min ago

Faster Environmental Testing for New Synthetic Chemicals and Materials

UCSB professors to create the Sustainable Chemical Network to track the health and environmental impacts of new substances
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 13:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Sangwon Suh.jpg

Sangwon Suh

Sangwon Suh

Photo Credit: 

Courtesy of the Bren School

Each day, roughly 15,000 new chemicals are registered to the American Chemical Society’s chemicals list. As a result, an unprecedented gap has opened between the development of these novel substances and scientists’ ability to understand their potential health and environmental impacts. Faster methods of assessing those possible effects are needed.

Determining life-cycle impacts at an early stage in the development process is the goal of the Sustainable Chemical Network, a UC Santa Barbara collaboration among professors at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and several other departments on campus. Joining Bren School professors Sangwon Suh and Arturo Keller in the new $4.8 million initiative funded by the Environmental Protection Agency are UCSB chemical engineering professors Susannah Scott and Michael Doherty; UCSB chemistry professor Ram Seshadri; and David Auston, executive director of the UCSB Institute on Energy Efficiency. In addition, a group of industry partners — Unilever, Dow Chemical Company and Raytheon — will be involved.

“To keep up with that production, we need a creative solution to provide timely information on the environmental performance of those chemicals, and we need it at an early stage of their design,” said Suh. “It is certainly a challenge, but we have a team of excellent collaborators from multiple disciplines ready to tackle it.”

The group will create an online tool, the Chemical Life-Cycle Builder (CLB), to quickly and easily quantify environmental and health implications of new synthetic chemicals and materials — including nanomaterials — over their life cycles and share such information with the rest of the world. Life-cycle impacts may include exposure to toxic chemicals or materials, which can occur not only during the synthesis, use and end-of-life stages, but also earlier — for instance, through groundwater contamination that may occur as raw materials are extracted prior to production. Energy use and carbon footprint will also be evaluated.

Indirect impacts may result from other substances associated with the life cycle of chemicals and materials. According to the project proposal, in a recent study of 99 chemicals, a majority of the life-cycle impacts were caused by substances other than the chemicals themselves.

“While it will be challenging to predict the environmental implications of novel materials,” said Keller, “it is very exciting to be at the forefront of this research, developing the tools to do so.”

Once the method and basic data are developed and approved by the network’s industry and academic partners, the CLB will be implemented on the Web as an open-access platform. Specifically, it will enable rapid, high-throughput screening of life-cycle impacts for new chemicals; provide a platform for accessing, generating and sharing information on the life-cycle impacts of chemicals; and expand life-cycle thinking among new professionals, college and high school students and the general public through highly accessible, targeted modules.

“Wide use of CLB will enable the organic growth of a life-cycle assessment database for chemicals and materials,” said Keller. “The project is expected to develop our future workforce via the active participation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in industry-academic partnerships, internships and international experiences.”

Contact Info: 

Julie Cohen
(805) 893-7220


After reading this article I feel