Pollution Prevention with the Use of Molecular Assemblies

EPA Grant Number: R825327
Title: Pollution Prevention with the Use of Molecular Assemblies
Investigators: Warner, John C.
Institution: University of Massachusetts - Boston
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 15, 1996 through October 14, 1999 (Extended to December 14, 2000)
Project Amount: $344,713
RFA: Technology for a Sustainable Environment (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development


By understanding the molecular topography of the simplest reactive species, bulk physical properties may often be modified in an environmentally benign manner by non-covalent complexation with auxiliary reagents. Rather than derivatize a molecule by covalently attaching a long aliphatic chain to render it less water soluble, for example, one may be able to form a stoichiometric association with a simple water insoluble conjugate—thereby imparting the desired physical property. A combination of hydrogen bonding, pi-stacking and lipophilic-lipophilic interactions are used in this process. This practice will be referred to as "non-covalent derivatization".

The procedure of forming molecular assemblies in order to manipulate bulk physical properties allows for reduced usage of chemical resources. Instead of performing several time-consuming, solvent based, chemical reactions in order to synthesize a series of candidate compounds for structure activity studies, non-covalent derivatization allows for the addition of simple, inexpensive, readily available "complexing reagents". For this to be successful as pollution prevention, these assemblies must significantly reduce the number of synthetic reactions carried out. Often the formation of these assemblies involve no organic solvents. The supermolecular structures can be constructed via solid state grinding or aqueous dispersing techniques.

This proposed research will evaluate the individual contributions of specific non-covalent interactions to the synthesis, characterization and properties of self-assembled systems. Using the tertiary amide—phenol hydrogen bond as the model interaction, multimolecular constructs will be prepared that independently and systematically vary hydrogen bonding, pi-stacking and lipophilic-lipohilic interactions. Once the basic systems have been prepared and characterized, impact on bulk physical properties will be assessed. Demonstration of several applications aimed towards pollution prevention will obviously be the final objective.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 42 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

organics, green chemistry, waste reduction, innovative technology, environmental chemistry,, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, in-process changes, cleaner production, sustainable development, waste reduction, molecular assemblies, process modification, chemical processing, innovative technology, pollution prevention, non-covalent derivatization, source reduction, supermolecular structures, alternative chemical synthesis, environmentally-friendly chemical synthesis

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final Report