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April 24, 2020

Two new videos show how to celebrate Earth Week through chemistry

Written By: Jason Daley

Earth Friendly Plastics video screenshot
A screenshot from the “Earth Friendly Plastics” video.

It’s not just ecologists and botanists that get excited when Earth Day and Earth Week roll around each April. Chemists and chemical engineers are also working to green the world, developing more recyclable plastics, clean and sustainable fuels, phosphate-free detergents and other green products.

That’s something Distinguished Faculty Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Andrew Greenberg recently highlighted in two videos he created as part of the American Chemical Society’s Chemists Celebrate Earth Week project.

In the videos, Greenberg and his daughter perform two experiments. In one, they create an earth-friendly plastic in a blender using the food-grade chemicals sodium alginate and calcium lactate. In the other, (Re)Cycling Water, they show how water moves through the environment by creating a model using several plastic cups, ice and water stained with food dye. Both kid-friendly activities and many other Earth-focused chemistry experiments are available to download from the American Chemical Society’s educational resources page.