Greening Across the Chemistry Curriculum English | Versión en Español | Versão em Português (Brasil)
offers a "Green" Alternative to Some of the More Conventionally Used Insecticides
Notes to Instructors
Daryle Busch, president of the American Chemical Society said "Green chemistry represents the pillars that hold up our sustainable future. It is imperative to teach the value of green chemistry to tomorrow's chemists.”
Because green chemistry is rapidly becoming the wave of the future, we believe that it is very important that students are exposed to green chemistry in many courses across their chemistry curriculum. These green chemistry modules were developed by a team of faculty members from the University of Scranton for the purpose of inserting green chemistry into specific courses encompassing the chemistry curriculum. It is our hope that other instructors will use these modules as models for infusing green chemistry into their courses. We encourage instructors to use, modify and copy them according to their needs for educational purposes, however any commercial use is prohibited unless permission of the authors is granted. We ask that you let us know when and how you use them (firstname.lastname@example.org). This will aid us in the assessment of the outcomes of this project.
In order to use the modules we suggest that you first have your students read the Introduction to Green Chemistry and then the specific module for your course. You may then want to discuss this material in class. To aid you in presenting the material in class, each module is equipped with a set of PowerPoint slides. You may want to have students make hard copies of the PowerPoint slides to aid in note taking.
Although each module was developed for a particular course we encourage instructors to peruse all the modules and find ways to infuse additional green chemistry into all the courses you teach. Other efforts to bring green chemistry into the classroom can be found at greenchemistry.html
The topic of green chemistry could be incorporated into a traditional biochemistry class quite easily without requiring a large amount of class time. Most biochemistry classes include a discussion of enzyme mechanisms and kinetics. One could use acetylcholinesterase as one of the examples presented in class. The figures included in this module might be helpful in a discussion of formation of the enzyme substrate complex and the role of the serine in the mechanism of the enzyme. Following a discussion of modes of enzyme inhibition, the organophosphates and carbamates could be introduced as inhibitors used as insecticides. The molting accelerators could be presented as an alternative type of insecticide with increased selectivity and therefore lower negative impact on the environment.
Oxidative phosphorylation is covered in virtually all biochemistry classes. Following a discussion of the electron transport chain, the role of rotenone as an inhibitor of NADH dehydrogenase could include its use as a pesticide. The nonselectivity enables it to act as an insecticide, but its impact on the environment should be noted. It is toxic to nontarget organisms, most notably fish. Again the molting accelerators could be presented as an alternative.