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Dr. Terrence Collins

Professor and Director, Institute for Green Science, CMU, USA

Dr. Terrence (Terry) J. Collins, Hon FRSNZ, is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry and the Director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (IGS: Terry was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, and is a citizen of both New Zealand and the United States. He holds numerous academic and public awards and is the lead inventor of TAML activators, small-molecule, functional replicas of the peroxidase enzymes that mimic mechanistically and outperform the enzymes. Terry taught the first course in green chemistry, now called “Chemistry and Sustainability”, which he has been developing iteratively since 1992.

Dec 6, 2023, 10:30AM–10:40AM EST

Unprecedented Efficacy in Purifying Water of Pharmaceuticals: TAML/Peroxide Power

I will sketch the research and development at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Green Science that has delivered TAML Activators. TAMLs are bioinspired, miniaturized replicas (typically <1% by mass) of peroxidase enzymes and are the most potent homogeneous peroxide activating catalysts across both chemistry and biology. We are developing TAML-activated peroxide most significantly to remove micropollutants (MPs) from wastewaters. MPs are water contaminants that elicit adverse effects at low concentrations; many are pharmaceuticals. The EU Commission recently proposed new rules with extended producer responsibilities in which industry will be asked to pay for urban wastewater treatment to remove their waste products. TAML catalysts activate hydrogen peroxide to deliver water purification processes for hardy pathogens and many micropollutants, including pharmaceuticals. I will show that one kg of a TAML catalyst with the peroxide concentration at ≤5 ppm can be projected to be able to treat the daily wastewater produced by one million Europeans (150 L/day/PE) for complete removal of a selection of key pharmaceutical MPs. TAML/peroxide is so simple to use that it is reasonable to suggest that it should be able to be applied for removing MPs easily by almost anyone, almost anywhere. TAMLs enable a broad new field of catalysis science that I have called “Sustainable Ultra-dilute Oxidation Catalysis” (SUDOC). SUDOC processes mate particularly well to water treatment to remove oxidizable pollutants across a broad range of water types. The logic and safety evidence behind the choice of this name will be touched on.

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