Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry/Green Chemistry

First Advisor

Hannah Sevian

Second Advisor

Timothy Dransfield

Third Advisor

Jonathan Rochford


Green chemistry is a philosophy of chemistry that emphasizes a decreasing dependence on limited non-renewable resources and an increasing focus on preventing pollution byproducts of the chemical industry. In short, it is the discipline of chemistry practiced through the lens of environmental stewardship. In an effort to advance the practice of green chemistry, three studies will be described that have ramifications for the practice. The first study examines the atmospheric oxidation of a hydrofluorinated ether, a third-generation CFC replacement compound with primarily unknown atmospheric degradation products. Determination of these products has the potential to impact decisions on refrigerant usage in the future. The second study examines chemistry students' development of understanding benefits-costs-risks analysis when presented with two real-world scenarios: refrigerant choice and fuel choice. By studying how benefits-costs-risks thinking develops, curricular materials and instructional approaches can be designed to better foster the development of an ability that is both necessary for green chemists and important in daily decision-making for non-chemists. The final study uses eye tracking technology to examine students' abilities to interpret molecular properties from structural information in the context of global warming. Such abilities are fundamental if chemists are to appropriately assess risks and hazards of chemistry practice.

Included in

Chemistry Commons