The Physics department of DG Vaishnav College, Arumbakkam, Chennai, has arranged for a lecture on introduce student community to evolving research areas in various branches of science. Prof. Douglas MacFarlane, Australian Centre for Electromaterials Science,Monash University, Victoria, Australiaaddressed the gathering January 16.

He talked about how ionic liquids offer a range of solvency properties distinctly different from normal molecular solvents. “They are often very stable - thermally, chemically and electrochemically. They have thus found application in a wide variety of contexts from green chemistry to, medicinal chemistry, electrochemistry and more recently in the biochemical and biosciences. They have been shown to be very useful in the electro-deposition of metals and semiconductors, including water-splitting catalysts, and as electrolyte solvents for batteries and solar cells. New compounds and techniques are constantly evolved everyday in this field to make more energy efficient solar cells,” he said. Students being aware of the Inconvenient Truth, immediately appreciated the need for Green Chemistry.

India being a country depending on its agrarian economy, has a huge potential to create wealth from what we think is waste. Water bottles created from the thrash from paddy fields and road side sugarcane juice shops can turn anyone into entrepreneurs. With globe going for eco friendly products, we have an excellent market, the speaker remarked. Students interacted well with this green scientist on various topics ranging from innovative recycling technologies, harvesting solar energy at lower cost, breeder reactor technology, safe disposal of nuclear waste, creating wealth from wastes. Being an avid trekker himself, he shared his experience of glacier melting in the highest peaks of New Zealand. These peaks are remote and much inaccessible to the public. Despite this, the melting glacier is indicative of the phenomenon that global warming is really a global issue and everyone needs to act now.

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