Green Tycoon: A Mobile Application Game to Introduce Biorefining Principles in Green Chemistry

Matthew Lees, University of York
Michael T. Wentzel, Augsburg University
James H. Clark, University of York
Glenn A. Hurst, University of York


Green Tycoon is a free-of-charge game-based mobile application that embraces a systems thinking approach to introducing students to a biorefining process model within green chemistry. Players adopt the role of a manager in a chemical factory, synthesizing the fictional compound, Yorkanone. Through upgrading the system and engaging with the integrated quiz, players can learn fundamental green chemistry principles while appreciating some of the considerations in biorefining. Green Tycoon was implemented with 33 undergraduate students where survey feedback demonstrated that the game was engaging and innovative and was a helpful tool to appreciate the importance of green chemistry when designing chemical processes. On the basis of pretest and post-test questions to evaluate learning gain, Green Tycoon proved to be a useful resource to introduce students to green chemistry and its role in moving toward a bioeconomy. Design of the mobile application serves as a useful example of what an upper-division undergraduate student with no coding knowledge can achieve through a chemistry education research project.