Past Event

The Role of Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical, Non-Fuel Mineral and Material Resources

September 29, 2011 - September 30, 2011

Location: Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St. NW Washington DC 20001

An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a public workshop on Sept. 29-30 in Washington, DC. This one and a half day workshop will explore the role of chemical sciences in finding alternatives to critical, non-fuel mineral and material resources. Key topics to be addressed in the workshop include: the economic/political matrix, the history of societal responses to key mineral and material shortages, the applications for and properties of existing minerals and materials, and the chemistry of possible replacements. The workshop will feature several presentations highlighting the importance of critical non-fuel mineral and material resources in history, catalysis, agriculture, and electronic, magnetic, and optical applications. Key questions to be addressed at the workshop include the following: Currently-used materials possess certain properties that make them unique for specific applications. These properties must be matched by any replacement. What are those properties? Are scientists currently searching for alternatives? If so, what progress has been made? What approaches are being used? What chemical strategies could be employed in developing alternatives? The committee will develop the workshop agenda, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. An individually-authored summary of the workshop will be prepared in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event

The Role of the Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources: A Workshop Summary (2012)

Critical elements, including rare earths, precious metals, and other rare elements of the periodic table, are used in essentially all electronic devices and in many other everyday applications, including catalytic converters and photovoltaic technologies. Widespread concern over their future availability led the Chemical Sciences Roundtable to convene a workshop on the role of the chemical sciences in finding alternatives to these critica... More >>