The Role of Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources Workshop

The Role of Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources Workshop

September 29th-30th, 2011
The National Academy of Sciences
500 5th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

The Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology hosted a two day Chemical Sciences Roundtable workshop to explore the current concern regarding shortages of critical non-fuel minerals. Invited speakers addressed such topics as the economic and political matrix, the history of societal responses to key material shortages, the applications for, and properties of, existing materials, and the chemistry of possible replacements. The chemical sciences can help find non-critical alternatives to these materials. In some cases, work is already underway to do so. The purpose of this workshop was to focus the interest of scientists on this topic. Workshop organizers include Pat Thiel, Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University; Roderick Eggert, Colorado School of Mines; and Levi Thompson, University of Michigan.

 Workshop Program and Speaker Bios

If you download a "slides plus audio" recording, you will be asked to download and install the WebEx Network Recording Player, which you can then use to play the recording. These videos are higher quality (and easier to read) than the embedded streaming versions.

DAY ONE,  September 29, 2011                         
Welcome & Introduction to Workshop
Chair: Pat Thiel, Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University

Plenary Session – Introduction & History      
Chair: Mark Barteau, University of Delaware 
Roderick Eggert, Colorado School of Mines
Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy



Diana Bauer, U.S. Department of Energy
DOE Critical Materials Strategy


Critical materials in catalysis
Chair: Levi Thompson, University of Michigan
James Stevens, Dow Chemical

Jingguang Chen, University of Delaware
Alternative Materials to Replace Platinum in Catalytic and Electrocatalytic  Applications

Morris Bullock, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 
Design and Development of Molecular Electrocatalysts for Energy Conversions Using Abundant Metals

Christine Lambert, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering
Critical Materials in Catalysis: Novel Metals vs. Base Metals in Automotive Catalyst Systems


Critical materials in electronic and optical applications           
Chair: Pat Thiel, Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University

Optics and photovoltaics; alternatives to rare earths and heavy metals

Joseph Shinar, Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University
Critical Materials in Optoelectronics

Ken Zweibel, The George Washington University Solar Institute
Key Minerals in Photovoltaics 


DAY TWO, September 30, 2011                                                                                                 

Day Two Opening Remarks      
Levi Thompson, University of Michigan                             

Critical materials in electronic and optical applications            
Chair, William Carroll, Occidental Chemical

Batteries: Alternatives to Lithium

David Bradwell, Liquid Metal Battery Corporation      
PDF ONLY            

Jay Whitacre, Carnegie-Mellon University   
PDF ONLY                               



For more information regarding this workshop, or to sign up to receive the BCST newsletter, please contact Rachel Yancey (


This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Award DE-FG02-07ER15872, the National Institutes of Health under Award N01-OD-4-2139 (Task Order 25), and the National Science Foundation under Award CHE-0936388.