Closing the Loop on Critical Elements

Organizers: David J. C. Constable, Science Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, Washington, DC, USA; Xianlai Zeng, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

There is a growing list of elements that are considered strategic metals; they are rare, expensive, and heavily relied upon for electronics, energy and chemistry. The current methods of extracting, purifying and using these metals is unsustainable and as these materials approach impending extinction from the supply chain while escalating environmental and socioeconomic costs across the world, it is critical to identify low-cost and abundant alternatives, or sustainable technologies to recover, recycle and reuse these elements. In general, there have been few chemistry alternatives that could recreate the performance of these metals in a variety of fundamental applications. This session will showcase innovators who are creating alternative chemistries and chemical technology approaches that can increase the sustainable reuse and recycle of these critical elements, or provide comparable functional, commercially viable materials for a variety of applications.