Sustainable Chemistry Concepts for Closing Circular Economy Loops

Gadi Rothenberg
Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The coming decade will be an exciting time for green chemistry and green engineering. All over the world, people realise that sustainable development is more than just a buzzword, and that society can move towards the long-term goals of CO2-neutral processes and a circular economy. While many people talk about this, chemists and chemical engineers can actually do something about it. In the lecture, I will present four examples that show the impact and possibilities of using sustainable chemistry concepts for closing circular economy loops: the design and application of simple and cheap materials for fuel-cell electrodes, a techno-economic approach for recycling and reusing the ultimate waste, a possible route for reacting CO2 with a minimal thermodynamic penalty, and the invention and pilot application of a new catalyst for cleaning cyanide from industrial waste streams.

Gadi Rothenberg received his BSc in Chemistry magna cum laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel in 1993, and his PhD in Applied Chemistry summa cum laude from the same university in 1999, under the supervision of Yoel Sasson. He then worked as a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of York before moving to the University of Amsterdam in 2001. Since 2008 he is Professor and Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis & Sustainable Chemistry. Rothenberg teaches courses on catalysis, thermodynamics and scientific writing. He has published two books and over 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals. His textbook “Catalysis: Concepts & Green Applications” is a Wiley-VCH bestseller. He has also invented 16 patents, and co-founded three companies. Recently, he was appointed as Senior Visiting Fellow at Fudan University in Shanghai.

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