Elemental Sustainability for Catalysis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Publication details

Title of host publicationSustainable Catalysis
DatePublished - 16 Nov 2015
Number of pages14
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
EditorsMichael North
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78262-211-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-78262-638-1

Publication series

NameGreen Chemistry Series
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry


The current use of chemical elements in any application including catalysis should not restrict their use for future generations. By promoting holistic strategies for extraction, manufacture, utilisation and recovery of elements it will be possible to develop a sustainable global circular economy, whereby all elements are continually recirculated for use. More specifically, the importance of catalysis for the production of chemicals and materials is widely accepted, but current rates of recovery and reuse of elements for catalysis are typically low. It is hoped that the Earth-abundant elements would fulfil all the catalysis needs of the chemical industry but in practice this is not possible, many transformations are only economically feasible when a critical or scarce element is utilised as a catalyst. There is therefore a pressing need to consider more sustainable strategies for the improved recovery of catalytically relevant elements, with a view towards reuse. The sustainability of catalysts must consider aspects such as energy consumption for preparation and recovery, whilst also minimising the detrimental impact on the environment. In this chapter we highlight catalytic elements of concern and suggest strategies for their sustainable use.

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