Published 9 October 2013 by Beatrice Lugger

Industry’s rare resources (Catalysis – Grubbs & Ertl)

Almost all industrial processes rely on catalysts, which increase the rate of chemical reactions. Many catalysts are made from rare metals – and the young researchers in this film are worried about them running out. They put the problem to Nobel laureates Robert Grubbs and Gerhard Ertl. The group discusses how dwindling supplies of rare metals could affect industry, energy production and society. But the laureates raise a more fundamental problem: in many cases, we don’t fully understand how catalysts actually work.

Beatrice Lugger

Beatrice Lugger is a science journalist and science social media specialist with a background as a chemist. She is Scientific Director of the National Institute for Science Communication, NaWik – @BLugger is her twitter handle, Quantensprung her own blog.