Volume 86 Issue 30 | pp. 53-57
Issue Date: July 28, 2008

Iron's Star Rising

For more sustainable chemical processing, chemists are exploring catalysts based on abundant and increasingly versatile iron
Department: Science & Technology

PRECIOUS METALS currently are the basis of catalysts that are well understood by chemists and widely used in labs, industrial processes, and automobile catalytic converters. But the metals—such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium—are rare and expensive, and they can be toxic and difficult to recycle.

Catalysts enable some 90% of chemical processes, and chemists are always on the lookout for new ones. As they consider how to foster a more sustainable future, they are seeking . . .

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