Every year, the newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’ and ‘La Pedrera’ Foundation organise the ‘Vanguardia de la Ciencia’ award. They select eight significant contributions to science made in Catalan and Spanish centres during 2017. Among plastic-eating worms and quantum communication networks, you can find outstanding chemistry research carried out at ICIQ – the chain-walking nickel catalyst developed by Prof. Ruben Martin’s group.
‘This nickel catalyst is like a magic wand,’ explains Prof. Martin to La Vanguardia. It allows the transformation of unrefined hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide into value added products like fatty acids. This method is a total breakthrough, as it avoids the use of precious metal catalysts and hazardous carbon monoxide. It is a green, sustainable methodology that could have significant implications for the environment.
For this discovery, ‘La Vanguardia’ nominated Dr. Francisco Juliá (first author of the above mentioned Nature paper) and Prof. Ruben Martin to this year’s ‘Vanguardia de la Ciencia’ award. You can vote for them using this form. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the importance of chemistry, the central science, to the general public. By making greener, more sustainable chemical processes we are not just saving money – we are paving the way towards a better future.