The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, the fundamental organizing tool of all 118 known elements first published by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, had its 150th birthday earlier this year.
The historical milestone makes 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. In keeping with global events celebrating chemistry, chemical sciences and engineering, two CSU professors, Eugene Chen and Amy Prieto, will participate in a national roundtable in Washington, D.C. next week.
The event, taking place Nov. 20 at the National Academy of Sciences, includes among its nine speakers Professors Chen and Prieto, who are both distinguished members of the College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Chemistry.
The daylong colloquium, open to both online and in-person guests, is hosted jointly by the American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation. Speakers, ranging from representatives at academic institutions, Google, IBM and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will highlight chemistry breakthroughs enabled by scientific understanding of the Periodic Table. Scientists will share their perspectives on the history of the Periodic Table; discoveries that have shaped society; and current trends in chemical research.
Amy Prieto and Eugene Chen, professors in the Department of Chemistry.
Chen, a leading researcher in the development of sustainable polymer materials, will present on “Sustainable polymers in a circular materials economy.” He will review the pros and cons of current polymer recycling methods, and various types of sustainable polymers showing promise toward a circular materials economy. He will also highlight recent technologies developed in his CSU lab, including infinitely recyclable plastics, and chemical catalysis routes to naturally biodegradable bacterial polymers.
Prieto works in solid-state, inorganic chemistry, with chief research interests in nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion. She will present on the topic of “Harnessing the versatility of the periodic table for energy storage.” A professor of chemistry as well as a successful entrepreneur, Prieto is the founder and chief executive officer of Prieto Battery, which makes 3D anodes and full solid-state batteries that seek to safely push past the limits of today’s power densities in commercial batteries. Prieto will discuss how fundamental solid-state and inorganic chemistry was used to develop today’s lithium ion batteries, recently recognized by the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.