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How sustainable are the chemicals we use today?

In a recent NCCR Catalysis study, the teams of Professors Javier Pérez-Ramírez and Gonzalo Guillén-Gosálbez (ETH Zurich) found that 99.4% of the world's more relevant chemicals break at least one of seven planetary boundaries assessed in their production. Learn more about their work here.

The National Centre of Competence in Research, NCCR Catalysis develops new technologies to defossilize the chemical industry, and to be a driving force for sustainable chemistry in Switzerland and in the catalysis community. The teams of Prof. Javier Pérez-Ramírez ( and Prof. Gonzalo Guillén-Gosálbez ( at ETH Zurich recently investigated whether the production of the 492 most relevant chemicals is sustainable with respect to transgression of planetary boundaries. In this NCCR Catalysis study, they found that 99.4% of these chemicals exceed at least one such boundary, which makes them unsustainable in the long term. Learn more about their findings in the video and the original publication.

Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, its home institutions ETH Zurich and EPFL, and other contributions, NCCR Catalysis brings together top scientists with diverse expertise combining advanced approaches in chemistry with modern tools like digitalization to accelerate the discovery, understanding, and implementation of novel catalysts and processes. Since launching in August 2020, the consortium has grown to 47 Principal Investigators across 13 institutions, with over 200 members.

NCCR Catalysis

The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) are a funding scheme of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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