Welcome to Penn Chemistry
Penn Chemistry is composed of a dynamic community of researchers creating and disseminating new knowledge at the forefront of the chemical sciences. As an enabling science, chemistry is at the focal point of every important modern societal challenge. Our faculty and students engage these challenges daily on a local, national, and international scale.
Despite their ubiquity in consumer electronics, rare-earth metals are, as their name suggests, hard to come by. Mining and purifying them is an expensive, labor-intensive and ecologically devastating process.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now pioneered a process that could enable the efficient recycling of two of these metals, neodymium and dysprosium. These elements comprise the small, powerful magnets that are found in many high-tech devices.The research was lead by Eric J. Schelter, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, and graduate student Justin Bogart. Connor A. Lippincott, an undergraduate student in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research, and Patrick J. Carroll, director of the University of Pennsylvania X-Ray Crystallography Facility, also contributed to the study.