The United Nations predict that the world population will have grown to 9 billion by 2050. With an urbanization rate of 1 million people per week and rising living standards, this surging population goes hand in hand with an increasing demand for precious resources and growing concerns about climate change. Demographic and ecological changes are accompanied by specific challenges related to access to water, materials, food, and energy, as well as waste cycles. The chemical sector has the tools to take on this global challenge to supply a growing world population with novel, sustainable, smart solutions for energy, coatings and functional materials.
Providing solutions with chemistry
Scientists can provide the solutions for our growing demands for circularity in processes and products. The chemical sector is able to produce new products by developing new building blocks and chemical transformations from the molecular level upwards. They will result into new products with improved or novel properties and new, more sustainable processes. In order to provide the solutions for a more circular economy, it is necessary to reduce the challenges to a scale that all these challenges have in common: the level of the chemical building block. They are the basic components of or precursors to each energy carrier, coating or material.