Reducing My Platinum Footprint

Tuesday February 9, 2016 12:00 PM

Fundamentals of Sustainability Science and Engineering Guest Lecturer

Location: South Mudd 365

Speaker: Dr. Mark Jones
Senior Research Fellow, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI

Abstract: As a society, we are attempting to reduce our global carbon footprint to stabilize Earth's climate. I had not thought much about my platinum footprint until about a month ago. When I started using my new peroxide contact lense cleaning solution, I realized that I needed to immerse a non-reusable catalytic disk containing around 600 micrograms of platinum (Pt) in the cleaning solution to neutralize it and prevent any potential eye irritation due to residual peroxide. Could a throw away disk really be platinum? Pt group metals are, after all, a finite and depleting resource. They are on every list of critical metals. In my lecture, I will discuss how our choices and actions as individuals and corporations affect global sustainability using life cycle analysis and Pt as example. I will also discuss which steps we can take to reduce our materials footprints and resource usage.

Contact: Mamadou Diallo diallo@caltech.edu