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Materials for Sustainable Growth : OrganoSulfur and Sulfur Hybrids

Kookheon Char The National Creative Research Initiative Center for Intelligent Hybrids The WCU Program of Chemical Convergence for Energy & Environment School of Chemical & Biological Engineering Seoul National University

With ever-increasing human population, depleting natural resources, and rapid climate change confronting humanity, the role of chemistry is becoming more crucial in addressing these issues and establishing systems for sustainable growth. In this Seminar, recent efforts in our research center (National CRI Center for Intelligent Hybrids), utilizing both organic and inorganic material design and synthesis, to address key issues to such an end are described. As an example, we have established novel chemical methods for the direct utilization of elemental sulfur. More than seven million tons of elemental sulfur are produced in excess each year and are stockpiled in landfill-like deposits in remote areas. While elemental sulfur is known to be environmentally benign and have many interesting physical properties, the shear volume of it left unused is a major emerging issue in the petrochemical industry. Useful conversion of industrial wastes into functional materials, through novel chemistry, for key applications such as Nexgen Li-sulfur batteries and thermal IR imaging will be introduced.