The German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (Dechema), Frankfurt, and the German Catalysis Society, Frankfurt, have named Charlotte K. Williams of Oxford University, Oxford, U.K., as recipient of the 2018 Otto Roelen Medal. Dechema cites her work in developing highly active catalysts that enable the conversion of renewable resources such as carbon dioxide and plants into polymers and fuels.
Williams, currently professor of inorganic chemistry at Trinity College, Oxford, has developed catalysts that can transform carbon dioxide, including from waste emissions, into polycarbonate polyols, a feedstock for making polyurethanes. In addition, she has developed switchable catalysts that allow block sequence selectivity for monomer mixtures, stereo-controlled catalysts for polymerization of lactides, and colloidal nanocatalysts for converting carbon dioxide to methanol. She founded Econic Technologies to commercialize her research.
The medal, awarded biennially since 1997, comes with a €5,000 prize and will be presented at the annual meeting of the German Catalysts Society in Weimar, Germany, in March.