Schelter Group Wins 2022 Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize
Eric Schelter, Professor of Chemistry, accepted the 2022 Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize in Geneva, Switzerland in October on behalf of his research team. The prize is named after the discoverer of tantalum and is given to the lead author of the published paper, book, or patent that is judged by an independent panel of experts to have made the greatest contribution to understanding the processing, properties, or applications of tantalum. It is awarded annually by the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center, the global trade body representing the tantalum and niobium industry.
Tantalum is a rare metal that is highly corrosion-resistant. Its main use today is in tantalum capacitors in electronic equipment such as mobile phones and computers, and it is considered a technology-critical element by the European Commission. Tantalum coexists with niobium in mineral sources, requiring a separation step to purify the elements from one another. Schelter's group is researching more sustainable methods to effect this separation.
Researchers in the Schelter Group study and synthesize inorganic and organometallic complexes, including the rare earth elements, and explore reactions that may help to mitigate the release of methane into the atmosphere.
Schelter has previously earned the Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award, and he and his research group received a Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the EPA. He’s also earned the Harry Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator and the Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, and a U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award.