Serendipity: Making Gold Green

Dr. Fraser Stoddart
Director of the Center for Chemistry of Integrated Systems, Northwestern University

Chemistry; Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Using test tube chemistry, a chance discovery by a researcher in Fraser Stoddart's lab led to a cheap and environmentally friendly process for mining and extracting gold. This environmentally benign method uses a sugar derived from cornstarch – instead of cyanide – to isolate gold from raw materials in a selective manner. The process is simple, selective, scalable and highly cost efficient. All it requires is for the gold-bearing materials to be dissolved in an aqueous solution that is relatively safe and easy to handle – unlike the current cyanide leaching process used in 80% of today's gold production.

Join Dr. Stoddart as he presents the results of this research. It is a piece of magic for isolating gold from any source – in a green way.

Download the flyer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
6:30—8:00 pm
The Firehouse Grill, 2nd Floor
750 Chicago Ave., Evanston 60202

Making Gold Greener
Serendipity: Making Gold Green

Using cornstarch to mine and extract gold. April 2014 Download the flyer.

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Discover a holistic environmental analysis approach known as life cycle assessment (LCA). January 2014 Download the flyer.

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Science Cafe is a forum for the discussion of important and interesting scientific issues. They are informal and accessible - much more so than a public lecture. It's an opportunity to gather with old and new friends in a relaxed atmosphere while participating in a program of very cool scientific 'stuff'! No cover charge, EVER!


Audiences consist of people who are interested in science but generally never have the opportunity to discuss their views with, and ask questions of, someone "in the know". No scientific knowledge is assumed by the speakers, so anyone can participate.


Cafes start with an engaging talk from the research scientist who introduces the topic. It is not a lecture, so anyone can ask a question, and positively welcomed will be those which begin "This might be a stupid question, but ..." These questions are invariably not stupid and often rather insightful.


Our Science Café Evanston is scheduled to be held typically on the third or fourth Wednesday each month, September through May, and takes place between 6:30 and 8:00 pm at the Firehouse Grill in Evanston.


6:30—8:00 pm
The Firehouse Grill
750 Chicago Ave., Evanston 60202


Email us with your questions.
If you have any ideas for programs, please let us know.