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Circular chemistry to enable a circular economy


By expanding the scope of sustainability to the entire lifecycle of chemical products, the concept of circular chemistry aims to replace today’s linear ‘take–make–dispose’ approach with circular processes. This will optimize resource efficiency across chemical value chains and enable a closed-loop, waste-free chemical industry.

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Fig. 1: Periodic table representing element scarcity.

© EuChemS, reproduced from under a Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 4.0

Fig. 2
Fig. 3: A comprehensive illustration of the resource hierarchy.

Maurits Korse,


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This work was supported by the Council for Chemical Sciences of The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO/CW and NWO/TTO) by a VIDI grant (J.C.S.) and a STW Take-off grant (J.C.S.). We gratefully acknowledge the MChem Green Chemistry class of 2016 and 2017 and D. Appel (Index Initiative) and T. Cantat (CEA Saclay) for stimulating discussions.

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Correspondence to J. Chris Slootweg.

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Keijer, T., Bakker, V. & Slootweg, J.C. Circular chemistry to enable a circular economy. Nature Chem 11, 190–195 (2019).

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