Faced with the world’s finite supply of fossil fuels, scientists are looking to other sources for their chemical feedstocks. One option is to convert biomass, such as plant material, vegetation, or agricultural waste, to commodity chemicals. This has advantages in economic, environmental and societal terms. But how can we achieve this goal?

Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater, an associate professor of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut, discusses the hurdles, the opportunities, and some of the breakthroughs being made in this exciting new research.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Dr. Leadbeater’s full TEDxUConn talk can be viewed here.