On 3 November, the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) released an updated version of its iconic Periodic Table, first produced for the International Year of the Periodic Table in 2019 (IYPT19).
Conceived as a living document, to be periodically updated in the light of technological, societal, and geopolitical developments – which may affect the availability or status of specific elements – this unique periodic table highlights the availability and vulnerability of elements to raise society’s awareness of the limited mineral resources of our planet.
In view of the conclusions drawn during the successful Workshop, The Carbon Element – key towards a sustainable society, and after considerable scientific discussion, the colour of carbon in the EuChemS Periodic Table has been changed from green to partially green, red, and grey, denoting plentiful supply, a serious threat in the next 100 years, and elements from conflict minerals respectively.
This multi-colour coding of the carbon element reflects its distinctive position at the crossroads of a very large natural cycle and a very large anthropogenic usage with considerable geo-strategic stakes – as a major component of oil, carbon was and is connected to several armed conflict worldwide.
By updating the colour of the carbon element in its Periodic Table, EuChemS wants to address issues surrounding this specific element, such as the carbon cycle, fossil fuel reserves, recycling, and the need for a transition in the energy sector.
Read more about it here.