Ph.D. Kim Dunbar recently discussed the importance of inorganic chemistry in practical applications.

The term “inorganic chemistry” itself can seem daunting for those who aren’t scientists or studying a branch of it. That’s because inorganic chemistry is not part of chemistry that is “isolated.” Professor Kim Dunbar explained that inorganic chemistry is integrated with numerous other chemistry areas, such as analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, and organic chemistry.

Kim Renee Dunbar added that inorganic chemistry has to do with all non-organic compounds. It generally involves the chemistry of metals and transition metals. These metals play essential roles in the catalytic processes required to create substances and materials faster than organic chemical reactions.

“Inorganic compounds also play critical roles in catalytic processes that activate smaller molecules, like CO, CO2 , H2, H2O2, and more,” Kim Renee Dunbar said. “These small molecules then transfer oxygen, serve the role of messenger molecules, or create the components of redox biology.”

Kim Dunbar explained that inorganic chemistry and this catalytic reactivity has led to the creation of countless metallo-drugs. These drugs have been used to treat arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and many additional autoimmune diseases. Kim Renee Dunbar added metal catalysts associated with inorganic chemistry to treat the gaseous effluents associated with power plants driven by coal.

“As inorganic chemists, we are constantly working to develop new technologies and optimize existing technologies to improve the efficiency of catalysts,” Kim Renee Dunbar said. “This can result in saving more energy for more sustainable industries and developments.”

Kim Renee Dunbar explained that the inorganic chemists understand the underlying chemical processes of biological, environmental, and industrial significance. Further understanding these processes can help combat climate change around the world. It can also help fight extreme pollution in some of the world’s most densely populated cities. These changes can impact the overall health and well being of billions of people around the world.

“Inorganic chemistry is all around us,” Kim Renee Dunbar concluded. “It’s used to create the drugs saving our loved ones, and it’s used to combat serious global issues. Everyday citizens need to understand the importance of inorganic chemistry, so they can help to contribute to the causes that support it.”

Kim Dunbar is an esteemed member of the scientific community, especially in the field of inorganic chemistry. She served as an associate editor for the leading journal in her field, Inorganic Chemistry for 12 years.