Twelve images showing topics from green catalysts to hydrolysis were selected to appear on a EuChemS calendar, in what was the third instalment of the competition.
First prize was won by Phil Gotico, whose stunning image ‘Out of the wasteland’ was taken while he was an undergraduate student focusing on recyclable waste at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. The photo showed SEM imagery of a tensile strength test of a blend of recycled raw wastes of plastic, polystyrene foam, and coconut fibres.
Second prize was awarded to Melanie Nutter from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, whose illuminating image ‘Glow and behold!’ showed fluorescent compounds with the potential to act as photocatalysts.
The panel of judges included representatives from both the RSC and EYCN, and judging criteria included relevance to the theme of this year’s competition – sustainable development, to tie in with Earth Day on 22 April.
Glynn Skerratt, from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environmental Chemistry Group committee, was one of the judges. He said: “PhotoChimica has shown us how complex, tactile, and – more than anything – beautiful chemistry can be, and how it spans such a wide range of rewarding and important careers.
“With the theme of the competition we wanted to raise awareness of the contribution chemists are making to sustainability worldwide – so while we send our congratulations to the winners for their photography skills, everyone who entered should also be commended for their work in tackling the greatest challenges facing humanity.”