PASADENA, Calif. — A professor at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is one of three winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Robert H. Grubbs, along with American Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chauvin of France won for developing an environmentally friendly process used daily in the chemical industry.
The process focuses on how chemical bonds are made and broken between carbon atoms and is used mainly in the development of pharmaceuticals and advanced plastic materials. The Nobel committee says the process is “a great step forward for ‘green chemistry,’ reducing potentially hazardous waste through smarter production.”
Grubbs is in New Zealand where he’s delivering a series of lectures. He told the Associated Press he spent the last “30, 35 years” working on the process and never expected to win a Nobel.
Grubbs is the 31st Caltech faculty member to be a Nobel laureate. Caltech staff have earned a total of 32 Nobel Prizes. Linus Pauling won awards in both chemistry and peace.
Grubbs, 63, shared his prize with Richard R. Schrock of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yves Chauvin of the French Petroleum Institute.