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'Surface Chemistry' Nets Nobel Prize for German

German researcher Gerhard Ertl has won the 2007 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Ertl developed new methods for studying the chemical reactions that occur on solid surfaces.

This "surface chemistry" is critical to everything from the catalytic converters that clean up auto exhaust to the chemical reactions that created the hole in the ozone layer.

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Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.