Some of the most important chemicals in the world are catalysts. Catalytic processes account for nearly one third of the global gross domestic product. Catalysis has been at the heart of some of the world’s most important chemical engineering breakthroughs, including the Haber process for ammonia synthesis and catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons. Without catalysis and reaction engineering we would not be where we are today. In this lecture, Dr. Delgass emphasizes the importance of catalysis and reaction engineering. He also highlights some of the more recent developments in the field. He also proceeds to look ahead into its future. The advent of quantum mechanical modeling and simulation has and will continue to push catalysis forward as more detailed analysis of physiochemical phenomena is possible. More sophisticated experimentation tools, such as high throughput reactors, micro-reactors and microsecond reactors will also drive future developments. As the trend towards the small continues, true multi-scale kinetic models, ranging from the nano to the macro scale, must be developed. Addressing these issues will ensure that catalysis and reaction engineering continue to be exciting, dynamic fields for years to come.
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