Step three of the 'Eight Steps to Specify a Catalyst Bed' is selecting the catalyst. The process of developing and selecting catalysts is often shrouded in mystery. Examining the history of a product development can demystify the process. This is a story about the development of a selective hydrogenation catalyst, PRICATJM PD 468, presently in use for the conversion of vinyl acetylene to butadiene. This story will describe a sometimes personal history of a catalyst that had its roots in a failed project in the 80's, imaginative but unsuccessful efforts in the 90's, several false starts in the 00's, and finally success in 2010.
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