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Reference type: Journal
Authors: Haber J
Article Title: The Role of Catalysis in Determining Menís Quality of Life.
Publication date: 2009
Journal: Topics In Catalysis
Volume: 52
Issue: (8)
Page numbers: 970-981.
DOI: 10.1007/s11244-009-9247-8

Abstract: Abstract: Modern civilization, whose spectacular development took place in the second half of XX century as the result of scientific and information revolution has six characteristic features: (1) it is a mass civilization, (2) it is mobile, (3) it is global, (4) it is free of the spectre of famine, (5) it is built on informatics, (6) human lifespan is steadily prolonged. In order to achieve these goals it was necessary to invent thousands new materials and to find out methods of their fast and cheap production in large quantities. The unique possibility of the fast and selective production of the desired chemical molecules, required to obtain a material with defined properties, is offered by catalysis. Catalysis comprises technological processes of the largest scale, such as catalytic cracking of billions tons of crude oil per year and smallest scale enzymatic reactions with micrograms of product formed with 100% chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity. With the rapidly growing earthís population increasingly important becomes not only the production of materials needed in our modern society, but also the destruction of undesired by-products of its activities, making the application of catalysis to pollution control one of important tasks. The progress of catalysis, both science and technology, was in the last 50 years driven by the development in five fields: (1) new materials, particularly those based on the principle of molecular imprinting (use of templates), (2) application of new surface science techniques to identify active sites and surface reaction intermediates, (3) quantum chemical modeling of elementary steps of catalytic reactions, (4) design of new reactors, (5) development of computational catalysis, (6) development of new ways for carrying catalytic reactions, (7) biocatalysis using enzymes, modified by mutagenesis and recombination techniques to make them selective and active in conditions of the desired technological process. Application of molecular sieves, catalytic antibodies, metallocene catalysts, asymmetric catalysis, fuel cells, control of automotive exhaust are described and pending change of the paradigm of catalysis is discussed
Author keywords: catalysis, Modern civilization features, molecular sieves, catalytic antibodies, Metallocenes, asymmetric catalysis, Fuel cells

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