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Catalysis is the increase in the rate of a chemical reaction due to the participation of an additional substance called a catalyst.


  • Catalysts are used in the production of a large variety of chemicals and fuels, as demonstrated by the fact that catalyst-based manufacturing accounts for about 60% of chemical products and 90% of processes (Senkan 2001). These numbers will likely increase in the future, considering all the advantages of a catalytic process: it requires only small amount of a ‘smart’ molecule to produce a large quantity of the desired compound; the catalyst usually allows operation under mild reaction conditions; also the economic benefits of an efficient catalytic process are enormous since it is less capital-intensive, has lower operating costs, produces products of higher purity and fewer by-products. In addition, catalysts provide important environmental benefits.
    • M. Benaglia, "Recoverable, Soluble Polymer-Supported Organic Catalysts" in Organocatalysis (2008) edited by M.T. Reetz, B. List, S. Jaroch, H. Weinmann.
  • Due to economic and ecological factors, catalytic processes in the production of fine chemicals are gaining in importance, especially in the area of asymmetric catalysis (Collins et al. 1997; Breuer et al. 2004). Accordingly, the practicing chemist has three major options: transition metal catalysts (Jacobsen et al. 1999), organocatalysts (Berkessel and Gröger 2004) or enzymes (Drauz and Waldmann 2002; Liese et al. 2006). All of them have advantages and disadvantages, which means that a given type of catalysis cannot be expected to provide general solutions to all problems of relevance in academic and industrial laboratories. Therefore, research in all three approaches needs to be intensified.
    • Manfred T. Reetz, "Controlling the Selectivity and Stability of Proteins by New Strategies in Directed Evolution: The Case of Organocatalytic Enzymes", in Organocatalysis (2008) edited by M.T. Reetz, B. List, S. Jaroch, H. Weinmann.

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