What are the current challenges facing heterogeneous catalysis? In his editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Avelino Corma, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, talks about how the ab initio design of catalysts by modeling the active sites is difficult at the poorly defined solid-gas or solid-liquid interface.
Professor Corma advocates the development of fundamental knowledge in nanomaterials preparation, computational chemistry, spectroscopy, and catalytic mechanisms in order to provide the knowledge necessary for understanding the molecular interactions at the active sites and thus the development of selective catalysts.
Corma points out that we can learn from nature in the design of enzymes and in overcoming their limitations for the fabrication of solid catalysts. Promising targets in heterogeneous catalysis include zeolites and zeolitic materials, as well as hybrid organic-inorganic catalysts and single atoms or small metal clusters. Catalysis holds a key role in the increased demand for sustainability and thus the design of effective catalysts is paramount.
- Heterogeneous Catalysis: Understanding for Designing, and Designing for Applications,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016.