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The Future


Catalysis in the 21st century: lessons from its past; challenges for its future

Professor Derouane has been Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Innovative Catalysis at Liverpool University since 1995. His iAc lecture at the Royal Institution on June 21, 2000, with the title given above, was part of an initiative to broaden public appreciation of catalysis. He ended with his predictions for the future

2000 AD - 2005 AD
Zeolites in fine chemicals production · Biocatalytic removal of S, N and metals · Extensive use of metallocene-based polymers · Alkene-to-alkane feedstock transition · Catalytic combustion (VOC's, NOx) · Solid acids replace strong liquid acids
2005 AD - 2010 AD
Nanotechnology in catalyst manufacturing · Chemical-biochemical bifunctional catalysts · Engineered enzymes in chemicals/fuels production · Chiral polymeric materials
2010 AD - 2020 AD
Fuel cell powered vehicles · High-temperature inorganic-organic polymers · Membrane and other multifunctional reactors · Broader use of electrocatalysis · Biopolymers, e.g., biosilk, biodegradables
2020 AD - 2040 AD
Photocatalytic water splitting: hydrogen economy · Catalytic antibodies, biomimetics, synthetic enzymes in chemicals production · Engineering of microbes for chemicals · Production of chemicals, materials in living plants·





He admitted, when predicting the more distant future: "Of course, I can be wrong". It will be interesting to find out how many of his predictions were accurate. He concluded with a helpful reminder. "Catalysis is useless if it is not applied"