268321 Kinetics and Catalysis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 5:15 PM
319 (Convention Center )
W. Nicholas Delgass, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Fundamental understanding of catalytic phenomena requires knowledge at the molecular level.  We learn about reaction pathways, i.e. the precise dance of the molecules, from chemical kinetic analysis at both steady and unsteady state.  To understand how a catalyst enables those pathways, however, we have to look into the reactor at the reacting catalytic site or at least characterize the chemical nature of the catalyst and its interaction with reacting molecules.  We do this with an ever-expanding array of spectroscopic and microscopy tools. With the advent of reliable quantum level computation, we now also have the ability to validate detailed molecule models of catalytic events and even make predictions of yet to be measured catalytic behavior.  Thus, we are on the verge of making catalysis a science, i.e. of understanding the chemistry well enough to predict what chemical sites can catalyze particular reactions. This talk will illustrate how catalytic understanding has been gained in example systems including the selective oxidation of propylene to propylene oxide, olefin polymerization, and the water gas shift reaction.  The discussion will emphasize the essential role the chemical kinetics plays and the need for fundamental rate constants if we are to be successful in true catalyst design.  Some retrospective license will be taken.

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See more of this Session: In Honor of Nick Delgass' 70th Birthday III
See more of this Group/Topical: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division