The importance of catalysis for the world’s economic and sustainable growth cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, catalysis is a pillar of the global industrial technology, with 85 % of all chemical products being produced using at least one catalytic step.
Catalysis and catalytic processes account for nearly 20 % of U.S. GDP. Of the 50 greatest volume chemicals currently produced in the United States, 30 are produced via catalytic routes. In addition, these 50 highest volume processes account for more than 20 billion tons of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere each year; catalysis is crucial to reducing this environmental burden.
Today, in an age of dwindling global energy supplies, catalysis has moved to the front lines of the struggle to obtain new, sustainable technologies for the future. Catalytic technology is intimately intertwined with the new and emerging solutions for our current and future energy sources. A clean and sustainable future will certainly involve discoveries from the field of catalysis, either to improve energy efficiency, enhance and open up new pathways for energy storage, or even mitigate the environmental impact which is all but inevitable in times of technological and industrial progress.
Professor Paul Chirik of Princeton University is the recipient of the 2017 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science in recognition of his contributions to catalysis with first row transition metal complexes that have had a significant impact on catalytic chemistry in the last decade, especially with approaches utilizing “redox-active” ligands to allow the first row metals to catalyze multi-electron chemical transformations. A symposium in Chirik’s honor will be held at the Fall 2017 ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC. Co-sponsored by the ACS Division of Catalysis Science and Technology and the ACS Publications journal ACS Catalysis, the Lectureship honors current groundbreaking research that enables better understanding of catalysis and also advances the field of catalysis as a whole.