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 Nicholas J. Turner of the University of Manchester, U.K., is the recipient of the 2018 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science in recognition of his work in engineering of enzymes for application as biocatalysts. Co-sponsored by the ACS Division of Catalysis Science & Technology and the ACS Publications journal ACS Catalysis, the Lectureship honors the contributions of an individual or a collaborative team for groundbreaking research that strengthens connections between catalysis subdisciplines and has a profound impact on catalysis as a whole. The 2018 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science will be presented at the 256th ACS National Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Read more about this year's winner here.