Metal-catalysis in industrial organic processes

Metal-catalysis in industrial organic processes

G Paolo Chiusoli and Peter Maitlis

Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry 2006 | 328pp | ?99.95 (HB) ISBN 0854048626

Reviewed by Phil Barnes

This volume is a most welcome addition to the literature onthe vitally important area of industrial catalysis by metals. It is intended to be an ’advanced general textbook for chemistry students and their teachers ... and researchers in industry and Government laboratories’. The initial section covers the basics of catalysis in industry, extending coverage of the commercial aspects to consideration of the catalytic process itself. This concise but comprehensive introduction sets the scene for a thorough but concise account of the various types of metal-catalysed reactions used by industry. In each case, the historic and commercial backgrounds are outlined and are followed by a description of the chemistry involved and informative observations on its industrial implications. 

The authors are of course very well known for their work in this field and it comes as no surprise to find that the book is extremely well written and very comprehensive. To cover such an extensive range of processes in a volume of only 290 pages might be thought to risk oversimplification. However, while it is true that each section does not, and cannot, pretend to represent the definitive account of each subject, this is not the aim. The essence is expertly and successfully distilled in such a way as to more than adequately cover the main points and each topic is presented in a manner that will stimulate further forays into the detailed scientific literature. 

The book provides an excellent backdrop to the subject and sufficient detail to be invaluable to postgraduate students, postdoctoral workers and their supervisors. It will also appeal strongly to those working in industrial labs who may need to broaden and update their knowledge of the subject as a whole. It is a thoroughly good read and you may gather that I recommend it very highly.