The potential for carrying out reactions with exceptional selectivity under very mild conditions clearly fits with the concepts of green chemistry
Green chemistry and catalysis
Roger Sheldon, Isabel Arends and Ulf Hanefeld
Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH | 2007 | 448 pp | ?95.00 (HB) | ISBN 9783527307159
Reviewed by Duncan Macquarrie
The potential for carrying out reactions with exceptional selectivity under very mild conditions clearly fits with the concepts of green chemistry; indeed much of chemistry in the years before ’the 12 principles of green chemistry’ (published in 1998) could well be described as being green because of the intelligent use of catalysis.
This book shows that catalysis can take virtually all aspects of green chemistry forward, building on well-established ideas. Many examples of successful reactions and processes, often established industrially, are given with a great deal of insight and useful commentary. The simplicity of some of these processes is wonderful, and is testament to the careful design and implementation of the teams which conceived them. The scope and necessity for further development of catalysis is also well laid out.
Particularly impressive is the coverage, with homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis each given a thorough and balanced discussion. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and all of these are brought to the fore, illustrating where each type can be best used. Reactions and processes are looked at both from reaction type, and from other perspectives such as alternative reaction media, showing how existing concepts can be adapted and used in some of the newer situations that green chemistry takes us to.
The book is very well referenced and illustrated and its layout is very well thought out and executed. It makes clear that catalysis, the bedrock of the petrochemical industry, will play an equally crucial role in the invention and reinvention of green processes.