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Fundamentals of Industrial Catalytic Processes, 2nd Edition.

Fundamentals of Industrial Catalytic Processes, 2nd Edition

C. H. Bartholomew and Robert J. Farrauto

John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 966 pp., 2006.

Fundamentals of Industrial Catalytic Processes (Second Edition) is a definitive instructional and reference text that has been written for a broad chemical science and engineering audience. The text has been authored with a balanced academic and industrial perspective of industrial catalysis by authors who have been instrumental in advancing the discipline. This book directly addresses the academic need for a comprehensive course text, while providing a level of information and detail for several industrially relevant processes that will be of particular interest to the practising chemist and engineer. The result is a very readable and comprehendible text for the engineer and chemist alike, which is based on a foundation of using fundamental aspects of reaction engineering and heterogeneous catalysis for industrial design and optimization of industrial catalytic processes.

The book is separated into two sections, and begins with a summary of reaction engineering and catalysis fundamentals (chapters 1-5), followed by relevant industrial examples of heterogeneously catalyzed processes (chapters 6-13). In this regard, the text could easily serve as the required text for two academic courses, one in heterogeneous catalyst fundamentals and the second in industrial catalytic processes. This format also allows the experienced and practising chemist and engineer to quickly locate information of interest, similar to a traditional handbook format. Although the book does not labour through every detail of the various topics presented, the text is superbly referenced, allowing the interested reader to collect and review additional materials, as necessary. The text is also well illustrated with numerous schematics and figures, which make the comprehension of new and difficult topics straightforward.

The first five chapters of the text are devoted to summarizing the basic aspects and fundamentals of catalytic reaction engineering, and are presented in logical order that is particularly easy to comprehend. After presenting a brief history of catalysis and highlighting several significant industrial applications of heterogeneous catalysis, Chapter 1 concludes by providing an overview of basic molecular catalysis principles and the role of surface structure in catalysis. Chapter 2 discusses the important methods involved in catalyst preparation and further presents the authors' insightful views regarding the future of heterogeneous catalyst development. Chapter 3 introduces the reader to the objectives of catalyst characterization before presenting a comprehensive list of characterization techniques and the basic information obtained from each technique. The chapter then leads into a detailed discussion of several common analytical techniques to characterize bulk and surface properties. Chapter 4 summarizes the basic equations for reactor design and the analysis of reaction rate data, and Chapter 5 discusses the basic causes of heterogeneous catalyst deactivation and methods to model catalyst deactivation. Indeed, it is this comprehensive summary of catalyst deactivation, drawn largely from the authors' own experiences, that is a noteworthy addition to the literature of heterogeneous catalysis.

The remaining eight chapters (chapters 6-13) are devoted to summarizing industrial examples of heterogeneous catalysis, and include such topics as hydrogen and synthesis gas production, hydrogenation/dehydrogenation, catalytic (partial) oxidation, petroleum refining and hydrotreating, and environmental catalysis for mobile and stationary sources. These chapters include a multitude of information on these industrially relevant topics, including reaction chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics and mechanisms, catalyst design and deactivation, reactor and process design, and future trends in industrial catalysis. Chapter 12 presents a brief discussion of traditional non-heterogeneously catalyzed systems, and summarizes aspects of homogeneous, enzymatic, and polymerization catalysis. This section concludes in Chapter 13 by discussing catalyst technologies for catalytic hydrogen production and the application of catalysts in fuel cells. The text also includes a comprehensive glossary and index which enables the rapid location of specific topics in this tome, which the practicing scientist and engineer will find this level of referencing to be particularly useful.

The logical question to ponder is what is missing from the book. Arguably, the authors' apparent focus was to prepare a comprehensive summary highlighting the fundamentals and practices of industrial (heterogeneous) catalysis. To this end, the authors' presentation is a convincing success. The only notable omission from the book is a detailed discussion of industrial heterogeneous reactor scale-up, design, and operation issues. Heterogeneous reactor design and operability challenges, such as heat and mass transport limitations, particle fluidization, and laboratory scale-up, would be a welcome compendium to the comprehensive discussion in this book. However, the effective presentation and discussion of this additional material would likely double the length of the book, and thus, a separate book addressing these industrial heterogeneous reactor design issues may instead be advisable.

In summary, this book will be of value to both the novice and practising engineer, and is highly effective in its presentation of industrial catalytic process fundamentals and industrial examples. The authors have prepared a very useful book that should be considered as a text for academic instruction and a resource for the practising chemist and engineer. This book represents a significant value, and a personal copy would be an advisable investment.

Alan E. Nelson, PhD, P.Eng.

The Dow Chemical Company

Corporate Research and Development

Midland, MI, U.S.A.

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Author:Nelson, Alan E.
Publication:Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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