By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, Committee on Challenges for the Chemical Sciences in the 21st Century

Chemistry and chemical engineering have replaced considerably because the Nineteen Nineties. they've got broadened their scope - into biology, nanotechnology, fabrics technology, computation and complicated tools of technique structures engineering and regulate - loads that the programmes in such a lot chemistry and chemical engineering departments now slightly resemble the classical thought of chemistry. "Beyond the Molecular Frontier" brings jointly study, discovery and invention around the whole spectrum of the chemical sciences - from primary, molecular-level chemistry to large-scale chemical processing know-how. This displays the best way the sphere has advanced, the synergy at universities among examine and schooling in chemistry and chemical engineering, and how chemists and chemical engineers interact in undefined. The advancements in technological know-how and engineering through the twentieth century have made it attainable to dream of latest objectives that will formerly were thought of unthinkable. This booklet identifies the main possibilities and demanding situations for the chemical sciences, from easy examine to societal wishes and from terrorism defence to environmental defense, and it seems on the ways that chemists and chemical engineers can interact to give a contribution to a higher destiny.

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Extra info for Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

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This effort to create goes beyond chemical reactions and extends to molecules and organized molecular systems that originate in the imagination of an individual chemist. A Nobel Prize to Geoffrey Wilkinson and Ernest O. Fisher in 1973 recognized their creation, and understanding, of a new class of substances—unrelated to anything found in nature—called metallocenes. Originally, these organometallic sandwich compounds (and their “open-faced” versions) were of interest purely as new occupants of the chemical universe, as if a new type of planet had been created in the astronomical universe.

GOALS The long-term goal of the basic science in synthesis is to develop the ability to create all the substances and organized chemical systems and transformations that are possible under the limits of natural laws, not just those that occur in Nature. The importance of such an extension of Nature is clear in medicinal chemistry, for instance, but it is also part of the basic science of chemistry itself. In most cases, only enough of the new molecules will be created to permit an evaluation of their properties.

We need to understand their chemistry, even if it is not as practical as is our current method of manufacturing ammonia. Similarly, the enzyme methane monooxygenase is able to use atmospheric oxygen to convert methane to methanol, whereas chemical systems tend to oxidize the methane further. We need to develop catalysts for this important process that could convert the methane in natural gas into a useful chemical. The catalysts for both of these processes will surely include the inorganic chemistry of metallic elements.

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