Value of Catalysis

In the Intro­duc­tion to a new book, the impor­tance of catal­y­sis is nice­ly sum­ma­rized:

In 1993, the world­wide use of cat­a­lysts amount­ed to $8.7 bil­lion, with $3.1 bil­lion for chem­i­cals, $3 bil­lion for envi­ron­men­tal, $1.8 bil­lion for petro­le­um refin­ing, and $0.8 bil­lion for indus­tri­al bio­catal­y­sis. In the USA, the total demand for cat­a­lysts was $2.4 bil­lion in 1995 and is fore­cast to rise to $2.9 bil­lion in 2000.

In addi­tion, the eco­nom­ic impor­tance of catal­y­sis is enor­mous:

  • Catal­y­sis is crit­i­cal to the pro­duc­tion of 30 of the top 50 com­mod­i­ty chem­i­cals pro­duced in the USA.
  • Near­ly 90% of all US chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es involve catal­y­sis.
  • $200 to $1000 worth of prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured for every $1 worth of cat­a­lyst con­sumed.
  • The val­ue of US goods pro­duced using cat­alyt­ic process­es is esti­mat­ed at 17–30% of the US GNP.
  • There is a huge soci­etal ben­e­fit of catal­y­sis for envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, since emis­sion con­trol cat­a­lysts are a sig­nif­i­cant sec­tor of the mar­ket.

Source of com­piled remarks: Cat­a­lyst Design, by M. Mor­bidel­li, A. Gavri­ilidis, and A. Var­ma, Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press, New York, 2001.