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.