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International Assessment of Research and Development in Catalysis by Nanostructured Materials

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Final rept.

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This WTEC panel report assesses the international research and development activities in the field of catalysis by nanostructured materials. Catalysis is important for a wide variety of processes that impact manufacturing, energy conversion, and environmental protection. This study focused specifically on solid catalysts and how nanoscale structures associated with them affect their reactivity. The principal technical areas of the study are a design and control of synthetic nanostructures b nanoscale characterization of catalysts in their working state c theory and simulation and d applications. The panel visited over 40 institutions and companies throughout East Asia and Western Europe to explore the active research projects in those institutions, the physical infrastructure used for the projects, the funding schemes that enable the research, and the collaborative interactions among universities, national laboratories, and corporate research centers. A bibliometric analysis of research in catalysis by nanostructured materials published from 1996 to 2005 was conducted as part of this WTEC study. The total number of published papers as well as the expected total number of citations of those papers revealed a growing focus on this subject. Western Europe was the numerical output leader in the world U.S. output, while published in high-impact journals, was relatively stagnant, and the number of published papers originating from China was growing exponentially and expected to exceed that from the United States in the latter half of this decade. Chinas rapidly expanding economy together with its growth in large-scale chemical and refining plants motivate its significant commitment to catalysis research. The panel found that cooperation between universities and companies in catalysis RD is common in Europe and Asia, presumably because of a more favorable intellectual property environment outside of the United States.

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  • Physical Chemistry

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