Nanocatalysts: A New “Dimension” for Nanoparticles?

Paolo Ciambelli, Diana Sannino, Maria Sarno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


During the initial years of the twenty-first century, a widely debated scientific topic, the potential impact of the growing interest in nanoscience, drew the attention of the catalysis community (see, as examples, Somorjai and Borodko 2001, Bell 2003, Kung and Kung 2003, Pernicone 2003). The discussion focused on a basic issue, well synthesized by the title of a short review (Schlögl and Hamid 2004): “Nanocatalysis: mature science revisited or 512something really new?” The review reminded that the use of nanosize materials in catalysis is not an innovation of recent years, since industrial catalysis has involved nanoparticles and performed their chemical transformations since the beginning of the twentieth century, effecting the oldest commercial application of nanotechnology. Moreover, erionite-based catalyst is the first example of selective cracking catalyst exploiting the nanosize dimension of the zeolite pores. Apart from these historical clarifications, it was recognized that only the expected progresses in nanoscience could have led to significant improvement of the design and synthesis of catalysts, since at that time the capability of controlling the uniformity of catalyst size and composition was absent. Therefore, as a conclusion of that debate, the strict relationship between research in catalysis and nanoscience was clearly recognized. More specifically, it was highlighted that both the advances in characterization techniques allowing a molecular-level understanding of the effect of nanoparticle size on catalytic performance, and the definition of novel approaches to nanoparticle synthesis for the construction of nanostructured catalysts are the keys for designing and developing novel catalysts capable of enhanced performances profiting from their nano nature.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationInorganic Nanoparticles
Subtitle of host publicationSynthesis, Applications, and Perspectives
EditorsClaudia Altavilla, Enrico Ciliberto
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781315218076
StatePublished - 2011


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