Multicatalysis – Pushing the boundaries beyond multi-disciplinarities
The concept of multi-catalysis is an emerging field targeting the development of new efficient catalytic systems combining multi-step synthesis in new ‘one-pot’ transformations or in multi-catalytic sequences. In this article, we will review the main classification of multi-catalysis strategies and illustrating some case-studies which combine different catalysis fields leading to some remarkable opportunities to outcompete classical approaches. Despite major challenges that need to be addressed with respect to compatibility issues and catalyst reactivity ordering, the implementation of such processes enables to strengthen the collaboration across many disciplines enhancing interdisciplinary competences.
The emergence of catalysis has had a transformative impact in many fields, including the production of chemicals, healthcare, materials, agriculture and in the environmental sector. Historically, catalysts were first developed to enhance the performance of known reactions, but later catalysis started enabling new transformations to address new challenges. Today, catalytic processes produce almost 90% of the chemical industry (1) products.
Driven by the demand for more efficient and sustainable chemical processes, and bringing solutions for more complex molecules, the field of catalysis continues to evolve rapidly.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in developing multi-catalytic systems, which are inspired by the complexity of catalytic reactions occurring in nature. Indeed, synthetic chemists try to mimic the efficient metabolic networks in living organisms to build complex molecules by combining different types of catalysts in the same reaction vessel. These multistep cascade processes provide many advantages to synthetic procedures, resulting in higher productivities with lower waste generation and cost.
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