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Book Review An Introduction to Chemisorption and Catalysis by Metals. By R. P. H. Gasser

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An Introduction to Chemisorption and Catalysis by Metals.
By R . P. H . Gasser. Oxford Science Publishers, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1987. xii, 260 pp., paperback,
L 12.95.-ISBN 0- 19-855271-8
To write an introduction to chemisorption and catalysis
by metals at the present time is no easy task, in view of the
rapid developments occurring in this field. The author of
this book avoids these difficulties by confining himself to
an account of long-accepted facts, well established methods, and only one example of a heterogeneously catalyzed
reaction. He deliberately excludes any discussion of the
theory of the bonding of molecules to the surface.
The book begins with a brief description of the interaction between the adsorbate and the surface and the thermodynamics of adsorption (isotherms, isobars and heats of
adsorption), such as one finds in other books of a similar
kind. The reader is then prepared for the chapters which
follow by a useful account of the primary processes that
occur during collision (elastic and inelastic processes, energy exchange). A longer chapter is devoted to the kinetics
of adsorption and desorption, including especially a discussion of sticking probability and of temperature programmed thermal desorption.
Next a short introduction to the structure of metals and
surfaces, the real and reciprocal lattices, the use of the
Ewald sphere, and the behavior of electrons in metals
leads into an essentially qualitative treatment of low energy electron diffraction. Under the heading “Electron emission’’ is given a 31-page account of ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), field electron microscopy and field ion microscopy. This chapter
certainly does not d o justice to the present-day importance
of these techniques. For example, in the treatment of UPS
we find no mention of the important information that can
be obtained by using polarized radiation or by measuring
the angular dependence. Similarly the ways in which XPS
and AES can be used are only briefly touched on. The
most recent developments in field emission are not included.
The treatment of chemisorption concludes with a very
brief section on modification of work functions, infrared
spectroscopy and high resolution electron energy loss
spectroscopy (H REELS).
Heterogeneous catalysis is introduced by referring to the
theory of the transition state, and discussing selectivity and
the relationship between strength of chemisorption bonding and catalytic activity; rate equations are derived for
reactions involving the Langmuir-Hinshelwood and the
Eley-Rideal mechanisms. The principles are illustrated by
reference to the ortho-para interconversion in hydrogen
and to hydrogen-deuterium exchange.
In a concluding chapter, as an example of the application of the methods described in the previous chapters, the
catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide on palladium and
platinum is discussed with reference to model reactions
under high vacuum conditions.
Anyone working in the area of adsorption and catalysis
will find few new ideas in this book. New techniques
which have been developed in the last few years, such as
those which have become possible by using synchrotron
radiation, inverse photoemission, tunneling microscopy,
Angew. Chem. Inf. Ed. Engl. 27(19U8) No. 10
ion scattering and many others are not mentioned. The bibliography consists mainly of references to monographs
and review articles; it covers publications up to 1981, and
is thus not very up-to-date. However, the readership aimed
at by the author is not the expert one mentioned above.
The book originated from an introductory lecture course,
and is intended for students who have mastered the fundamentals of physical chemistry and now wish to study special topics, in this case that of adsorption as the primary
step in heterogeneous catalysis. These readers will find the
book useful. As a textbook to accompany a course such as
that mentioned it is an appropriate choice, being clearly
presented, adequately illustrated, and concentrating on the
Gerd Wedler [NB 913 IE]
Institut fur Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie
der Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FRG)
Chemicals from Coal: New Processes (Series: Critical Reports on Applied Chemistry, Vol. 14). Edited by K . R .
Payne. Wiley, New York 1987. 114 pp., bound,
$50.30.--ISBN 0-471-91325-1
The book “Chemicals from Coal: New Developments”
appeared in 1985 as Volume 9 in the series “Critical Reports on Applied Chemistry”. That first 122-page volume,
edited by K . R . Payne, contained three articles: J. Schulze
(Technische Universitat Berlin) and H . Gaensslen (Lurgi
GmbH) discussed the economics of coal conversion processes, and in the two following articles J. 0. H . Newman
and G . 0. Dauies of the National Coal Board (Great Britain) reported on possibilities and recent advances in obtaining chemical feedstocks from coal by pyrolysis or direct liquefaction. The same editor (but a different publisher) has now produced the book under review here, as Volume 14 of the series, under the very similar title “Chemicals from Coal: New Processes”. In this volume the discussion of chemical feedstocks from coal is taken further, with
five articles on coal gasification, synthesis gas chemistry,
Fischer-Tropsch syntheses and the production of acetylene from calcium carbide.
In the first chapter, “Syngas via coal gasification”, B.
Cornils, formerly of Ruhrchemie and now with Hoechst,
reviews the present state of the art in coal gasification technology. Starting from the thermodynamic and kinetic relationships, and the existing first-generation gasification
processes (the Lurgi, Winkler, and Koppers-Totzek gasifiers), the discussion proceeds to the modern second-generation processes, some of which are still at the development
stage. The process engineering principles of fixed bed,
fluidized bed and entrained bed gasification processes, as
well as the differences between the many new developments which are competing with each other, are clearly explained. As a possible third-generation process, the allothermal fluidized bed gasification using process heat from
a high temperature nuclear reactor is discussed. This chapter is a concise but successful review of the topic by a competent author who was for some years involved in the advanced development of the Texaco gasification process.
In the second chapter, “Chemicals from coal via the carbide route”, F.- W. Kampmann and W. Portz of Knapsack/
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