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Book Review Surface Chemistry and Catalysis. By Albert F. Carley Philip R. Davies Graham J. Hutchings and Michael S

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Aromatic Chemistry
By John D. Hepworth, David R.
Waring, and
Michael J. Waring.
Royal Society of
Chemistry, Cambridge 2002. vii
þ 168 pp., softcover £ 9.95.—
ISBN 0-85404662-3
The title of this book promises more
than one finds within it. It is not about
aromatic chemistry in general but is
concerned solely with the chemistry of
benzene, its derivatives, and simple
Some standard reactions of functional
groups are also described, for example,
those of aldehydes and ketones (formation of imines and hydrazones, the aldol
reaction, the Knoevenagel condensation), where their inclusion is justified
on the ground that a benzene derivative
is involved.
As the book is intended specifically
for basic-level chemistry students, it
inevitably finds itself in competition
with many excellent textbooks which
cover this topic as a part of their overall
treatment of the fundamentals of
organic chemistry. I find it difficult to
believe that the book can establish itself
in the face of such stiff competition.
The first quarter of the book consists
of two general chapters dealing with
aromatic stabilization, the H&ckel rules,
nomenclature, and the basic mechanisms of electrophilic and nucleophilic
substitution. The following seven chapters, which make up the main part of the
book (75 pp.), are devoted to the synthesis and reactions of benzene derivaAngew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 3851 – 3853
tives: alkyl and aryl benzenes, phenols,
carboxylic acids, sulfonic acids, aromatic
aldehydes, ketones, and alcohols, nitro
compounds, amino and diazonium compounds, and halogen compounds. The
authors describe only the classical reactions that have long been known, even in
cases where it is admitted that they give
poor yields, as for example in the synthesis of biaryls by the Fittig reaction. It
is not until Chapter 10 that the reader
meets modern organometallic-mediated
reactions that provide elegant solutions
to the synthetic problems encountered
earlier. There then comes a short chapter on oxidations and reductions of the
benzene ring, followed by a ten-page
chapter on the chemistry of naphthalene, anthracene, and phenanthrene,
and the book ends with a recommended
reading list and solutions to the exercise
Who are the readers who are likely
to benefit from this short treatment of
the chemistry of benzene derivatives? It
is certainly not the advanced student,
nor is it the industrial chemist seeking to
update his or her knowledge (as the
blurb on the cover suggests), since the
book does not cover the more recent
knowledge about mechanisms, and
modern synthetic methods get only
marginal treatment. Thus we are left
with the “undergraduates” mentioned
above, whose level of previous knowledge has been taken into account in
writing the text. However, these students will be better served by one of the
modern textbooks, since those are able
to organize and present the material in a
didactically more effective way than is
possible in a beginner2s-level treatment
of a small segment of organic chemistry.
I regret that I cannot recommend the
text even though it is essentially free
from errors!
Herbert Mayr
Chemistry Department
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
By Albert F. Carley,
Philip R. Davies,
Graham J.
Hutchings, and
Michael S.
Spencer. Kluwer
Plenum Publishers, New York
2002. 381 pp.,
E 157.50.—ISBN
Heterogeneous catalysis is developing
from a purely empirical art into an exact
science, and nowadays it is often possible to understand catalytic processes at
the molecular level. Many of the concepts used come from surface chemistry
or have been developed through studies
using model catalysts. This excellent
book discusses experimental methods
and the latest developments in three
areas of research—heterogeneous catalysis, surface chemistry, and the chemistry of model catalysts—and compares
progress in these areas with the help of
examples. It commemorates the work of
Wyn Roberts, who helped to shape the
development of these three areas during
his 50-year research career, but the
scope also extends beyond that. It
starts by giving the reader an outstandingly good up-to-date overview of how
methods and concepts from surface
chemistry can be used for describing
the behavior of model catalysts and real
industrial catalysts. That introduction is
followed by the main body of the work,
devoted to the three areas mentioned
The first part introduces the reader
to the most important experimental
methods of surface chemistry. As well
as describing the well established methods such as photoelectron spectroscopy,
electron microscopy, electron energy
loss spectroscopy (EELS), and infrared
spectroscopy, the authors explain very
recent developments, for example,
vibrational spectroscopy using sum frequency generation. This part on techniques is often enlivened by personal
anecdotes, and the style is refreshing
and absorbing. The brief and concise
: 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
treatments given here are not intended
to replace the substantial classic works
on surface chemistry and physics, but
they provide a solid foundation for the
second part of the book.
This second part begins with a theoretical chapter. Concisely and informatively, the authors introduce the theoretical models that can be used to gain
an understanding of catalytic processes
in model systems, including density
function theory and dynamic Monte
Carlo calculations. As an example of
their application, we learn interesting
details about the activation of methane
on a ruthenium surface. The gap
between classical surface chemistry and
industrial catalysis is then bridged with
the introduction of model catalysts. The
latest studies indicate not only that the
“material gap” can be overcome by
experiments with well-defined metal
particles on oxide surfaces, but also
that the “pressure gap” can be closed
by studying the chemistry of these
systems at increased pressures. Therefore the authors first describe the development of the techniques and concepts
for these studies, then show how they
are applied to the gold/TiO2 system.
Next a chapter on the catalytic
chemistry of gold introduces the third
part. In this, a chapter on the history of
the field describes how heterogeneous
catalysis has developed from an art into
a science. For example, did you know
that J>ns Jacob Berzelius attributed
catalytic effects to a mysterious force,
the “vis catalytica”? The fact that heterogeneous catalysis has indeed developed into a science is demonstrated by
the last three chapters of the book,
which deal with the most modern areas
of research in heterogeneous catalysis,
including enantioselective catalysis, the
molecular description of transitionmetal catalysis, and the selectivity of
hydrogenation reactions.
This book connects together different aspects of heterogeneous catalysis in
a number of ways. Although this is an
enormously broad field, the authors
have succeeded in giving a concise and
highly informative treatment of important selected aspects. The book is certainly not a substitute for a beginners2
course on heterogeneous catalysis, but
presents an up-to-date and wide-ranging
overview of a variety of different facets
of the subject. It can be recommended
for everyone wishing to enter this fascinating field, and also for those who wish
to look beyond the rim of their own
special area of research.
Ulrich Heiz
Abteilung f?r OberflAchenchemie
und Katalyse
UniversitAt Ulm (Germany)
Solvents and Solvent Effects in
Organic Chemistry
3rd, updated and
enlarged, edition.
By Christian
Reichardt. WileyVCH, Weinheim
2002. 628 pp.,
E 129.00.—ISBN
Books such as this one by Reichardt are
seldom read from the beginning to the
end. More often, they are consulted for
a specific question. It is well known that
when one has occasion to re-read one of
one2s own papers, errors and omissions
that were not noticed before often
become apparent. It was in that spirit
that I began to read the third edition of
“Reichardt”. I had been using the
second edition frequently, so naturally
I did the same with the third. It gave the
same pleasure in finding everything so
well ordered and so clear. At this
moment I am interested in thermosolvatochromism, and of course I found it!
(p. 428). The same occurred with solvent
effects on host – guest complexation
equilibria (p. 139). Since the second
edition was out-of-print, it was a good
idea to publish a new, revised, and
enlarged edition instead of a facsimile
edition as sometimes happens with
famous books.
I must confess that, for writing this
review, I felt compelled to read the book
from the beginning to the end, and I
consider myself fortunate to have been
obliged to do this, because I have learnt
so many things. The third edition not
: 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
only incorporates more than 900 new
references but contains new sections as
well. One about neoteric solvents particularly interested me. Ionic liquids,
EMIM, supercritical fluids, PTC, fluorous biphase catalysis, and their relevance to green chemistry are discussed
in detail. More than thirty years separate this book from the first reviews by
Professor Reichardt on solvents and
solvent effects: his knowledge is unrivaled. Chapter 7 of the book describes
his research results, and no other author
could do this. Another section that I
enjoyed very much is that concerning
the comparison of gas-phase acidities
and basicities and their differences compared with solution results (p. 99).
The style is vivid and sometimes
amusing, for example when the Menschutkin reaction is described as a kind
of “guinea pig” (p. 168), or when Reichardt2s pyridinium-N-phenolate betaine
is compared, because of its extraordinary sensitivity, to “The Princess and the
All the famous names are abundantly cited: Abboud, Abraham
(M. H.), Catalán, Gutmann, Kamlet,
and above all our admired Robert W.
Taft. “The ambitious approach of Catalán et al.” (p. 439) is described in detail
and most of his references are cited. But
also Reichardt refers to many results
that are nowadays almost forgotten,
such as Tabacik2s study of the tautomerism
(p. 117); in general, the whole part
concerning solvent effects on tautomerism is excellent.
Several controversial topics are handled with deep insight and open-mindedness, as in the cases of Wold and
Sj>str>m versus Taft and Kamlet
(p. 395: “the final answer is ambiguous”),
approach versus the mixed quantummechanical/molecular mechanics methods (QM/MM) (pp. 395 – 396; but here I
differ slightly from Professor Reichardt,
because I think the second approach will
lead to faster progress than the former),
and the experimentally derived parameters versus the averaged and statistically optimized ones (p. 432). One must
concur with Poper2s comment quoted on
the last page (p. 469), which I cannot
resist repeating here: “It is always
undesirable to make an effort to
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 3851 – 3853
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