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Introduction to Cluster Dynamics. By Paul-Gerhard Reinhard and Eric Suraud

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Developing an Industrial Chemical
An Integrated
Approach. By
Joseph Mizrahi. CRC
Press, Boca Raton,
FL 2003. 248 pp.,
$ 139.95.—ISBN
This book raises puzzling questions: why
such a slim volume—only 236 pages of
text including the preliminaries—for
this of all subjects? And why in this
form? The author seems to have anticipated that reaction, and in the preface
he himself asks the question “Why is
such a book needed at all?” His not
very convincing answer is that, for too
many beginners, the business of planning, developing, and implementing
chemical processes has to be learned
“on the job” through trial and error, a
way of learning that is not very efficient
or effective. Of course, one can express
such doubts about any newly published
scientific or technical book. Does this
book at least provide what its title promises?
The contents are divided into chapters dealing with various stages of process development in sequence. These
include: searching for new processes,
starting the development of a new process, the resources needed for development, the preceding implementation,
definition and feasibility studies, the
experimental program, the preliminary
process design, economic analysis, the
working program toward a first implementation, the plant construction
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 3099 – 3101
period, process start-up, consideration
of the new know-how, and the contents
of a process package. In this field,
where English-language terminology
predominates, no readers will have
problems with definitions, whatever
their first language is, but on the other
hand there are logical inconsistencies
in many places. For example, the expression “new product” is open to widely
different interpretations, which can
include simply a variation to an existing
process, perhaps giving a purer product,
or using a cheaper technology or a different feedstock. On the other hand,
the chapters concerned with products
that are completely new to a company,
with newly available technologies, or
with new directions for new products,
broaden the horizon considerably, and
suggest unconventional strategies and
ways of working that were previously
outside the focus of a manufacturer's
own processes. Against that background, it is difficult to understand
why a chapter on “actual case examples” has been put before the chapter
on “defining the process”, and why it
only includes examples from a comparatively narrow and specialized area of
inorganic chemistry. However, these
examples are described in great detail,
and include data (e.g., on material consumption and throughput) to a precision
of three decimal places. Such details are
not needed in all parts of the book, and
in view of its limited size and the amount
of material that is to be covered, they
certainly should not be included.
These special features of the book
are perhaps a consequence of the
author's personal experiences and interests, which are summarized in a onepage biographical note at the beginning.
This account is quite comprehensive,
covering everything except the shape
of the author's ears, his hat size, and
his blood group. From this curriculum
vitae one can find the background
details that explain the book's strengths.
In particular, there is the wealth of experience in various positions in chemical
research and development, in chemical
engineering, in process evaluation, in
the introduction of new processes, in
troubleshooting, etc. Sometimes this
broad experience leads the author to
indulge in chatty reminiscence, which
results in an unbalanced emphasis on
some topics at the expense of others;
for example, the process block diagram
and the crystallization of inorganic
products are evidently favorite topics
and are given too much attention,
whereas patenting and the preparation
of reports are relatively neglected.
On the whole, I regard this book as a
useful checklist on the long journey
from an initial idea for a product or
process to the start-up of the plant that
finally emerges. Personal and proven
methods of working, characteristics of
particular areas of chemical industry,
and the requirements that apply to certain product types or organizations, are
too complex to provide a basis for guiding the reader through all the various
ways of achieving the “integrated
approach” that is always aimed for.
However, Mizrahi's book should help
to ensure that one does not forget any
important stage of the development.
That will be appreciated by everyone
who has ever found that the failure to
consider the effects of corrosion in a
continuously operating plant can be a
disaster for the chemist who carried
out the laboratory-scale development.
Boy Cornils
Hofheim/Taunus (Germany)
Introduction to Cluster Dynamics
By Paul-Gerhard
Reinhard and Eric
Suraud. Wiley-VCH,
Weinheim 2003.
327 pp., hardcover
E 119.00.—ISBN
Cluster dynamics is a hot research topic,
and also an important basis for the
growing field of nanotechnology. Therefore, a good treatise on this area was
overdue. However, this book is much
more than just that: it also offers a
broad introduction to clusters in gen-
6 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
eral, their importance, many of their
prominent features, their experimental
preparation and analysis, and above all
their theoretical treatment. Thus, cluster
dynamics is only one of several main
topics in this book on clusters, another
one being metal clusters.
The breadth of presentation in this
book is impressive. It is difficult to find
a question of theoretical or experimental cluster research that is not treated
at least briefly somewhere within it.
The book covers everything from first
principles to current research, and elegantly combines theoretical and experimental aspects. Accordingly, the authors
aim their work at a broad readership,
ranging from advanced undergraduates
to cluster researchers. The general structure of the book, as well as its contents
list and index, are good aids in accessing
the text.
As the authors admit in the preface,
the depth of presentation is not a match
for its breadth, since the text covers only
250 pages (plus 50 pages of appendices).
Nevertheless, for many of the topics
treated, the authors manage to provide
the essentials in a nutshell, so that even
beginners will find the treatment accessible. Sometimes, however, the presentation is too terse, and provides only a
few glimpses of central ideas and
research trends. In these cases, the readers have to turn to the literature, to
which at least a few leads are always
For the personal taste of this
reviewer, a certain imbalance is created:
in the introductory chapters, several
very basic topics (the aufbau principle,
the periodic system of the elements,
the different types of chemical bonding,
etc.) are explained in such length and
detail as if this were a fundamental textbook on molecular physics or theoretical chemistry. Appendix B even contains
a complete table of ground-state electronic configurations of the first 102 elements of the periodic system. In later
chapters, considerably more difficult
topics are presented in a much shorter
form, even some that belong to the central focus of this book (such as the
TDLDA, Vlasov–LDA, or VUU methods as main tools for a theoretical treatment of cluster dynamics). Consequently, the authors neither completely
reach the beginners, for whom a more
comprehensive treatment in a normal
textbook would be more appropriate,
nor the advanced students, who have to
turn to the literature on many occasions.
This reviewer would have preferred to
declare those topics that have already
been treated in many excellent textbooks of physics and chemistry as prerequisites, and to devote all these
pages instead to a more detailed treatment of advanced topics central to this
Apart from this imbalance, the book
can be recommended for all beginners
and researchers in the world of clusters
and their dynamics, as an excellent combination of smooth entry and broad
Bernd Hartke
Institut f:r Physikalische Chemie
Universit=t Kiel (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385134
Modern Carbonyl Olefination
Methods and
Edited by Takeshi
Takeda. Wiley-VCH,
Weinheim 2004.
349 pp., hardcover
E 139.00.—ISBN
This book edited by Takeshi Takeda
contains articles by 14 authors (one of
whom is from industry). As the first
thorough survey of recent results in the
intensively studied area of carbonyl olefination, it fills a definite gap in the
market. However, I would have preferred the presentation of the subject to
be more systematic in some respects.
Thus, the introduction to the book fails
to give a definition of the reaction and
its boundary conditions, nor does it
mention earlier work, for example on
methylenation. That is all the more surprising after reading the editor's comment in the preface that carbonyl olefination is “one of the most fundamental
6 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
transformations in organic synthesis”,
whereas, for example, the olefination
of formaldehyde using propionaldehyde
(yielding methylacrolein in the BASF
methyl methacrylate process) is not
mentioned at all.
Leaving that criticism aside, the
book can certainly be recommended in
view of the excellent and concisely written presentations of the various aspects
of the subject. One important aspect
concerns the work of Wittig and the
transformation of carbonyl compounds
using phosphonium ylides or other cosubstrates. The reactions using phosphonates (known as the Horner–Emmons,
Wittig–Wadsworth–Emmons reaction),
using phosphane oxides (Horner–
Wittig), or even the Schlosser variant,
are still associated with the name of
Wittig, despite the fact that many different names and combinations of names
appear in the literature and leave the
nonspecialist confused.
All the modern variants of carbonyl
olefination reactions are discussed,
including the Peterson reaction (the
transformation of carbonyl compounds
using a-silyl carbanions, the JuliB reaction (using sulfones), the McMurry reaction (reductive coupling using lowvalent titanium compounds), and also
the mechanistically related carbonyl
olefinations using metal carbenes or
those using zinc or chromium reagents
(such as the Nysted or Lombardo
reagents). Thus, with all these topics
and the last chapter on asymmetric carbonyl olefinations, we have for the first
time a clear guide through this confusing
array of named variants and modifications.
All the chapters provide thorough
and detailed information and are adequately illustrated by structural formulas and schemes. However, despite the
editor's emphasis on the practical
importance of the subject (“…most fundamental transformations…”), there are
hardly any descriptions of industrial
applications, and therefore the book is
more suitable for laboratory chemists
than for those concerned with industrial
Users of the book will need their
strongest reading glasses, because of
the change in typography introduced
by Wiley-VCH. One's reaction to the
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 3099 – 3101
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gerhard, paulo, introduction, clusters, eric, reinhard, suraud, dynamics
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