Page 6

synthesize hydroquinone and adipic acid from glucose. Frost ended his presentation with a call for chemists to view construction of microbial catalysts as an activity every bit as central to chemical synthesis as the development of inorganic and organometallic catalysts. Both Frost and Gruber emphasized the need for broadly trained scientists who understand chemistry and can move across disciplinary boundaries.

The panel discussion following the third session began with the question of how the issues presented by the speakers could be translated into a research agenda for the chemical sciences. In response to questions about the use of computer modeling, the speakers indicated that this was an important component of industrial research, but it is just one component. Several participants asked if the increasing national emphasis on biologically related research might undermine progress in the physical sciences. Manzer and Gruber indicated that industry needs scientists who can work across the boundaries of the disciplines, and others suggested that future success in carbon management would require broad efforts at understanding the chemistry of CO2 in both biological and geological contexts.

The contributions in this report from the workshop speakers indicate that a program of carbon management would pose enormous challenges. Several speakers described ways that R&D could reduce the amount of CO2 that is generated by chemical industry. While it was noted that this is only a small fraction of the total amount of anthropogenic CO2 (see the discussion following Chapter 2), reductions could be economically important to the chemical industry if a carbon management policy were to be established. Several speakers pointed to ways that R&D in the chemical sciences and engineering might lead to reduction of emissions by the power and transportation sectors, which are responsible for the preponderance of CO2 generated by human activity.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement