The 2014 Eni Scientific Award Commission cited Hoveyda's development of catalysts capable of synthesizing complex molecules with unique steric properties, or specifically distinct spatial arrangements of their main chain atoms. Hoveyda catalysts produce high purity compounds used in pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and agrochemicals, with applications that extend into advanced materials and polymers. Some of the catalysts are being used in large-scale preparation of hydrocarbon-based therapeutics.
The connections to energy lie in the development of exceptionally efficient catalysts with high turnover ratios in a short amount of time, involving the use of non-precious and abundant elements that convert readily available renewable materials into highly valued molecules humans rely upon.
"Such catalysts do not demand heating or cooling, or the energy required to promote such reactions," Hoveyda said. "They do not require expending our non-renewable resources, which demand substantial time and energy to mine, and generate minimal amounts of environmentally harmful waste and reduce the energy costs of disposal. Catalysts and catalytic chemical reactions that depend on renewable resources and abundant elements are, without a doubt, a critical part of our future."
Sobell Professor of Chemistry Ilan Marek, of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, said Hoveyda's work has had far-reaching implications within the field of hydrocarbons.
"I would be hard pressed to identify another individual whose contributions to the field of catalysis involving carbon-carbon bonds match Amir's in terms of quality and quantity," said Marek. "Throughout his career, Amir's work has been characterized by remarkable originality and far-sightedness. He has been a central figure in the definition of major fields as we known them asymmetric catalysis, metathesis, and carbenes to name a few. In each case, the field was revolutionized by his work."
|Contact: Ed Hayward|