Publication: Big data in catalysis

Big data in catalysis

Authors: Christoph Hauber and Tilman Sauer

Hydrocarbon Engineering, August 2022

Since the early days of the advancement of the chemical industry, catalyst development has been a tedious and repetitive task. One example of this is Alwin Mittasch, Assistant to Carl Bosch at BASF in the 1910s. He led catalyst development for the Haber-Bosch synthesis, which required 20 000 experiments and screening of over 3000 catalyst formulations until the optimal sample was found. It is hard to imagine how many resources were required to run these tests for over a decade, and how many more to handle the analog data that they produced. Fortunately, today, with help of computers, sensors and automation, laboratory experiments can be carried out in much safer, faster and more comprehensive ways. This article focuses on how a software tool can be designed holistically to generate, organise and evaluate big data for catalysis.

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