Additive Manufacturing and Catalysis: a powerful synergy to boost the chemical industry in the 21st century
Catalysis is one of the pillars of the chemical industry that has promoted its evolution since the 20th century, and currently it is one of the fields of study where new routes to consolidate new sources of renewable energy and strategies to curb climate change and the emission of greenhouse gases are being studied in depth. For the achievement of these goals, catalysis must be modernized through the implementation of new manufacturing tools such as additive manufacturing, which is one of the key elements of the new industrial revolution “Industry 4.0”. The appearance of additive manufacturing dates back to the 80s, but its application in catalysis has only begun to be appreciated in the last decade. The growth of research that address this combination is exponential and this has brought about the birth of a special field of research, in which there are different strategies used to obtain devices with catalytic properties. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate as much as possible of what work has been done to date in order to establish trends in this field, recognize their strengths, weaknesses and future prospects. Furthermore, it is important to identify and define concepts that allow understanding the strategies that are being followed to incorporate 3D printing with catalysis. This keynote presents an in-depth analysis of this promising fusion between these technological fields, including a complete description of the milestones of additive manufacturing and the principles of the technologies used, as well as the scenario that has given rise to such combination. Moreover, the most used printing techniques, materials and manufacturing procedures for obtaining catalytic devices will be analyzed. In addition, a short- and medium-term scenario will be shown, in which the main challenges that are currently being worked intensively will be analyzed.