A Life of Magic Chemistry: Autobiographical Reflections Including Post-Nobel Prize Years and the Methanol Economy

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9781118840030: A Life of Magic Chemistry: Autobiographical Reflections Including Post-Nobel Prize Years and the Methanol Economy
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The autobiography of a Nobel Prize winner, this book tells us about George Olah's fascinating research into extremely strong superacids and how it yielded the common term "magic acids." Olah guides us through his long and remarkable journey, from Budapest to Cleveland to Los Angeles, with a stopover in Stockholm, of course. This updated autobiography of a Nobel Prize winner George A. Olah chronicles the distinguished career of a chemist whose work in a broad range of chemistry areas, and most notably that in methane chemistry, led to technologies that impact the processing and utility of alternative fuels. The book's title is based on Olah's work on extremely strong superacids and how they yielded the common term, "magic acids." The search for stable carbocations led to the discovery of protonated methane which was stabilized by superacids, like FSO3H-SbF5 ("Magic Acid"). CH4 + H+ → CH5+. Olah was also involved in a career-long battle with Herbert C. Brown of Purdue over the existence of so-called "nonclassical" carbocations - such as the norbornyl cation, which can be depicted as cationic character delocalized over several bonds. In recent years, his research has shifted from hydrocarbons and their transformation into fuel to the methanol economy. He has joined with Robert Zubrin, Anne Korin, and James Woolsey in promoting a flexible-fuel mandate initiative.

Klappentext:

The fascinating autobiographical reflections of Nobel Prize winner George Olah

How did a young man who grew up in Hungary between the two World Wars go from cleaning rubble and moving pianos at the end of World War II in the Budapest Opera House to Winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry? George Olah takes us on a remarkable journey from Budapest to Cleveland to Los Angeles?with a stopover in Stockholm. An innovative scientist, George Olah, is truly one of a kind, whose amazing research into extremely strong superacid systems led to the super acidic "magic acid chemistry." Quite unique in his vision and mission, Olah in his eighties has not slowed down yet and stays active. Through his constant scientific efforts during his post-Nobel Prize years, was developed what is now called the "Methanol Economy," a new safe and sustainable way to replace oil for future energy and fuel needs.

The second updated edition of A Life of magic Chemistry is an intimate look at the astounding journeys that George Olah has traveled?from his early research and teaching in Hungary, to his move to North America where, during his years in industry, he continued his study of the elusive cations of carbon, to his return to academia in Cleveland, and, finally, his move to Los Angeles, where he built the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. He found new solutions to the grave problem of world's diminishing natural oil and gas resources and to mitigate global warming by recycling carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels and products. Professor Olah invites the reader to enjoy the story of his remarkable path marked by hard work, imagination and never-ending quests for discovery, which eventually led to the Nobel Prize. He also shares inter alia his vision and pioneering work in the post-Nobel Prize years which led to development of "Methanol Economy" to replace fossil fuels through a viable anthropogenic chemical carbon cycle, based on chemical recycling of carbon dioxide to methanol as a means of energy storage, production of transportation fuels, and raw materials for essential chemicals. Intertwining his research and teaching with a unique personal writing style truly makes A Life of Magic Chemistry an engaging read. His autobiography not only touches on his exhilarating life and pursuit for new chemistry but also reflects on the broader meaning of science in our perpetual search for understanding and knowledge.

GEORGE A. OLAH, PhD, was awarded the undivided 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is the Founding Director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Thomas Mathew, PhD, is a Senior Scientist and long-time close associate of Professor George A. Olah at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.

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