The various levels of integration of chemo- and bio-catalysis towards hybrid catalysis
Combining catalysts is not a recent concept. For several decades, it has enabled the development of processes that are more economical in terms of solvents, energy, and carbon emissions. This strategy leads the way in current catalytic research aiming to reduce the impact of the chemical industry on the environment and replace synthetic routes based on petroleum with those based on biomass. In particular, hybrid catalysis, consisting of the integrated combination of several catalysts of different types, often a chemical and bio-catalyst, represents one of the most promising innovations in the field, especially when the two catalysts are combined in a single multicatalytic material. Several examples of such achievements have already been reported; however, these are rare compared to single-type catalyst combinations. It is important to understand the issues that govern hybrid catalysis to overcome the obstacles affecting its implementation, starting with the difficulties of communication between scientists of different fields. To surmount this barrier, this article proposes a new naming system for multicatalytic processes and reactions to unify common terms describing the same concepts. This system allows for the comparison of multicatalytic systems developed in both chemistry and biology and highlights their differences, similarities, and limitations. Hybrid catalysis is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field that builds on the developments from both the field of catalysis and materials science. Although the number of synthetic examples is limited, they are growing exponentially using the latest innovative materials for the production of multicatalytic materials for use in optimized “one-pot/one-step” processes.