Author Archives: edrick

Stuart Soled is the recipient of the 2023 NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis

Stu­art (Stu) L. Soled

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Stu­art Soled of Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing is the recip­i­ent of the 2023 NACS Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis. This award is joint­ly spon­sored by Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing and Clari­ant, and is admin­is­tered by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The award con­sists of a plaque and a prize of $5,000. The plaque will be pre­sent­ed dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2023 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety (NAM28 in Prov­i­dence).

The NACS Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis rec­og­nizes an indi­vid­ual who advanced cat­alyt­ic chem­istry or engi­neer­ing by sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice to the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty in addi­tion to tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments.

States­man­ship, schol­ar­ship, and ser­vice to our com­mu­ni­ty describe the career of Stu Soled. From the trench­es of indus­try, he has led in mat­ters of sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, and ped­a­gogy, while men­tor­ing stu­dents in indus­try and acad­e­mia. His elo­quent lec­tures pro­vide a mod­el of rig­or in the prac­tice of catal­y­sis, but also show the growth of human tal­ent is insep­a­ra­ble from research achieve­ments. His broad tech­no­log­i­cal impact (100+ patents) and con­cep­tu­al con­tri­bu­tions to the schol­ar­ly lit­er­a­ture are out­stand­ing.

His nur­tur­ing and guid­ance in the evo­lu­tion of aca­d­e­m­ic cen­ters, projects, and staff illus­trate how Stu works to advance research and teach­ing in aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions. His men­tor­ship at Exxon­Mo­bil is leg­endary; it has served to bridge demo­graph­ic gaps and changes in strate­gic direc­tions and to main­tain a cul­ture of rig­or. His con­tri­bu­tions to pre­serve and dis­sem­i­nate the his­to­ry of catal­y­sis, painstak­ing­ly gath­ered by Burt Davis over decades required hun­dreds of hours of edit­ing and con­vert­ing video­graph­ic media into acces­si­ble forms. Near­ly 2000 videos, cov­er­ing more than 50 years of lec­tures and inter­views, are now avail­able at the “Video His­to­ry of Catal­y­sis” YouTube chan­nel. This serves as a repos­i­to­ry of our community’s sto­ried his­to­ry of sci­en­tif­ic and tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments.

Stu Soled rep­re­sents, in spir­it and impact, the def­i­n­i­tion of ser­vice.
 
Jing­guang Chen
NACS Pres­i­dent

In Memoriam: Kenzi Tamaru (1923–2020)

Kenzi Tamaru — A “titan of mechanism” who initiated the in-situ study of catalysts

 
On July 22, 2020, the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty lost Ken­zi Tamaru, a pio­neer in elu­ci­dat­ing the mech­a­nisms of het­ero­ge­neous cat­alyt­ic reac­tions. His endur­ing lega­cy will be his insight that cat­a­lysts have to be stud­ied at reac­tion con­di­tions. This insight was the basis for the now wide­spread use of in situ and operan­do stud­ies in catal­y­sis.

Ken­zi Tamaru was born in Kamaku­ra, Japan on Nov. 2, 1923, and was edu­cat­ed at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo, obtain­ing his B.S. in 1946, and his Ph.D. in 1950. In 1953 he was award­ed a Full­bright Fel­low­ship and went to work with Sir Hugh Tay­lor at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty where he stayed until 1956. In Prince­ton Ken­zi stud­ied the decom­po­si­tion of ger­mane and got the insight of the need to study cat­a­lysts at reac­tion con­di­tions. When he told Prof. Tay­lor of this con­cept he said “You are very ambi­tious”, repeat­ing it, “You are very ambi­tious”. On return­ing to Japan, Ken­zi start­ed research on adsorp­tion dur­ing catal­y­sis, first at Yoko­hama Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty, and then at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tokyo. In Adv. Catal. 15 (1965) 65–90, he stat­ed “The state of the sur­face which cat­alyzes reac­tions is not that of the sur­face in the absence of reac­tants. The prop­er­ties of a cat­a­lyst sur­face to be stud­ied should be those in the work­ing state.” Today, the need to study cat­a­lysts at in situ con­di­tions is uni­ver­sal­ly rec­og­nized and is applied reg­u­lar­ly using spec­tro­scop­ic and tran­sient tech­niques. Ken­zi Tamaru liked to tell his stu­dents, “You have a good head, so think care­ful­ly”. This think­ing was evi­dent in him at an ear­ly stage. His grade school teacher recalled that when stu­dents were asked to name some­thing that would not burn most stu­dents answered with things like stones or steel. Kenzi’s unique answer was “ash­es”. Ken­zi Tamaru’s appli­ca­tion of what he liked to call “the Tamaru Method”, includ­ed in situ stud­ies of MeOH decom­po­si­tion on ZnO and Cr2O3, NH3 decom­po­si­tion on W and Mo, and CO hydro­gena­tion on Ru, and the phe­nom­e­non of adsorp­tion-assist­ed des­orp­tion. Ken­zi had close friend­ships with many dis­tin­guished indi­vid­u­als in the field, notably Michel Boudart, Wolf­gang Sachtler, and Guo Xiex­i­an, with whom he shared a com­mon inter­est in chem­i­cal kinet­ics as well as per­son­al rela­tions. Ken­zi Tamaru held many impor­tant posi­tions includ­ing the pres­i­den­cies of the Japan Chem­i­cal Soci­ety in 1989–1990, and the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties in 1988–1992. He was rec­og­nized with many awards, includ­ing the Japan Chem­i­cal Soci­ety Award in 1974, the Pur­ple Agate in 1985, and the Japan Acad­e­my Award in 2000.

His pres­ence will be missed but his con­tri­bu­tions will endure.

Sourav Sengupta is the recipient of the 2022 F. G. Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Sourav Sen­gup­ta of DuPont is the recip­i­ent of the 2022 F. G. Cia­pet­ta Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis. The award is admin­is­tered by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and spon­sored by the W. R. Grace & Co. It is to be award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in even-num­bered years. The award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­i­um of $5,000. The recip­i­ent may be invit­ed to lec­ture at some of the local catal­y­sis clubs dur­ing the two-year peri­od cov­ered by this award.

Dr. Sourav Sen­gup­ta, a DuPont Lau­re­ate, has been with DuPont for over 30 years. He has made numer­ous indus­tri­al­ly-impact­ful con­tri­bu­tions in cat­a­lyst syn­the­sis, reac­tion engi­neer­ing, and process devel­op­ment, rang­ing from gaso­line to advanced mate­ri­als. Through­out his career he has invent­ed, inno­vat­ed, and imple­ment­ed a pletho­ra of new process­es and prod­ucts includ­ing, a cheap­er and inher­ent­ly safer process for the syn­the­sis of an aramid monomer; a mod­u­lar, on-site and on-demand HCN man­u­fac­tur­ing process, using induc­tion heat­ing to direct­ly heat Pt-Rh gauze cat­a­lyst; a nov­el fixed bed hydro­gena­tion reac­tor tech­nol­o­gy to man­u­fac­ture a key inter­me­di­ate used in the syn­the­sis of an inhala­tion anes­thet­ic; and a high­er activ­i­ty sul­fu­ric acid cat­a­lyst. Sourav and his team have more recent­ly invent­ed bio­mass hydrodeoxy­gena­tion cat­a­lysts for con­vert­ing cel­lu­lose-derived mol­e­cules to alpha-omega diols by opti­miz­ing bicom­po­nent coop­er­a­tiv­i­ty in sur­face reac­tions and har­ness­ing the influ­ence of water to reduce acti­va­tion bar­ri­ers. They also resolved a chal­leng­ing cat­a­lyst deac­ti­va­tion prob­lem for furan hydro­gena­tion and improved cat­a­lyst pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in the Bio-THF process. A col­lab­o­ra­tive leader and a great team play­er, Sourav knows how to get results by solv­ing plant and process-relat­ed prob­lems, com­bin­ing an in-depth knowl­edge of the fun­da­men­tals of sci­ence with a keen sense of detail and a cre­ative approach to work.
 
Con­grat­u­la­tions!
 
Jing­guang Chen
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety

In Memoriam: James F. Roth (1925–2021)

James F. Roth of Warmin­ster, PA, died on his 96th birth­day, Decem­ber 7, 2021.

Born in Rah­way, NJ, Jim was a mem­ber of the first grad­u­at­ing class of the Bronx High School of Sci­ence, grad­u­at­ing at age 15. He enlist­ed in the Navy at 17 and was sent to school at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and then Mid­ship­man School at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty. While Jim was serv­ing as chief nav­i­ga­tor on LST 477 dur­ing the bat­tle of Iwo Jima, the ship was blast­ed with a 500 lb. bomb and hit by a Kamikaze plane.

After being dis­charged from the Navy with the rank of LTJG, Jim returned to col­lege, earn­ing a B.S. in Phys­i­cal Chem­istry from the Uni­ver­si­ty of West Vir­ginia and a PhD from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land.

Dur­ing his career with Mon­san­to in St. Louis, MO, and Air Prod­ucts in Allen­town, PA, where he served as chief sci­en­tist and direc­tor of cor­po­rate research, Jim received recog­ni­tion for his achieve­ments as the prin­ci­pal inven­tor of process­es for the com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion of acetic acid and the pro­duc­tion of lin­ear olefins used to make biodegrad­able deter­gents. He received numer­ous awards, includ­ing the Kokes Award from Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty, the Houdry Award from the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca, and the Indus­tri­al and Engi­neer­ing Chem­istry Award from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. He received the first award ever giv­en by the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety for Achieve­ment in Indus­tri­al Chem­istry. He was induct­ed into the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing and was cit­ed by the Chem­i­cal Her­itage Foun­da­tion as one of the lead­ing Amer­i­can chemists of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. Jim was the 1988 recip­i­ent of the Perkin Medal for his achieve­ments in cat­alyt­ic research, con­sid­ered the high­est recog­ni­tion for chem­i­cal achieve­ments in the U.S.

When he wasn’t work­ing, he and his wife Sharon (Mattes) Roth shared a 52-year adven­ture of world trav­el, sym­phonies, muse­ums, opera, and fine din­ing. They spent their first 18 years of retire­ment in Sara­so­ta, FL, and the next 14 years in inde­pen­dent senior adult com­mu­ni­ties in Dal­las, TX, and Warmin­ster, PA. Jim was lov­ing­ly cared for in his final year by his wife Sharon and care­giv­er Daion­na Combs.

He is sur­vived by his wife; daugh­ter, Sandy Free­man (Mick­ey) of Allen­town; sons Ed Roth (Sue) of New City, NY and Lar­ry Roth (Colleen) of St. Louis, MO; step-son Ladd Hirsch (Cindy), 10 grand­chil­dren; and 8 great-grand­chil­dren. He was pre­de­ceased by his step-daugh­ter, Lisa Phillips (Jim), and his sis­ter, Phyl­lis Davis.

To plant or send flow­ers to the fam­i­ly in mem­o­ry of James Roth, please vis­it our flower store.
 
Source: https://obits.delvalcremation.com/james-roth.

NAM27 Abstract Submission — Final Reminder November 30


Dear Catal­y­sis Com­mu­ni­ty,

Final Reminder!

The Abstract Sub­mis­sion dead­line is TODAY — Tues­day, Novem­ber 30th. Please sub­mit your abstract for review by 12Midnight ET. We are very excit­ed to be plan­ning for an in-per­son con­fer­ence on May 22–27, 2022, in New York City.

The appli­ca­tion for the Kokes Award is includ­ed in the abstract sub­mis­sion por­tal. Stu­dents study­ing at North Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ties are encour­aged to apply for the Kokes Trav­el Award dur­ing this time.

Vis­it our web­site to sub­mit your abstract and view addi­tion­al Con­fer­ence infor­ma­tion.
 
See you in NYC!
 
The Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the 27th North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Meet­ing
 

NAM27 Venue
New York Hilton Mid­town
1335 6th Ave
New York, NY 10019
Hotel Accom­mo­da­tions
Hous­ing is avail­able at a dis­count­ed rate at the New York Hilton Mid­town. Secure your guest room using this link.

Questions? Contact Us

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NAM27 Abstract Submission Reminder: Deadline is November 30


Dear Catal­y­sis Com­mu­ni­ty,
 
We are thank­ful for our Catal­y­sis Com­mu­ni­ty. Just a reminder that the Abstract Sub­mis­sion was extend­ed until Tues­day, Novem­ber 30th. We are prepar­ing for an in-per­son con­fer­ence on May 22–27, 2022, in New York City.

Stu­dents study­ing at North Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ties are encour­aged to apply for the Kokes Trav­el Award. The appli­ca­tion for the Kokes Award is includ­ed in the abstract sub­mis­sion por­tal.

Please vis­it our web­site to sub­mit your abstract and view addi­tion­al Con­fer­ence infor­ma­tion.
 
Hap­py Thanks­giv­ing,
The Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the 27th North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Meet­ing

Abstract Submission for the NAM27 is now open

Dear Catal­y­sis Com­mu­ni­ty,
 
We are excit­ed to announce Abstract Sub­mis­sion for NAM27 has opened today in prepa­ra­tion for our in-per­son con­fer­ence on May 22–27, 2022, in New York City. The dead­line for sub­mis­sion will be Novem­ber 8th. We con­tin­ue our close part­ner­ship with the Mid­town Hilton to arrange an engag­ing con­fer­ence.

We are con­fi­dent we will be able to bring our com­mu­ni­ty safe­ly togeth­er for a suc­cess­ful and excit­ing in-per­son con­fer­ence. New York City con­tin­ues to reopen. Restau­rants, shops, and oth­er attrac­tions (even Broad­way!) have returned to full capac­i­ty this sum­mer! While it will cer­tain­ly be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, we look for­ward to pro­vid­ing one of the first oppor­tu­ni­ties to bring our com­mu­ni­ty back togeth­er in per­son in May 2022.

We will con­tin­ue to update our web­site and com­mu­ni­cate any addi­tion­al details as they become avail­able. Vis­it our web­site to sub­mit your abstract and view addi­tion­al Con­fer­ence infor­ma­tion.
 
Regards,
 
The Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the 27th North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Meet­ing

 
Down­load announce­ment

In Memoriam: W. Nicholas Delgass (1942–2021)

Pro­fes­sor W. Nicholas Del­gass passed away peace­ful­ly at home on August 17, 2021 after a long and coura­geous fight with can­cer to stay with us and to con­tin­ue to care for us for as long as he could. He was cared for by his lov­ing fam­i­ly, Bet­ty, his wife of 54 years, and their two sons, Michael and Leif. Nick was born and raised in the East Coast, grad­u­at­ing from Sta­ples High School in West­port, CT. He earned an under­grad­u­ate degree in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan (1964) and a Ph.D. in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty (1969) and then com­plet­ed his post-doc­tor­al fel­low­ship at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley (1969). He start­ed his aca­d­e­m­ic career at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, from where he moved to Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty in 1974. Nick had a dis­tin­guished 38-year career in Purdue’s School of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing, where he stayed active in research and men­tor­ing even after his retire­ment in 2012 as the Max­ine Spencer Nichols Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing.

Nick is rec­og­nized inter­na­tion­al­ly for his work in bring­ing togeth­er new ana­lyt­i­cal tools, cat­a­lyst char­ac­ter­i­za­tion meth­ods, cat­a­lyst chem­istry and design, and reac­tion engi­neer­ing into the analy­sis of chem­i­cal reac­tion sys­tems and their mech­a­nisms. Nick Del­gass was the con­sum­mate teacher and schol­ar, with a unique com­bi­na­tion of wis­dom, vision, gen­eros­i­ty, and kind­ness that cre­at­ed a mag­net­ic per­son­al­i­ty, allow­ing him to serve as the nucle­us of the cen­ter of excel­lence in catal­y­sis research at Pur­due and more recent­ly as the inspi­ra­tion and gen­e­sis of the NSF Cen­ter for Inno­v­a­tive and Strate­gic Trans­for­ma­tion of Alka­ne Resources. Few researchers have impact­ed the field so broad­ly. Nick’s career start­ed with sem­i­nal work in the appli­ca­tion of Möss­bauer spec­troscopy to cat­alyt­ic reac­tion sys­tems, in stud­ies that pro­vid­ed unprece­dent­ed insights into the struc­ture and func­tion of iron-con­tain­ing cat­a­lysts for C1 con­ver­sion, then and now the enabling tech­nol­o­gy for val­oriz­ing nat­ur­al gas resources. His focus remained through­out on a quest for the con­tin­u­ous dis­cov­ery of cat­alyt­ic reac­tion sys­tems of sig­nif­i­cant impor­tance in prac­tice. He is wide­ly regard­ed as an intel­lec­tu­al leader in catal­y­sis for his advances in epox­i­da­tion, hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion, NOx con­ver­sion, and bio­mass hydrodeoxy­gena­tion cat­a­lysts. His decade-long work on NOx traps and on cat­alyt­ic strate­gies for NOx mit­i­ga­tion using Cu/zeolite cat­a­lysts has great­ly influ­enced the design and prac­tice of NOx abate­ment strate­gies that are ubiq­ui­tous today in diesel efflu­ent aftertreat­ment. Nick’s imag­i­na­tion and cre­ativ­i­ty led him to pro­pose and imple­ment the nov­el con­cept of Dis­cov­ery Infor­mat­ics, which inte­grates high through­put exper­i­men­ta­tion with micro­ki­net­ic mod­els into a tar­get­ed search for cat­a­lysts designed for spe­cif­ic reac­tiv­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty.

Nick Del­gass served the pro­fes­sion admirably and with great impact for more than four decades. He served as Edi­tor-in-Chief of Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis, the flag­ship archival jour­nal of the field. His teach­ing and men­tor­ing at Pur­due are tru­ly leg­endary. He won vir­tu­al­ly every teach­ing award at Pur­due, was induct­ed into the Pur­due Book of Great Teach­ers, and received the inau­gur­al Engi­neer­ing Men­tor­ing Excel­lence Award. His research awards include the 2013 Her­man Pines Award in Catal­y­sis, Catal­y­sis Club of Chica­go; 2012 R.H. Wil­helm Award in Chem­i­cal Reac­tion Engi­neer­ing, AICHE; 2011 (Inau­gur­al) Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety; 2006 Excel­lence in Catal­y­sis Award, Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of Met­ro­pol­i­tan New York; 1985 Giuseppe Par­ra­vano Memo­r­i­al Award for Excel­lence in Catal­y­sis Research, Michi­gan Catal­y­sis Soci­ety; 1990 AT&T Foun­da­tion Award, ASEE; 2007 Pur­due Col­lege of Engi­neer­ing Team Award.

Nick was a tru­ly gen­tle man, unmatched in his grace, thought­ful­ness, and sin­cere con­cern for oth­ers. He brought these per­son­al qual­i­ties togeth­er with a superb intel­lect and with an uncom­pro­mis­ing pen­chant for rig­or, pre­ci­sion, and schol­ar­ship. He men­tored not only his stu­dents but every­one who was touched by inter­ac­tions with him. Nick grad­u­at­ed more than 61 PhD stu­dents and he was very proud of all of them. Bet­ty and Nick were also the con­sum­mate hosts to so many stu­dents and friends; they brought them togeth­er with­in their home with their warmth and hos­pi­tal­i­ty, with Nick often clad in his sig­na­ture tuxe­do to match his broad smile. His hon­esty, humil­i­ty, and enthu­si­asm set the bench­mark from which so many of us have learned. He lis­tened to every­one with respect; he nev­er preached. His gen­er­ous spir­it, keen intel­lect, and above all his kind­ness will remain the ever­last­ing lega­cy of one of the lead­ing fig­ures in our dis­ci­pline. To many in the chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing and catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ties, at Pur­due and every­where, Nick Del­gass was also a dear friend.
 
Pre­pared by Fabio H. Ribeiro, Enrique Igle­sia, and Raja­mani Gounder.

NAM27 Save the Date: May 22–27, 2022


Dear Catal­y­sis Com­mu­ni­ty,
 
Mark your cal­en­dars! NAM27 will be held May 22–27, 2022 in New York City. After the dif­fi­cult but nec­es­sary deci­sion to post­pone NAM27, we are pleased and excit­ed to see New York City begin­ning its reopen­ing. Restau­rants, shops, and are­nas are open­ing at full capac­i­ty this sum­mer and Broad­way is on track to open this fall. We are con­fi­dent we will be able to bring our com­mu­ni­ty safe­ly togeth­er for a suc­cess­ful and excit­ing con­fer­ence next spring.

Abstract sub­mis­sion will reopen on Sep­tem­ber 8, 2021. Along with the call for abstracts, we will also pro­vide the com­mu­ni­ty more details regard­ing the con­fer­ence at that time. Mean­while, we will con­tin­ue to update our web­site and com­mu­ni­cate any addi­tion­al details as they become avail­able. Vis­it our web­site to sub­mit abstracts and for more infor­ma­tion.

We wish every­one an enjoy­able sum­mer.
 
With regards,
 
The Orga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee of the 27th North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Meet­ing
 
NAM27 Loca­tion
New York Hilton Mid­town
1335 6th Ave
New York, NY 10019
 
Hotel Accom­mo­da­tions
Hous­ing will be avail­able at a dis­count­ed rate at the New York Hilton Mid­town.
Reser­va­tion infor­ma­tion will be pro­vid­ed soon.