Author Archives: edrick

In Memoriam: Kozo Tanabe (1926–2018)

Pro­fes­sor Kozo Tan­abe passed away on April 24, 2018 at the age of 91.

Kozo Tan­abe was born on May 7, 1926 in Take­da, Oita pre­fec­ture, Japan. He stud­ied Chem­istry at Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty and grad­u­at­ed in 1951. He joined the Research Insti­tute of Catal­y­sis, Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty and received a PhD in 1956. He remained on the fac­ul­ty of the Research Insti­tute of Catal­y­sis and was pro­mot­ed to Pro­fes­sor in 1960. In 1965, he moved to the Depart­ment of Chem­istry at Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty, where he retired to become Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus in 1990.

Pro­fes­sor Tan­abe car­ried out ear­ly sem­i­nal work in acid-base catal­y­sis by solids and dis­cov­ered the essen­tial role of acid-base pairs in con­fer­ring unique reac­tiv­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty by sta­bi­liz­ing inter­me­di­ates through con­cert­ed inter­ac­tions. He was a pro­lif­ic and high­ly-cit­ed author with more than 300 research pub­li­ca­tion and 10 books. Among these, the book enti­tled “Sol­id Acids and Bases” set the fun­da­men­tal under­pin­nings for the inter­pre­ta­tion of the reac­tiv­i­ty of oxides and mixed oxides in cat­alyt­ic reac­tions and for the ben­e­fits of an appro­pri­ate bal­ance in strength between the acid and base active cen­ters.

His achieve­ments were rec­og­nized with many dis­tinc­tions, among them sev­er­al awards from the Chem­i­cal Soci­ety and the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of Japan and the Japan Insti­tute of Petro­le­um. He was award­ed the Medal with Pur­ple Rib­bon and the Order of the Sacred Trea­sure. Pro­fes­sor Tan­abe served as Pres­i­dent of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of Japan and as Vice pres­i­dent of the Chem­i­cal Soci­ety of Japan. His pro­found influ­ence on the field led to the cre­ation of the “Kozo Tan­abe Prize for Acid-Base Catal­y­sis” in his hon­or; this prize is stew­ard­ed by the Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Board of the Inter­na­tion­al Acid-Base Catal­y­sis Sym­po­sium.

Pro­fes­sor Tan­abe was a teacher and men­tor for many gen­er­a­tions of catal­y­sis sci­en­tists at Hokkai­do Uni­ver­si­ty and in the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty at-large. He is also remem­bered as a hum­ble and gen­tle schol­ar whose vast wis­dom and knowl­edge he was always so will­ing to share.
(Pre­pared by Hideshi Hat­tori, Johannes Lercher, and Enrique Igle­sia)

Call for Nominations of the 2018 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

Each year the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia recog-nizes an out­stand­ing mem­ber of the catal­y­sis com­mu-nity, who has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the advance­ment of Catal­y­sis. Such advance­ment can be sci­en­tif­ic, tech­no­log­i­cal, or in orga­ni­za­tion lead­er­ship. The Award con­sists of a plaque and a $1,000 cash prize.

We appre­ci­ate your help in sub­mit­ting nom­i­na­tions. The entire nom­i­na­tion pack­age, includ­ing a resume and rec­om­men­da­tion let­ters, should not be more than 10 pages and should include a ½ page ten­ta­tive award announce­ment. The dead­line for the receipt of nomi-nations is Fri­day, March 30th, 2018. Pri­or nom­i­na­tion pack­ages sent in 2016 or lat­er will auto­mat­i­cal­ly be con­sid­ered for the 2018 Award.

Nom­i­na­tion let­ters along with sup­port­ing mate­ri­als should be emailed to
Anton Petushkov
Zeolyst Inter­na­tion­al
280 Cedar Grove Road
Con­shohock­en, PA, 19428

2018 Herman Pines Award Announcement

Dr. Jerzy Klosin of Dow Chem­i­cal Com­pa­ny has been select­ed as the recip­i­ent of 2018 Her­man Pines Award. Jerzy is a fel­low in Cor­po­rate Research and Devel­op­ment at The Dow Chem­i­cal Com­pa­ny. His research at Dow focused on homoge­nous catal­y­sis includ­ing cat­a­lyst devel­op­ment for olefin poly­mer­iza­tion, asym­met­ric hydro­formy­la­tion reac­tions and eth­yl­ene tetramer­iza­tion process. Ear­ly in his career he has been involved with the dis­cov­ery and devel­op­ment of Dow’s INSITE Tech­nol­o­gy and Con­strained-Geom­e­try Cat­a­lysts. Jerzy togeth­er with his teams co-devel­oped sev­er­al mol­e­c­u­lar cat­a­lysts for olefin poly­mer­iza­tion that were com­mer­cial­ized sub­se­quent­ly by Per­for­mance Plas­tics to pro­duce dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed poly­olefins.

He has pub­lished 49 exter­nal papers in the area of organometal­lic and homoge­nous catal­y­sis and holds 38 US patents. He has giv­en over 50 invit­ed lec­tures at nation­al and inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences and var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties. He is a recip­i­ent of 2013 SCI Gor­don E. Moore Medal award­ed for the dis­cov­ery and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of new homoge­nous olefin poly­mer­iza­tion cat­a­lysts. Jerzy is a Mem­ber of Edi­to­r­i­al Advi­so­ry Board of Organometallics, Mem­ber of Joint Board-Coun­cil Com­mit­tee on ACS Pub­li­ca­tions and a board mem­ber of Chem­i­cal and Engi­neer­ing News (C&EN). Jerzy was an orga­niz­er and a chair of 2015 Organometal­lic Gor­don Con­fer­ence and co-orga­niz­er of 2015 and 2017 Advances of Poly­olefins con­fer­ences.

Jerzy received a MS in Chem­istry from Adam Mick­iewicz Uni­ver­si­ty in Poz­nan, Poland in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Chem­istry (Organ­ic, Organometal­lic) from Uni­ver­si­ty of Flori­da, Gainesville in 1995.

This award also rec­og­nizes hiss out­stand­ing lead­er­ship and con­tri­bu­tions to Catal­y­sis Com­mu­ni­ty through­out his career. He will present his Pines Award address at the May Spring Sym­po­sium of the Catal­y­sis Club of Chica­go.

In Memoriam: Robert K. Grasselli (1931–2018)

Robert Gras­sel­li obtained his bach­e­lor degree from Har­vard in 1952, after win­ing a schol­ar­ship from the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty in Graz, Aus­tria. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Case-West­ern Reserve Uni­ver­si­ty, Cleve­land, from where he pro­ceed­ed to Sohio as a research sci­en­tist. After leav­ing Sohio he worked at the US Office of Naval Research, Wash­ing­ton, where he was Direc­tor of Chem­i­cal Research, and then at Mobil Cor­po­ra­tion. From 1996 to 2006 he was Guest Pro­fes­sor of Phys­i­cal Chem­istry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Munich and, simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, Adjunct Full Pro­fes­sor in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at the Cen­ter for Cat­alyt­ic Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware at Newark. Lat­er he became Dis­tin­guished Affil­i­at­ed Pro­fes­sor at the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Munich (2006–2018).

Dr. Robert A. Gras­sel­li was a high­ly accom­plished and inno­v­a­tive indus­tri­al chemist, renowned for his sem­i­nal con­tri­bu­tions to the design, devel­op­ment, and com­mer­cial exploita­tion of nov­el sol­id catal­y­sis. Inven­tor in 160 U.S. patents, he was instru­men­tal in devel­op­ing a fun­da­men­tal­ly new method of pro­duc­ing the poly­mer pre­cur­sor, acry­loni­trile. The key inno­va­tion in this one-step process was the use micro­crys­talline bis­muth molyb­date; the process was so effec­tive that, after its adop­tion world­wide, a 50-fold increase of acry­loni­trile pro­duc­tion was achieved.

Dr. Robert Gras­sel­li was elect­ed to the US Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing (1995); induct­ed into the US Nation­al Hall of Fame for Engi­neer­ing, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy (1988); was a recip­i­ent of the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety E. N. Mor­ley Medal (1999); and the E. V. Mur­phee Award for Indus­tri­al and Engi­neer­ing Chem­istry in 1984. He also shared the Dis­tin­guished Award in Oxi­da­tion Catal­y­sis from the World Oxi­da­tion Catal­y­sis Soci­ety in Berlin (2001); and he received a doc­tor­ate, hon­oris causa, from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bologna. He was award­ed the pres­ti­gious Alexan­der von Hum­boldt Prize in1995.

Dr. Gras­sel­li com­bined the best of the Amer­i­can opti­mism and ‘can-do’ spir­it with the old-world Euro­pean cul­tur­al depth and charm of the con­ti­nent of his birth. He read exten­sive­ly; he loved music and was an ardent sup­port­er of the Vien­na Phillar­mon­ic. He had a pas­sion for ski­ing and for trav­el to far-away places. He loved gar­den­ing, unusu­al flo­ra, and mod­ern art. For the last twen­ty years of his life, he and his wife, Dr. Eva-Maria Hauck, spent their time in their two homes, one in Chadds Ford, Penn­syl­va­nia, the oth­er in Munich. He will always be remem­bered for his ethu­si­am for sci­ence that led him through­out his life to bring friends togeth­er in dis­cus­sion.
(Pre­pared by Doug But­trey, William God­dard III, and Raul Lobo)

Teh Ho is the recipient of the 2018 F.G. Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Teh Ho of Exxon­Mo­bil (Retired) is the recip­i­ent of the 2018 F. G. Cia­pet­ta Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis spon­sored by W. R. Grace & Co. It is award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in even-num­bered years. The award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­i­um of $5,000. The plaque will be pre­sent­ed dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2019 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety.

Dr. Ho will be invit­ed to present lec­tures at the local catal­y­sis clubs and soci­eties dur­ing the two-year peri­od cov­ered by this award.

The F. G. Cia­pet­ta Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis is giv­en in recog­ni­tion of sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to one or more areas in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on indus­tri­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant cat­a­lysts and cat­alyt­ic process­es and the dis­cov­ery of new cat­alyt­ic reac­tions and sys­tems of poten­tial indus­tri­al impor­tance.

Teh Ho has recent­ly retired from ExxonMobil’s cor­po­rate research lab­o­ra­to­ry after a 37-year indus­tri­al career (includ­ing 4 years with Hal­con R&D Devel­op­ment Corp). He con­tin­ues to spend his spare time writ­ing papers on catal­y­sis and reac­tion engi­neer­ing. He has been a pro­lif­ic author, writ­ing com­pre­hen­sive reviews on hydro­den­i­tro­gena­tion, hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion, and process mod­el­ing.

Teh had spent a large frac­tion of his career in prob­ing reac­tion kinet­ics of sev­er­al indus­tri­al­ly impor­tant areas with par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on sul­fide catal­y­sis and the role of hydro­gena­tion vs hydrogenol­y­sis and the influ­ence of basic vs. non-basic organo-nitro­gen species as inhibitors. To over­come the dif­fi­cul­ties of char­ac­ter­iz­ing high­ly dis­or­dered sul­fide cat­a­lysts, he devel­oped a dynam­ic tech­nique to deter­mine the num­ber of cat­alyt­ic active sites and the struc­ture-activ­i­ty rela­tion­ship for hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion cat­a­lysts. His work has always used high-lev­el mod­el­ing for gain­ing pre­dic­tive under­stand­ing.

He is the recip­i­ent of 2002 Thomas Alva Edi­son Patent Award of the Research Coun­cil of New Jer­sey, the 2002 Catal­y­sis and Reac­tion Engi­neer­ing Prac­tice Award of the AIChE, the 2004 AIChE Wil­helm Award, the 2006 AIChE Evans Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Prac­tice Award. He capped off his indus­tri­al career with induc­tion into the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing in 2016.

Cita­tion: “Cat­alyt­ic removal of sul­fur and nitro­gen from hydro­car­bons for man­u­fac­tur­ing clean fuels and petro­chem­i­cals.”
Christo­pher W. Jones
Vice Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety

Jingguang Chen is the recipient of the 2017 Robert Burwell Lectureship in Catalysis

I am pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Jing­guang Chen of Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty is the recip­i­ent of the 2017 Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, spon­sored by John­son Matthey and admin­is­tered by The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. It is award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in odd-num­bered years. The award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­i­um of $5,000. The plaque will be pre­sent­ed dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2017 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. An addi­tion­al $4,500 is avail­able to cov­er trav­el­ling expens­es in North Amer­i­ca.
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Election Results for Director-at-Large

The elec­tron­ic elec­tion for six Direc­tor-at-Large posi­tions is now com­plete.

I am pleased to announce that the fol­low­ing indi­vid­u­als have been elect­ed to a four-year term as Direc­tor-at-Large from a slate of 13 can­di­dates:
• Jing­guang Chen (Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty)
• Jim Dumesic (Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin)
• Maria Fly­tzani-Stephanopou­los (Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty)
• Bruce C. Gates (Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis)
• Chris Jones (Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy)
• Fabio H. Ribeiro (Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty)
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Director-at-Large Elections

NACS2017_DAL_Elections 1
The elec­tion for Direc­tors-at-Large is sched­uled to start on March 8th, 2017 at 21:01 AM. The NACS will be using online bal­lot­ing as the only way to cast your vote. We have con­tract­ed with a firm that is expe­ri­enced in on-line vot­ing to ensure the accu­ra­cy and con­fi­den­tial­i­ty of the process.
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Announcement of the Tanabe Prize

The Acid Base Catal­y­sis Group here­by invites nom­i­na­tions for the Kozo Tan­abe Prize. The Kozo Tan­abe Prize for Acid Base Catal­y­sis is spon­sored by the Inter­na­tion­al Acid-Base Catal­y­sis (ABC) Group* and a select­ed pri­vate com­pa­ny. It hon­ors the lega­cy and accom­plish­ments of Pro­fes­sor Kozo Tan­abe, who pio­neered many of the mod­ern con­cepts in Cat­alyt­ic Chem­istry of acids and bases. The prize is admin­is­tered by the ABC Group* and will be pre­sent­ed at the 8th Inter­na­tion­al Sym­po­sium on Acid-Base Catal­y­sis (ABC‑8), to be held in May 2017 in Rio, Brazil. The award con­sists of a plaque, an hon­o­rar­i­um, and trav­el expens­es to attend the meet­ing and present a ple­nary lec­ture. The Tan­abe Prize rec­og­nizes sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to the field of acid and/or base catal­y­sis. It may be pre­sent­ed to an indi­vid­ual of any stage of her/his career for sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the area with­in the ten years pre­ced­ing the date of the award. Self nom­i­na­tions are not accept­ed. The nom­i­na­tion pack­age must include the nom­i­na­tion sheet, a list of pub­li­ca­tions and patents (2007–2017), a list of ple­nary and keynote lec­tures, a cur­ricu­lum vitae and two let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion. The nom­i­na­tion pack­ages should be sent via email as a sin­gle PDF file titled “Name of Nom­i­nee Tan­abe Prize Nom­i­na­tion 2017” no lat­er than March 17, 2017 to the Tan­abe Prize com­mit­tee**. (Coor­di­na­tor: David Jack­son, Uni­ver­si­ty of Glas­gow, Unit­ed King­dom, Email:
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ABC Young Scientist Award

The Acid Base Catal­y­sis Group invites nom­i­na­tions for the ABC Young Sci­en­tist Award. The award will be giv­en to a sin­gle per­son who has made nov­el and promis­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the field of acid and/or base catal­y­sis and is less than 45 years old on May 7, 2017. The awardee will be invit­ed to present a lec­ture at the 8th Inter­na­tion­al Sym­po­sium on Acid-Base Catal­y­sis in Rio 2017.

Nom­i­na­tion pack­ages should include a nom­i­na­tion let­ter, a one-page CV, a one-page research high­light, a list of pub­li­ca­tions, two let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion, and up to three elec­tron­ic reprints of rel­e­vant pub­li­ca­tions. Self-nom­i­na­tion is exclud­ed. The pack­age should con­sist of a sin­gle PDF file and should be sub­mit­ted per email no lat­er than March 17, 2017. Inquiries and nom­i­na­tion pack­ages should be direct­ed to the Pres­i­dent of the Acid Base Catal­y­sis Group, Takashi Tat­su­mi, Nation­al Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy and Eval­u­a­tion, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.