2013 Natural Gas Conversion Award

Pro­fes­sor Krijn de Jong (Utrecht Uni­ver­sity, The Nether­lands) has been cho­sen as the recip­i­ent of the 2013 Award for Excel­lence in Nat­ural Gas Con­ver­sion. The Award is pre­sented every three years dur­ing the Inter­na­tional Nat­ural Gas Con­ver­sion Sym­po­sium to rec­og­nize endur­ing and sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy for con­ver­sion of nat­ural gas to valu­able prod­ucts. The pre­vi­ous award recip­i­ents are Jack Lunsford (1993), Jens Rostrup-Nielsen (1998), Lanny Schmidt (2001), Enrique Igle­sia (2004), David Trimm (2007) and Anders Hol­men (2010).

Pro­fes­sor Krijn de Jong is rec­og­nized for con­sis­tently mak­ing note­wor­thy con­tri­bu­tions to the field of nat­ural gas con­ver­sion and the devel­op­ment of tech­nolo­gies that are likely to play an impor­tant role in meet­ing the world’s chem­i­cal and fuel require­ments in the years ahead. These con­tri­bu­tions are based on a pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion of sci­en­tific excel­lence, orig­i­nal­ity and soci­etal rel­e­vance. In par­tic­u­lar he has made emi­nent con­tri­bu­tions to the syn­the­sis, struc­tural char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing and uti­liza­tion of solid cat­a­lysts for the con­ver­sion of nat­ural gas to fuels and chem­i­cals. As spe­cific high­lights we men­tion his research on cobalt par­ti­cle size effects for the Fis­cher Trop­sch syn­the­sis and sup­ported iron nanopar­ti­cles for the direct con­ver­sion of syn­the­sis gas to lower olefins. In addi­tion, Pro­fes­sor Krijn De Jong has been a lead­ing fig­ure both nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally in his field of catal­y­sis and chem­istry, via chair and board mem­ber­ship roles in con­fer­ences, pro­gram com­mit­tees, advi­sory coun­cils, pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tions and edi­to­r­ial board roles for top-notch inter­na­tional sci­en­tific jour­nals and book series. Last but not least, De Jong is also rec­og­nized for being an inspi­ra­tional and dri­ven teacher, using his didac­tic tal­ent to equip a younger gen­er­a­tion for cre­at­ing con­tri­bu­tions them­selves to tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment in nat­ural gas con­ver­sion and other areas.

The award con­sists of a plague and a mon­e­tary prize, which will be pre­sented at the 10th Nat­ural Gas Con­ver­sion Sym­po­sium to be held in Doha, Qatar (March 2–7 2013). Pro­fes­sor Krijn de Jong will also give the Award Ple­nary Lec­ture dur­ing this meeting.

2012 Eni Prize to Catalysis Researcher

Professor Enrique Iglesia

Pro­fes­sor Enrique Iglesia

Pro­fes­sor Enrique Igle­sia has received the 2012 Eni Prize “New Fron­tiers of Hydro­car­bons” for the devel­op­ment of hydro­car­bon syn­the­sis cat­a­lysts which improve process effi­ciency and reduce waste and energy use.
Please use the links below for addi­tional infor­ma­tion:
2012 Eni Awards
Press Releases
2012 Win­ners
Prof. Igle­sia Biography

International Precious Metals Institute Henry J. Albert Award to Professor Fabio Ribeiro

Pro­fes­sor Fabio Ribeiro of the Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at Pur­due Uni­ver­sity has been named the recip­i­ent of the 2012 Inter­na­tional Pre­cious Met­als Insti­tute Henry J. Albert Award, spon­sored by BASF Cor­po­ra­tion, in recog­ni­tion of his out­stand­ing the­o­ret­i­cal and exper­i­men­tal con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy of pre­cious met­als. His research group com­bines mea­sure­ments on real­is­tic dis­persed clus­ters and flat model sys­tems with pre­ci­sion and reli­a­bil­ity at the state-of-the-art. He has pro­vided the kinetic data set for water-gas shift that rep­re­sents the stan­dard used by oth­ers in bench­mark­ing of other mate­ri­als and of the­o­ret­i­cal esti­mates. This work has also demon­strated the strong effects of sup­ports in the acti­va­tion of water in water-gas shift and that all exposed sur­face atoms are active on Pt clus­ters but only cor­ner atoms with low coor­di­na­tion are active on Au clus­ters. His sem­i­nal stud­ies of NOx reac­tions have unveiled the mech­a­nism of NO oxi­da­tion and pro­vided ele­gant exam­ples of the use of spec­tro­scopic and kinetic tools in unrav­el­ing the com­plex path­ways in NOx trap­ping on Ba-promoted Pt/alumina sys­tems. His group con­tin­ues to expand the exper­i­men­tal fron­tiers with recent devel­op­ments X-ray absorp­tion spec­troscopy dur­ing catal­y­sis at high pres­sures in liq­uid and gaseous media, with infrared analy­sis of adsorbed species dur­ing iso­topic tran­sients, and with state-of-the-art envi­ron­men­tal trans­mis­sion elec­tron microscopy. These suc­cesses build on his ear­lier stud­ies of Pd cat­a­lysts which defined the reac­tion path­ways involved in cat­alytic com­bus­tion of methane and in cat­alytic hydrodechlo­ri­na­tion of a wide range of hydrochlo­ro­flu­o­ro­car­bon molecules.


John Armor is the recipient of the 2012 NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis

John Armor

Dr. John N. Armor has been selected as the recip­i­ent of the 2012 NACS Award for Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice in the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis. The Award is pre­sented every two years to rec­og­nize an indi­vid­ual who has advanced cat­alytic chem­istry or engi­neer­ing through both sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity and out­stand­ing tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments. This award includes an hon­o­rar­ium ($5,000) and a plaque. It is awarded by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and spon­sored by Exxon­Mo­bil and Clari­ant and will be pre­sented dur­ing the 2013 NAM in Louisville.

This award rec­og­nizes Dr. Armor’s ded­i­ca­tion to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity through his lead­er­ship in the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, the New York Acad­emy of Sci­ences, and the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety and in the orga­ni­za­tion of inter­na­tional sym­posia and con­fer­ences. He has served the North Amer­ica Catal­y­sis Soci­ety as Pres­i­dent and Trea­surer for more than two decades and dur­ing his tenure strength­ened the finan­cial and tech­ni­cal under­pin­nings of the Soci­ety, the qual­ity and rigor or its meet­ings, and the scope and reach of its edu­ca­tional activ­i­ties. He has brought enhanced recog­ni­tion to mem­bers of the Soci­ety and a brighter future to the dis­ci­pline through his artic­u­late advo­cacy of catal­y­sis and his lead­er­ship in strength­en­ing the involve­ment of stu­dents and young prac­ti­tion­ers in the activ­i­ties of the Society.

Dr. Armor has served the com­mu­nity well as a teacher and as a vision­ary leader, while con­tribut­ing as an inde­pen­dent sci­en­tist and a suc­cess­ful men­tor and research man­ager in indus­trial set­tings. His tech­ni­cal con­tri­bu­tions have been rec­og­nized with the Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and with the E. V. Mur­phree Award of the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. He has served as Edi­tor of Applied Catal­y­sis and Cat­Tech and has served on the edi­to­r­ial board of the lead­ing jour­nal in catal­y­sis. He has authored many com­pre­hen­sive reviews of cat­alytic tech­nolo­gies, often with insight­ful his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tives and always with a clear strate­gic vision.


Dr. Stuart Soled is the Winner of the 2012 Herman Pines Award in Catalysis

Stu­art Soled

The Catal­y­sis Club of Chicago is pleased to announce that Dr. Stu­art L. Soled (Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Co.) is the recip­i­ent of the 2012 Her­man Pines Award in Catal­y­sis. This Award is given to rec­og­nize Dr. Soled’s out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the syn­the­sis, struc­tural and func­tional char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of novel cat­alytic mate­ri­als. Stu’s research has led to the dis­cov­ery and suc­cess­ful devel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of sev­eral cat­a­lyst tech­nolo­gies, includ­ing nanos­truc­tured metal oxide/metal sul­fide bul

  • k hydropro­cess­ing cat­a­lysts for the pro­duc­tion of ultralow sul­fur diesel, dis­persed metal oxides/sulfides for the pro­duc­tion of clean and high octane gaso­line, sup­ported met­als cat­a­lysts for poten­tial appli­ca­tions in chem­i­cal inter­me­di­ates syn­the­sis and syn­fu­els, and solid acids catalysts.

    Stu has served on the edi­to­r­ial boards of lead­ing catal­y­sis jour­nals and as chairs for catal­y­sis con­fer­ences. He is an excel­lent teacher men­tor­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of dis­tin­guished sci­en­tists and tech­ni­cal staff. Stu has been invited to give lec­tures on national and inter­na­tional sci­en­tific meet­ings. He has pub­lished 100 patents and over 70 publications.

    The award includes an hon­o­rar­ium ($1,000) and a plaque. Dr. Soled will receive this Award dur­ing the Catal­y­sis Club of Chicago Spring Sym­po­sium on May 15, 2012 at BP Research Cen­ter (Naperville, IL). Dr. Soled will deliver the Award address at the Symposium.

    Past recip­i­ents of the Her­man Pines Award

    • 1999 Harold Kung, North­west­ern University
    • 2000 John Mon­nier, East­man Chemical
    • 2001 Lanny Schmidt, Uni­ver­sity of Minnesota
    • 2002 James Brazdil, BP
    • 2003 James Dumesic, Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin
    • 2004 Alak Bhat­tacharyya, BP
    • 2005 Israel Wachs, Lehigh University
    • 2006 Jef­frey Miller, BP
    • 2007 Chun­shan Song, Penn­syl­va­nia State University
    • 2008 Alek­sey Yez­erets, Cummins
    • 2009 Tobin Marks, North­west­ern University
    • 2010 James Rekoske, UOP
    • 2011 Jing­guang Chen, Uni­ver­sity Delaware
  • Mobil Research Team Inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame

    Mobil research team, Clarence Chang, Dr. Anthony Sil­vestri and William Lang, were charged with doing exploratory research to open new fron­tiers in fuel and petro­chem­i­cal tech­nol­ogy. In 1972, while con­duct­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion of the reac­tion path­ways of polar organic com­pounds on acidic zeo­lites, the key exper­i­ment was con­ceived that led to the dis­cov­ery of the con­ver­sion of methanol to hydro­car­bons, includ­ing gasoline-range, high-octane aro­mat­ics, over the syn­thetic zeo­lite ZSM-5.

    This dis­cov­ery became the basis of the Mobil Methanol-to-Gasoline (MTG) Process, the first syn­fuel process to be com­mer­cial­ized in 50 years, and sparked world­wide inter­est and research that con­tin­ues to this day. In 1985, it was com­mer­cial­ized in New Zealand as the Gas-to-Gasoline Process, in response to the Arab Oil Embargo and the ensu­ing energy cri­sis. The process oper­ated suc­cess­fully for a decade before being sus­pended due to the end of the energy cri­sis and declin­ing crude oil prices. How­ever, because methanol can be made from any gasi­fi­able car­bona­ceous mate­r­ial, such as coal and bio­mass, the MTG process may again play a vital role in a future of dwin­dling oil and gas resources.

    This patent and asso­ci­ated patents revealed a new way to man­u­fac­ture gaso­line, bring­ing greater secu­rity and self-sufficiency to gasoline-reliant con­sumers, nations and the world at large. A grad­u­ate of Har­vard, Clarence D. Chang is the author of over 60 papers and ency­clo­pe­dia chap­ters, as well as a book, Hydro­car­bons from Methanol. For his dis­cov­ery, he was awarded the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety 1992 E.V. Mur­phree Award and the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety 1999 Eugene J. Houdry Award among other hon­ors. He holds over 220 U.S. patents.

    Dr. Sil­vestri authored or co-authored about 60 papers. In recog­ni­tion of his pro­fes­sional accom­plish­ments, Dr. Sil­vestri received the New York Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Award for Excel­lence in Catal­y­sis in 1984 and was named a Penn State Alumni Fel­low in 1995. He holds 28 U.S. patents.
    Con­tributed by Clarence D. Chang, Anthony J. Sil­vestri and William H. Lang
    Mobil Cen­tral Research

    Engelhard Scientists Honored For Auto-Emission Technology Breakthrough

    ISELIN, NJ, Novem­ber 11, 2004— Local Engel­hard sci­en­tists who invented a novel tech­nol­ogy that enables automak­ers to cost effec­tively com­ply with increas­ingly strin­gent engine-emission stan­dards, are recip­i­ents of a 2004 Thomas Alva Edi­son Patent Award.

    The Research & Devel­op­ment Coun­cil of New Jer­sey pre­sented Harold Rabi­nowitz, Ron Heck and Zhicheng Hu with the award which rec­og­nizes ded­i­ca­tion to research and devel­op­ment that leads to truly inno­v­a­tive breakthroughs.

    Rabi­nowitz, Heck and Hu were hon­ored at the R&D Council’s annual awards din­ner on Novem­ber 11, 2004 at New Jersey’s Lib­erty Sci­ence Center.

    This inven­tion is one of the crit­i­cal enablers for a sub­stan­tial increase in the effi­ciency of cat­alytic emis­sion con­trol with­out a sig­nif­i­cant increase in cost,” said Mikhail Rod­kin, direc­tor of research and devel­op­ment, Envi­ron­men­tal Tech­nolo­gies. “It’s also a good exam­ple of the inge­nu­ity of Engel­hard sci­en­tists in the face of a for­mi­da­ble tech­ni­cal chal­lenge and mar­ket pressures.”

    In the early 1990s, auto-emission sys­tems typ­i­cally con­tained two cat­a­lysts located under the vehi­cle floor away from the engine. Plac­ing the cat­a­lysts there pro­tected them from the extreme heat of engine exhaust gases, but led to a long warm-up time and high “cold-start” emis­sions (those dur­ing the first two min­utes fol­low­ing igni­tion). To com­pen­sate for low cat­alytic activ­ity at low tem­per­a­tures, the cat­a­lysts had to con­tain sig­nif­i­cant amounts of pre­cious met­als, typ­i­cally plat­inum and rhodium. The three Engel­hard sci­en­tists invented a close-coupled cat­a­lyst sys­tem that changed this paradigm.

    The essence of the dis­cov­ery made by Rabi­nowitz, Heck and Hu was to employ a pal­la­dium cat­a­lyst with sub­stan­tially no addi­tional oxy­gen stor­age com­po­nent in the first close-coupled posi­tion, fol­lowed by down­stream cat­a­lyst that includes an oxy­gen stor­age com­po­nent. This enabled the use of the more ther­mally sta­ble and lower-cost pal­la­dium in the close-coupled cat­a­lyst with­out adversely affect­ing cat­alytic activity.

    To date, close-coupled cat­a­lysts have been installed on an esti­mated 10 mil­lion vehi­cles world­wide. Their use has enabled many SUVs to have emis­sions com­pa­ra­ble to those from automobiles.

    Thomas Degnan named the 2012 F.G. Ciapetta Lecturer

    I am pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas Deg­nan of Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing is the recip­i­ent of the F.G. Cia­petta Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis, spon­sored by the Grace Davi­son oper­at­ing seg­ment of W.R. Grace & Co. and the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The Award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­ium. The plaque will be pre­sented dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2013 NAM in Louisville, KY. The recip­i­ent will present lec­tures at most of the affil­i­ated Clubs/Societies dur­ing the two-year period cov­ered by this Lectureship.

    The Award 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.

    Tom Deg­nan is an internationally-recognized leader in the chem­istry and appli­ca­tions of zeo­lite catal­y­sis. Through his pub­li­ca­tions and numer­ous lec­tures, he has pro­vided many exam­ples of the value of fun­da­men­tal sci­en­tific con­cepts in the prac­ti­cal deploy­ment of cat­alytic processes. His record of schol­ar­ship stands along­side a remark­able list of more than 100 U.S. patents and his unique blend of cre­ativ­ity, lead­er­ship, and clar­ity of thought has made him not only a lead­ing indus­trial inven­tor, but also an ambas­sador of indus­trial catal­y­sis research in our com­mu­nity at large.

    Tom is specif­i­cally rec­og­nized with the F. G. Cia­petta Lec­ture­ship for his con­tri­bu­tions to the dis­cov­ery, devel­op­ment, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of mol­e­c­u­lar sieves as cat­a­lysts and for his key role in devel­op­ing their appli­ca­tions as cat­a­lysts in impor­tant large-scale indus­trial processes. Through­out his indus­trial career, he has made sem­i­nal con­tri­bu­tions to the dis­cov­ery and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of more than ten cat­alytic processes for the pro­duc­tion of high-performance lubri­cants, clean fuels, and petro­chem­i­cals. He led a research group that dis­cov­ered how active sites at zeo­lite crys­tal sur­faces show unique prop­er­ties in the alky­la­tion of aro­mat­ics and coined the term “sur­face pocket” catal­y­sis to describe these inor­ganic enzyme-like cat­alytic struc­tures. His fun­da­men­tal stud­ies of paraf­fin iso­mer­iza­tion on bifunc­tional shape-selective cat­a­lysts demon­strated the essen­tial inter­play between dif­fu­sion and reac­tion processes and led to the dis­cov­ery of sev­eral new cat­a­lysts for the syn­the­sis of high-quality fuels and lubri­cants. His research vision and man­age­ment lead­er­ship also led to cat­alytic processes with unprece­dented selec­tiv­ity for the pro­duc­tion of p-xylenes.

    I am delighted that the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety has cho­sen to rec­og­nize the con­tri­bu­tions of Dr. Thomas Deg­nan with this lec­ture­ship. I speak with the voice of our grate­ful com­mu­nity in also thank­ing the man­age­ment of W.R. Grace& Co. for its con­tin­u­ing sup­port of this lec­ture­ship.
    Enrique Igle­sia
    Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

    American Chemical Society National Awards for 2012

    The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety con­grat­u­lates three of our mem­bers that have been rec­og­nized with sig­nif­i­cant Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety National Awards for 2012. The award recip­i­ents are Dr. Thomas F. Deg­nan Jr, Exxon­Mo­bil, Pro­fes­sor James A. Dumesic Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin, Madi­son, and Pro­fes­sor Enrique Igle­sia, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. Dr. Deg­nan has been named as win­ner of the 2012 ACS Award in Indus­trial Chem­istry spon­sored by the ACS Divi­sion of Busi­ness Devel­op­ment & Man­age­ment and the ACS Divi­sion of Indus­trial and Engi­neer­ing Chem­istry. Pro­fes­sor Dumesic has been named win­ner of the 2012 George A. Olah Award in Hydro­car­bon or Petro­leum Chem­istry spon­sored by the George A. Olah Award Endow­ment. Pro­fes­sor Igle­sia has been named win­ner of the 2012 Gabor A. Somor­jai Award for Cre­ative Research in Catal­y­sis spon­sored by the Gabor A. and Judith K. Somor­jai Endow­ment Fund. All three recip­i­ents will be hon­ored at an Awards Cer­e­mony on March 27, 2012 held in con­junc­tion with the 243rd ACS National Meet­ing in San Diego, CA.
    Bruce Cook
    Vice Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

    Professor Johannes Lercher named the 2011 Burwell Lecturer

    I am pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Johannes A. Lercher of the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­sity of Munich is the recip­i­ent of the 2011 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 to be 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 2011 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Society.An addi­tional $4,500 is avail­able to cover trav­el­ling expenses in North Amer­ica. Pro­fes­sor Lercher will present lec­tures at the local catal­y­sis clubs and soci­eties dur­ing the two-year period cov­ered by this award.

    The Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis is given in recog­ni­tion of sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to one or more areas in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on dis­cov­ery and under­stand­ing of cat­alytic phe­nom­ena, cat­alytic reac­tion mech­a­nisms and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and descrip­tion of cat­alytic sites and species.

    Pro­fes­sor Lercher is being rec­og­nized for his ground-breaking con­tri­bu­tions to our under­stand­ing of the inter­ac­tions and trans­for­ma­tions of mol­e­cules on solid cat­a­lysts through ele­gant com­bi­na­tions of physic­o­chem­i­cal and kinetic analy­ses. His stud­ies of the ele­men­tary in mol­e­c­u­lar trans­port through porous media and the result­ing insights into the design of solids to manip­u­late these steps have led to a suc­cess­ful syn­the­sis of hier­ar­chic mate­ri­als able to dis­crim­i­nate mol­e­cules on the basis of the vol­ume defined by their rota­tion in the gas space. His stud­ies of the into the struc­ture and ther­mo­dy­namic prop­er­ties of hydro­car­bons adsorbed within zeo­lite voids and on polar sur­faces led to effi­cient cat­a­lysts for the selec­tive acti­va­tion of organic mol­e­cules. The con­cepts and learn­ings devel­oped have stim­u­lated sig­nif­i­cant exper­i­men­tal and the­o­ret­i­cal stud­ies in these areas and the devel­op­ment of novel cat­alytic chemistries for alkane acti­va­tion. These chemistries include the func­tion­al­iza­tion of methane to methyl chlo­ride on chlo­ride sur­faces, the oxida­tive dehy­dro­gena­tion of ethane to ethene on sup­ported molten chlo­rides, the sta­ble and selec­tive alky­la­tion of isobu­tane with lin­ear butenes on acidic zeo­lites, and the acti­va­tion and crack­ing of branched alka­nes by zeo­lites con­tain­ing acces­si­ble lan­thanum cations at ambi­ent tem­per­a­tures.
    Enrique Igle­sia

    Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society