Professor Johannes Lercher receives the 2013 Tanabe Prize in Acid-Base Catalysis

The 2013 Tanabe Prize for Acid-Base Catalysis will be awarded to Johannes A. Lercher, who receives the prize in recognition of his substantial contributions to the field of acid-base catalysis.

The award ceremony will take place at the 7th International Symposium on Acid-Base Catalysis in Tokyo, Japan May 12-15, 2013.

Johannes A. Lercher studied Chemistry and received his PhD at TU Wien. After a visiting lectureship at Yale, he joined TU Wien as lecturer and later Assoc. Professor. 1993 he was appointed Professor at the University Twente, Department of Chemical Technology, and moved in 1998 to his current position as Professor of Chemical Technology at TU Munchen. Since 2011 he is also Director of the Institute for Integrated Catalysis at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

He is external member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Member of the Academia Europaea, and holds several Honorary Professorships. He serves currently as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Catalysis.

Research is focussed on fundamental aspects of oxide and molecular sieve based sorption and catalysis, new routes to activate and functionalize hydrocarbons, deconstruction and defunctionalization of biomass, the mechanistic understanding of hydrotreating catalysts, and the in situ characterization of catalytic processes.

Jens Norskov named the recipient of the 2013 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis

Prof. Jens K. Norskov

Prof. Jens K. Norskov

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Jens K. Norskov of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University is the recipient of the 2013 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement catalysis. The Award is sponsored by the Haldor Topsøe Company and is administered jointly by the NACS and the EFCATS. More information on this award and the award process can be found in the Awards folder of the NACS home page

The Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement catalysis is given in recognition of individual contributions to the elucidation of the mechanism and active sites involved in catalytic phenomena and to the development of new methods or concepts that advance the understanding and/or practice of heterogeneous catalysis. The Award selection process will emphasize accomplishments and contributions published within the five preceding years.

The award recognizes Professor Jens K. Norkskov for his pioneering work on understanding trends in catalyst activity and developing catalyst design principles based on reactivity descriptors. He and his coworkers have contributed extensively to the development of computational methods and models of surface reactivity. Professor Norskov has introduced what is today a standard model of transition metal reactivity and has used it to explain trends in adsorption energies and in the activation energies of elementary processes on transition metal catalysts in terms of variations in the d-band center and other parameters characterizing the properties of surface electrons. Norskov has quantified Brønsted-Evans-Polanyi (BEP) relations and showed how they lead to predictive models that relate catalytic reactivity to adsorption energies of key relevant species. The methods developed for use in heterogeneous catalysis have been successfully transferred into the area of electrocatalysis. Most recently, his research group has introduced the first database of surface chemical properties and developed publicly available software to access and mine thermodynamic and catalytic data on active surfaces, thus opening novel opportunities for discovering trends and for designing new catalysts and catalytic processes.

Professor Norskov will present plenary lectures at the 2013 meetings of the North American Catalysis Society in Louisville and at the 2013 Europacat Meeting in Lyon.

Avelino Corma
President, European Federation of Catalysis Societies

Enrique Iglesia
President, North American Catalysis Society

Giuseppe Bellussi is named the recipient of the 2013 Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North American Catalysis Society

Giuseppe Bellusi

Giuseppe Bellussi, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, for ENI Refining & Marketing is the recipient of the 2013 Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North American Catalysis Society. The Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis is sponsored by Clariant. It is administered by The Catalysis Society and awarded biennially in odd-numbered years. This award recognizes and encourages individual contributions in the field of catalysis with emphasis on the development of new and improved catalysts and processes representing outstanding advances in their useful application. The award consists of a plaque and a prize of $5,000, which will be presented at the 23rd North American Meeting of the Catalysis Society to be held in Louisville, Kentucky on June 2-7, 2013. The Award Plenary lecture will also be presented during this meeting.

The 2013 Eugene J. Houdry Award recognizes Giuseppe Bellussi for his important contributions to the development of several key processes in petrochemicals and refining through research in new catalytic materials, in fundamental understanding of underlying catalytic phenomena, and in enabling engineering concepts for catalytic processes.

Dr. Bellussi joined the Eni Company in 1981. Since then, he has been engaged in research and development of new technologies with broad impact in refining, petrochemicals, and exploration-production. His specific contributions have focused on heterogeneous catalysis, with specific emphasis on the science and technology of zeolite catalysts. These contributions have ranged from selective oxidation reactions to acid catalysis with broad applications to natural gas conversion, the upgrading of heavy residues, and the synthesis of new structured materials. Many of these achievements have contributed to industrial applications, such as in oxidations with hydrogen peroxide on titanium-silicalite (TS-1) catalysts for the production of di-phenols, cyclohexanone oxime and propylene oxide and the alkylation of benzene by light olefins to ethylbenzene or cumene on Beta-zeolites. Most recently, Dr. Bellussi has been involved in the development of a gas-to-liquids technology based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis in slurry phase reactor and of the EST (Eni Slurry Technology) for upgrading of heavy oils to clean high-quality distillates without concurrent formation of coke and other by-products.

He has been recognized for these contributions with the 1994 Don Breck Award of the International Zeolite Association, which he shared with Eni colleagues for the development of TS-1-based catalysts, the 2003 Johnson Matthey Award for innovation in catalysis, the 2007 International Zeolite Association Award for seminal contributions to the science and applications of zeolites, and the 2008 “Prof. P. Pino” Gold Medal from the Industrial Chemistry Division of Italian Chemical Society. Since 2010, Dr. Bellussi has been the President of the International Zeolite Association.

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.

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.