ORCS Presents Three Awards at 21st Conference

Three recip­i­ents were selected to receive awards for excel­lence in organic catal­y­sis at the 21st Con­fer­ence of the Organic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Society(www.orcs.org) spon­sored by the Organic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Society(ORCS) on the week of April 2, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The 2005 Paul N. Rylan­der Award went to Dr. Jean-Marie Bas­set, Lab­o­ra­toire de Chimie Organomet­allique de Sur­face, CNRS, Lyon, France and the 2006 Paul N. Rylan­der Award was pre­sented to Pro­fes­sor Gadi Rothen­berg, Uni­ver­sity of Ams­ter­dam, The Nether­lands. The 2006 Mur­ray Raney Award, spon­sored by the W. R. Grace Co., was pre­sented to Pro­fes­sor Isamu Yamauchi, Osaka Uni­ver­sity, Japan.

The Paul N. Rylan­der Award is an annual award, spon­sored by ORCS, made to an indi­vid­ual who has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the use of catal­y­sis in organic reac­tions as exem­pli­fied by Paul N. Rylan­der. The Mur­ray Raney Award is made to an indi­vid­ual who has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to chem­istry and the chem­istry indus­try via cat­a­lyst tech­nol­ogy based on that orig­i­nally devel­oped by Mur­ray Raney.

Bassett’s research has been on the fore­front of the cor­re­la­tion of reac­tions which occur at the active sites of het­ero­g­e­nized sur­face organomet­al­l­lic cat­a­lysts and solu­tion phase reac­tions of organometal­lic cat­a­lysts. This has allowed him to design well defined sur­face cat­a­lysts that cat­alyze reac­tions that some­times won’t occur in the homo­ge­neous phase. His pre­sen­ta­tion was titled “New Cat­alytic Reac­tions Dis­cov­ered via Sur­face Organometal­lic Chemistry”.

Rothenberg’s research has pro­vided novel, ligand-free cat­a­lysts for carbon-carbon cou­pling reac­tions, as well as unique cat­a­lysts for selec­tive oxida­tive dehy­dro­gena­tion. Recently he has devel­oped high-throughput data analy­sis meth­ods and cat­a­lyst descrip­tor mod­els to bet­ter find the best homo­ge­neous cat­a­lyst for a par­tic­u­lar trans­for­ma­tion. His pre­sen­ta­tion was enti­tled “How to Find the Best Homo­ge­neous Catalyst”.

Yamauchi’s research inves­ti­gated improved meth­ods for prepar­ing pre­cur­sors to skele­tal cat­a­lysts, novel bimetal­lic com­po­si­tions, and appli­ca­tion of improved cop­per cat­a­lysts to the hydra­tion of acry­loni­trile and hydro­gena­tion of car­bon diox­ide. His talk was enti­tled “Syn­the­sis and Fea­tures of New Raney Cat­a­lysts from Metastable Precursors”.

The pro­ceed­ings of the meet­ing includ­ing the award addresses will appear in a future vol­ume of the Chem­i­cal Indus­tries series.

James C. Stevens is the recipient of the ACS award in Industrial Chemistry

James C. Stevens, a research fel­low at Dow Chem­i­cal in Freeport, Texas, is the recip­i­ent of the ACS award in Indus­trial Chem­istry for dis­cov­ery and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment of cat­a­lysts used in the poly­olefin pro­duc­tion. This award rec­og­nizes out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to chem­i­cal research in the indus­trial context.

His work on designed lig­ands for tita­nium– and zirconium-based cat­a­lysts led to the dis­cov­ery of the “single-site, constrained-geometry cat­a­lyst sys­tem” in the late 1980s. Stevens and his col­leagues refined the tech­nol­ogy, trans­form­ing it “from a lab curios­ity to a com­mer­cial real­ity” for the pro­duc­tion of poly­olefins. More recently, his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Symyx Tech­nolo­gies led to the dis­cov­ery of a new class of hafnium-based single-site cat­a­lysts for the poly­mer­iza­tion of propy­lene. Stevens holds 75 patents and his work have resulted in com­mer­cial suc­cess for Dow. The cat­a­lysts he helped to develop are used in the pro­duc­tion of more than 1 bil­lion pounds of plas­tics and elas­tomers per year.

Tobin J. Marks, a catal­y­sis chem­istry pro­fes­sor at North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity, says Stevens is “the kind of superb indus­trial sci­en­tist and tech­nol­o­gist who comes along only once in a gen­er­a­tion.” Marks adds that Stevens’ work “has per­ma­nently changed the face of mod­ern poly­mer­iza­tion sci­ence, and has led to a num­ber of multi-billion-dollar processes that pro­duce cleaner, greener, more recy­clable, and more pro­ces­si­ble poly­meric mate­ri­als than ever believed pos­si­ble. More­over, due to Stevens’ inci­sive work, the inti­mate mech­a­nis­tic details of cat­a­lyst func­tion are under­stood at a level never before thought pos­si­ble for an indus­trial olefin-polymerization cat­a­lyst.“
Past Recip­i­ents

  • 1991 James F. Roth
  • 1992 David R. Bryant
  • 1993 Larry F. Thompson
  • 1994 Mar­ion D. Francis
  • 1995 Lynn H. Slaugh
  • 1996 Gor­don W. Calundann
  • 1997 Robert M. Sydansk
  • 1998 William C. Drinkard, Jr.
  • 1999 Madan M. Bhasin
  • 2000 Guido Sartori
  • 2001 Paul S. Anderson
  • 2002 Bipin V. Vora
  • 2003 Bruce E. Maryanoff
  • 2004 Joseph C. Salamone
  • 2005 Edwin A. Chandross
  • 2006 James C. Stevens

James Dumesic is the recipient of the Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis

James A. Dumesic, Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal and Bio­log­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recip­i­ent of the Gabor A. Somor­jai Award for Cre­ative Research in Catal­y­sis spon­sored by the Gabor A. & Judith K. Somor­jai Endow­ment Fund.

Prof. Dumesic research group is cur­rently work­ing in the broad areas of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis and sur­face sci­ence. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis is given to mea­sur­ing sur­face prop­er­ties under reac­tion con­di­tions and relat­ing these prop­er­ties to cat­a­lyst per­for­mance. In addi­tion, they use com­pu­ta­tional tech­niques such as quan­tum chem­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions and chem­i­cal reac­tor sim­u­la­tions to help them iden­tify new cat­alytic sys­tems for study.

This award rec­og­nizes out­stand­ing the­o­ret­i­cal, exper­i­men­tal, or devel­op­men­tal research result­ing in the advance­ment of under­stand­ing or appli­ca­tion of catal­y­sis. The award was estab­lished by the ACS Board of Direc­tors in 2002. It is sup­ported by the Gabor A. Somor­jai Endow­ment Fund. A prior ACS Award for Cre­ative Research in Homoge­nous or Het­ero­ge­neous Catal­y­sis spon­sored by the Shell Oil Foun­da­tion was estab­lished in 1997.
Past Recip­i­ents

  • 1999 Sir John Meurig Thomas
  • 2000 Gabor A. Somorjai
  • 2001 Alexis T. Bell
  • 2002 Jack H. Lunsford
  • 2003 Robert H. Grubbs
  • 2004 Bruce C. Gates
  • 2005 D. Wayne Goodman
  • 2006 James A. Dumesic

Stuart Soled is 2006 Ciapetta Lecturer

It is my plea­sure to announce that Dr. Stu­art Soled of Exxon­Mo­bil Research & Engi­neer­ing Co. is the 2006 F. G. Cia­petta Lec­turer. This award is spon­sored by Grace Davi­son Cat­a­lysts and admin­is­tered by The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. 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. The Award con­sists of a plaque, an hon­o­rar­ium and addi­tional money is avail­able to cover trav­el­ing expenses to visit many of the local clubs in North Amer­ica. The local clubs should con­tact Dr. Soled directly (908–730-2577) to make travel arrangements.

Stu has a long and dis­tin­guished record in indus­trial research. His nom­i­na­tors cited his many con­tri­bu­tions to the syn­the­sis, struc­tural and func­tional char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and use of cat­alytic solids. Stu has made dis­cov­er­ies and fun­da­men­tal advances in bulk solid oxides, mol­e­c­u­lar oxide clus­ters, sul­fides, and car­bides applied to Fischer-Tropsch syn­the­sis, hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion, oxi­da­tion, and acid catal­y­sis. Most recently, his work on novel, mixed metal cat­a­lysts have had a dra­matic impact on the desul­fu­r­iza­tion of diesel fuels. These Neb­ula cat­a­lysts offer sig­nif­i­cantly enhanced activ­ity which allow refin­ers to retro­fit exist­ing hydrotreaters with lit­tle addi­tional cap­i­tal cost and to pro­duce a prod­uct which exceeds the gov­ern­men­tally man­dated clean fuels stan­dards around the world. Well over one mil­lion pounds of the Neb­ula cat­a­lyst has been deployed through­out the world for the pro­duc­tion of ultra low sul­fur fuels.

Dr soled is prob­a­bly best know for his work in the area of solid acid­ity. His 1993 paper on the chem­istry of sul­fated zir­co­nia has been cited over 100 times in the last five years, and it pro­vides the defin­i­tive account of the struc­tural require­ments for iso­mer­iza­tion of larger alka­nes on these mate­ri­als. He con­tin­ued this work with the novel fam­ily of tungstated zir­co­nias. Stu also led an effort in under­stand­ing aspects of Fischer-Tropsch syn­the­sis that are crit­i­cal com­po­nents of the AGC-21 process and led the gen­er­a­tion of a new gen­er­a­tion of more sta­ble catalysts.

Stu has been at Exxon­Mo­bil in Annan­dale, N.J. since 1979 where he is a senior mem­ber of the tech­ni­cal staff with the title of Dis­tin­guished Research Asso­ciate. He received his Ph.D. in 1973 from Brown Uni­ver­sity and his B.S. in Chem­istry from City Col­lege of New York (grad­u­ated Magna Cum Laude). He has received the 2003 NY Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Excel­lence in Catal­y­sis Award and the Thomas Alva Edi­son Patent Award in 2002 which is given for prod­uct inno­va­tions and impor­tant sci­en­tific break­throughs orig­i­nat­ing in the State of New Jer­sey.
John Armor
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

Catalysis and the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Updated: 12:08 p.m. ET Oct. 5, 2005
STOCKHOLM, Swe­den — Amer­i­cans Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chau­vin of France won the Nobel Prize in chem­istry Wednes­day for dis­cov­er­ies that let indus­try cre­ate drugs and advanced plas­tics in a more effi­cient and envi­ron­men­tally friendly way.

The trio won the award for their devel­op­ment of the metathe­sis method in organic syn­the­sis — a way to swap groups of atoms between mol­e­cules that the Royal Swedish Acad­emy of Sci­ences likened to a dance in which cou­ples change partners.

Israel Wachs receives Herman Pines Award

The Catal­y­sis Club of Chicago is pleased to announce that the 2005 Her­man Pines Award in Catal­y­sis is pre­sented to Pro­fes­sor Israel E. Wachs from Lehigh University.

The Her­man Pines Award is pre­sented annu­ally by the Catal­y­sis Club of Chicago at its Spring Sym­po­sium for out­stand­ing research in the field of catal­y­sis. Her­man Pines was an out­stand­ing research sci­en­tist, and his work rev­o­lu­tion­ized the gen­eral under­stand­ing of organic chem­istry, par­tic­u­larly the chem­istry of hydro­car­bons inter­act­ing with strong acids. The award in his honor is spon­sored by UOP where Her­man began his indus­trial career in 1930 and amassed 145 US patents over a 23-year period. The award is being co-sponsored by the Catal­y­sis Club of Chicago of which Pro­fes­sor Pines was a found­ing member.

For­mal pre­sen­ta­tion of the award will take place at the 2005 Spring Sym­po­sium of the Catal­y­sis Club of Chicago on Wednes­day, May 18, 2005, where Pro­fes­sor Wachs will present the keynote address.

Fabio Ribeiro awarded NY Catalysis Society Excellence in Catalysis Award

The Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of Met­ro­pol­i­tan New York is pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Fabio Ribeiro of Pur­due Uni­ver­sity is the 2005 recip­i­ent of the Society’s Excel­lence in Catal­y­sis Award, spon­sored by Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Com­pany. Pro­fes­sor Ribeiro is being rec­og­nized for his cre­ativ­ity and out­stand­ing accom­plish­ments in the field of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. His work is broadly rec­og­nized and char­ac­ter­ized by com­plete atten­tion to detail, and care­ful exper­i­men­tal design to pre­cisely answer impor­tant ques­tions in catal­y­sis. This award rec­og­nizes Pro­fes­sor Ribeiro for his use of the com­bi­na­tion of struc­tural char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, chem­i­cal kinet­ics, and ab ini­tio cal­cu­la­tions to under­stand cat­alytic sys­tems at a fun­da­men­tal level. Pro­fes­sor Ribeiro’s career is marked by suc­cess and achieve­ment at every stage includ­ing grad­u­ate and post grad­u­ate stud­ies with Michel Boudart and Gabor Somor­jai, indus­trial research at Cat­alyt­ica Incor­po­rated, and fac­ulty appoint­ments at Worces­ter Poly­tech­nic and Pur­due­U­ni­ver­sity. In a rel­a­tively short period of time, Pro­fes­sor Ribeiro has pro­vided key insights into numer­ous impor­tant and diverse cat­alytic sys­tems, such as cat­alytic com­bus­tion, hydrodechlo­ri­na­tion, hydro­car­bon rearrange­ment on alloy sur­faces, and prop­er­ties of oxygen-modified tran­si­tion metal carbides.

Enrique Iglesia awarded the 2005 Robert Burwell Lectureship in Catalysis

Pro­fes­sor Enrique Igle­sia of the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley has been awarded the 2005 Robert Bur­well Lec­ture­ship in Catal­y­sis. The award is spon­sored by John­son Matthey Cat­a­lysts and admin­is­tered by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The award 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.

Enrique Iglesia’s work has cre­ated fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries con­nect­ing the chem­istry of mate­ri­als, kinet­ics, in situ char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, and reaction-transport mod­els to under­stand indus­trial catal­y­sis and to design new cat­a­lysts. Exam­ples include oxide nanos­truc­tures as acid and oxi­da­tion cat­a­lysts and exchanged cations and metal clus­ters for alkane con­ver­sion. Before mov­ing to his cur­rent posi­tion at Berke­ley, he spent about ten years at Exxon Research and Engi­neer­ing, where he made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions in the area of Fischer-Tropsch syn­the­sis and alkane acti­va­tion. His con­tin­u­ous inter­est in indus­trial prob­lems is reflected in his fil­ing of eight patents since join­ing Berke­ley. The main thrust of his work, how­ever, has been all along the under­stand­ing of struc­ture and func­tion in cat­alytic phe­nom­ena. The scope of his work uses many tools to assem­ble and coa­lesce this knowl­edge. It starts with the syn­the­sis of active oxide domains or metal clus­ters within porous mate­ri­als and is fol­lowed by detailed char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of atomic arrange­ments. The num­ber of these sites is counted, and in situ spec­tro­scopic tech­niques such as IR, Raman, UV-visible and X-ray absorp­tion are used to iden­tify their local geo­met­ric and elec­tronic prop­er­ties. Finally, steady-state and tran­sient kinetic stud­ies, includ­ing exten­sive use of iso­topes, are com­bined with in situ spec­tro­scopic tech­niques to iden­tify adsorbed inter­me­di­ates and ulti­mately the iden­tity and kinetic rel­e­vance of ele­men­tary steps. The qual­ity, quan­tity, and impact of his fun­da­men­tal pub­li­ca­tions are very impres­sive. Enrique is a pop­u­lar lec­turer; he has been very active in the orga­ni­za­tion and oper­a­tion of many catal­y­sis meet­ings. He also serves our com­mu­nity as the Editor-in-Chief of Jour­nal of Catalysis.

The lec­ture­ship pro­vides an hon­o­rar­ium and a travel stipend that will allow him to visit many of the local clubs of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Local clubs should con­tact Pro­fes­sor Igle­sia directly [iglesia@cchem.berkeley.edu] about speak­ing arrange­ments over the next two years. More infor­ma­tion about this award, the awards process, and pre­vi­ous awardees are avail­able within the Awards folder on the NACS home page (www.nacatsoc.org).

2005 Eugene J. Houdry Award to Henrik Topsøe

The 2005 Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catal­y­sis to Dr. Hen­rik Top­søe of the Hal­dor Top­søe Research Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Lyn­gby, Den­mark. The award is spon­sored by Süd-Chemie, Inc., and admin­is­tered by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The pur­pose of the Award is to rec­og­nize and encour­age 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.

Henrik’s work and lead­er­ship have made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the under­stand­ing of hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts. Hen­rik has been an essen­tial con­trib­u­tor to many com­mer­cial appli­ca­tions on hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion and other cat­a­lysts and one of the prin­ci­pal forces behind the posi­tion that Hal­dor Top­søe A/S holds in com­mer­cial deploy­ments in cat­a­lysts and processes. “Hen­rik Topsøe’s work pro­vided the con­cepts and defin­i­tive evi­dence for the CoMoS descrip­tion of the syn­ergy between MoS2 struc­tures and Co and Ni pro­mot­ers.” “His pas­sion­ate efforts to bring state-of-the-art tools and con­cepts into the solu­tion of com­plex indus­trial prob­lems are with­out equal in the inter­na­tional catal­y­sis com­mu­nity today.” With all this Hen­rik has been a pro­lific indus­trial con­trib­u­tor to the sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture. Also, “he has been a key intel­lec­tual and phys­i­cal moti­va­tional force behind the emer­gence of the aca­d­e­mic Dan­ish catal­y­sis community.”

Hen­rik will give a ple­nary lec­ture and be rec­og­nized at the Spring 2005 North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety meet­ing in Philadel­phia. More infor­ma­tion on this award, the awards process, and pre­vi­ous awardees can be found inside the Awards folder on the NACS home page: www.nacatsoc.org

Professor Matthew Neurock selected as 2005 Emmett Awardee

I am pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Matthew Neu­rock has been selected
for the 2005 Paul H. Emmett Awardee in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis. The award con­sists of a plaque and a prize. The pur­pose of the Award is to rec­og­nize and encour­age indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions (under the age of 45) in the field of catal­y­sis with empha­sis on dis­cov­ery and under­stand­ing of cat­alytic phe­nom­ena, pro­posal of cat­alytic reac­tion mech­a­nisms and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of and descrip­tion of cat­alytic sites and species.

Pro­fes­sor Neurock’s inter­ests include com­pu­ta­tional het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, mol­e­c­u­lar mod­el­ing, and kinet­ics of com­plex reac­tion sys­tems. “Matt is rec­og­nized for his pio­neer­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the­o­ret­i­cal meth­ods for the analy­sis and pre­dic­tion of cat­alytic rates and selec­tiv­i­ties. Matt has devel­oped and applied the­ory and atomic-scale sim­u­la­tion in con­certed and well-constructed efforts aimed at the elu­ci­da­tion of cat­alytic reac­tion mech­a­nisms on metal and oxide sur­faces and at under­stand­ing and design­ing active sites as they exist in real­is­tic and com­plex reac­tion envi­ron­ments. He and his group have brought ab ini­tio quan­tum mechan­i­cal meth­ods together with kinetic Monte Carlo meth­ods to sim­u­late cat­alytic per­for­mance and the effects of the explicit reac­tion envi­ron­ment. His stud­ies have brought fun­da­men­tal insights into the roles of sur­face struc­ture, crys­tal­lite size, sur­face cov­er­age, alloy­ing, con­densed media, and tran­sient inter­me­di­ates.” Other’s remark that “Matt has been extremely suc­cess­ful at apply­ing quan­tum chem­i­cal meth­ods to a broad range of prob­lems in sur­face chemistry.”

Matt will give a ple­nary lec­ture and be rec­og­nized at the Spring 2005 North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety meet­ing in Philadel­phia. The Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis is spon­sored by the Davi­son Chem­i­cal Divi­sion of W.R. Grace and Com­pany. It is admin­is­tered by The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and is awarded bien­ni­ally in odd num­bered years. More infor­ma­tion on this award, the awards process, and pre­vi­ous awardees can be found inside the Awards folder on the NACS home page: www.nacatsoc.org