Harold Kung to Receive Gabor A. Somorjai Award

Harold Kung, pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal engi­neer­ing at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty’s McCormick School of Engi­neer­ing and Applied Sci­ence, will receive the 2011 Gabor A. Somor­jai Award for Cre­ative Research in Catal­y­sis from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety.

The award rec­og­nizes out­stand­ing the­o­ret­i­cal, exper­i­men­tal, or devel­op­men­tal research result­ing in the advance­ment of under­stand­ing or appli­ca­tion of catal­y­sis, and the list of win­ners includes the great­est researchers in the field of catal­y­sis.

Kung is a world leader in the field of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis research and the devel­op­ment of nov­el mate­ri­als and process­es. He applies his exper­tise to the crit­i­cal areas of sus­tain­abil­i­ty, renew­able ener­gy and envi­ron­men­tal chem­istry.

Cur­rent­ly Kung and his research group are focused on the syn­the­sis of nov­el nano­ma­te­ri­als for cat­alyt­ic appli­ca­tions to min­i­mize ener­gy con­sump­tion and envi­ron­men­tal impact and on new lithi­um-ion bat­tery tech­nolo­gies, such as new forms of elec­trodes for improved elec­tri­cal ener­gy stor­age.

Dur­ing his career Kung has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions in var­i­ous areas of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, start­ing with sem­i­nal work that demon­strat­ed the rela­tion­ship between sur­face atom­ic struc­tures of an oxide and its chem­i­cal and cat­alyt­ic prop­er­ties. He has led the field in study­ing oxide-based cat­a­lysts for the removal of the atmos­pher­ic pol­lu­tant nitric oxide by reduc­tion with hydro­car­bons in an oxi­diz­ing atmos­phere. More recent­ly, Kung became the first to syn­the­size an inter­nal­ly func­tion­al­ized hol­low nanos­phere that can be used to trap and bind mol­e­cules and met­al com­plex­es.

The award will be pre­sent­ed at the spring meet­ing of the ACS in 2011.
This arti­cle was repro­duced from www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/article_753.html.

Chunshan Song Selected as Winner for 2010 Henry H Storch Award from ACS

Chun­shan Song, dis­tin­guished pro­fes­sor of fuel sci­ence in the Depart­ment of Ener­gy and Min­er­al Engi­neer­ing and Direc­tor of EMS Ener­gy Insti­tute at Penn State, received the Hen­ry H. Storch Award in Fuel Chem­istry from Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety (ACS) at the 240th ACS nation­al meet­ing held in Boston, MA, dur­ing Aug 21–26, 2010. He received this pres­ti­gious award in recog­ni­tion of his out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to fuel sci­ence espe­cial­ly in the areas of clean fuels, catal­y­sis, and CO2 cap­ture and con­ver­sion research.

The Hen­ry H. Storch Award, co-spon­sored by the Divi­sion of Fuel Chem­istry of the ACS and Else­vi­er Ltd., is giv­en annu­al­ly to rec­og­nize an indi­vid­ual in the field of fuel sci­ence for an excep­tion­al con­tri­bu­tion to the research on the chem­istry and uti­liza­tion of hydro­car­bon fuels. Spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion is giv­en to inno­va­tion and nov­el­ty in the use of fuels, char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of fuels, and advances in fuel chem­istry that ben­e­fit the pub­lic wel­fare or the envi­ron­ment. The award is the high­est hon­or for research award­ed by the ACS Fuel Chem­istry Divi­sion.

Song was recent­ly named a Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Fuel Sci­ence by Penn State’s Office of the Pres­i­dent. He is also pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing in the Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and Asso­ciate Direc­tor of the Penn State Insti­tutes of Ener­gy and the Envi­ron­ment. He received a BS in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing in 1982 from Dalian Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy, Chi­na, and a MS in 1986 and PhD in 1989 in applied chem­istry from Osa­ka Uni­ver­si­ty, Japan. He worked at the Research Cen­ter of Osa­ka Gas Com­pa­ny in Japan pri­or to join­ing Penn State in Nov 1989.

Song is inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized for his orig­i­nal and inno­v­a­tive con­tri­bu­tions to clean fuels, catal­y­sis and CO2 cap­ture and con­ver­sion research. His ear­ly research at Penn State on cat­alyt­ic coal liq­ue­fac­tion and the effects of dry­ing coal on coal con­ver­sion at low tem­per­a­tures led to a new way of prepar­ing high­ly active dis­persed cat­a­lysts using water and sul­fide pre­cur­sor. Based on this dis­cov­ery, fur­ther fun­da­men­tal stud­ies using probe mol­e­cules result­ed in two patents for inven­tions on nano-sized ultra-high-sur­face met­al sul­fide cat­a­lysts that have been licensed to indus­try. From his efforts to make bet­ter use of coal-derived aro­mat­ics for val­ue-added chem­i­cals, he has designed shape-selec­tive alky­la­tion cat­a­lysts for syn­the­sis of pre­cur­sors for advanced poly­mers and engi­neer­ing mate­ri­als from naph­tha­lene, which have been patent­ed and licensed to indus­try. He has made major con­tri­bu­tions to the devel­op­ment of coal-based advanced ther­mal­ly sta­ble jet fuels through his work on fun­da­men­tal chem­istry con­cern­ing the effects of intrin­sic fuel com­po­si­tion and struc­ture on ther­mal degra­da­tion of jet fuels, and his work on mod­el com­pounds stud­ies relat­ed to sta­ble bicyclic struc­tures and hydroaro­mat­ics and their tai­lored pro­duc­tion through catal­y­sis. These devel­op­ments were part of the large, 20 year, U.S. gov­ern­ment-fund­ed jet fuel project led by Harold Schobert at Penn State, which has been scaled up to pilot plant pro­duc­tion. For ultra-clean fuels and fuel cells, Song and his group devised an inno­v­a­tive approach to selec­tive adsorp­tion for remov­ing sul­fur from liq­uid hydro­car­bon fuels over sol­id sur­face with­out using hydro­gen, which has also been licensed to indus­try and already used for mak­ing pro­to­type sys­tems.

His group recent­ly devel­oped a nov­el approach to CO2 cap­ture by “mol­e­c­u­lar-bas­ket sor­bents” con­sist­ing of nanoporous matrix and func­tion­al poly­mers with supe­ri­or capac­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty. In addi­tion, his group devel­oped sul­fur-tol­er­ant and car­bon-resis­tant bimetal­lic and trimetal­lic cat­a­lysts for low-tem­per­a­ture steam reform­ing of liq­uid fuels and non-pyrophor­ic cat­a­lysts for oxy­gen-assist­ed water gas shift. He recent­ly pro­posed a new design con­cept of sul­fur-tol­er­ant noble met­al cat­a­lysts for low-tem­per­a­ture hydrotreat­ing and dearom­a­ti­za­tion for ultra clean fuels.

Song is an active leader in hydro­car­bon pro­cess­ing research and has been elect­ed as Chair of the Fuel Chem­istry and the Petro­le­um Chem­istry Divi­sions of Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety as well as Chair of the Advi­so­ry Board for the Inter­na­tion­al Pitts­burgh Coal Con­fer­ence. He has also served as chair or co-chair for over 35 inter­na­tion­al sym­posia, and is cur­rent­ly on eight research jour­nal advi­so­ry boards, includ­ing Ener­gy & Fuels, Catal­y­sis Today, Applied Catal­y­sis B: Envi­ron­men­tal, RSC Catal­y­sis series, Research on Chem­i­cal Inter­me­di­ates, Jour­nal of Fuel Chem­istry and Tech­nol­o­gy, Acta Petrolei Sini­ca, and Coal Con­ver­sion. In addi­tion, he serves on the sci­en­tif­ic advi­so­ry boards for sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence series and for sev­er­al R&D orga­ni­za­tions world­wide.

A pro­lif­ic author of many high-impact pub­li­ca­tions, Song has deliv­ered 40 ple­nary or keynote lec­tures at inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences and 190 invit­ed lec­tures world­wide. He has 170 ref­er­eed jour­nal arti­cles (which received over 4400 cita­tions), 6 ref­er­eed books, 25 book chap­ters, 11 spe­cial jour­nal issues, 20 patents and patent appli­ca­tions, and over 280 con­fer­ence papers. He has also received a num­ber of major awards, includ­ing the 2010 Class of ACS Fel­lows, the Ful­bright Dis­tin­guished Schol­ar from US-UK; the Her­man Pines Award for Out­stand­ing Research in Catal­y­sis from Catal­y­sis Club of Chica­go in North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety; the Chang Jiang Schol­ar from the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion of Chi­na; Most Cit­ed Authors in Catal­y­sis from Else­vi­er; Out­stand­ing Schol­ar Over­seas from the Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Sci­ences; the Dis­tin­guished Catal­y­sis Researcher Lec­ture­ship from Pacif­ic North­west Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry; the Robin­son Dis­tin­guished Lec­ture­ship from Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta, Cana­da; the NEDO Fel­low­ship and AIST Fel­low­ship Awards from Japan; Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Awards from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Society’s Petro­le­um Chem­istry Divi­sion, and from the Annu­al Inter­na­tion­al Pitts­burgh Coal Con­fer­ence. With­in the Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, he has received the Wil­son Award for Excel­lence in Research, the Fac­ul­ty Men­tor­ing Award, Inven­tor Incen­tive Awards and the Mate­ri­als Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing Ser­vice Award. . In addi­tion, Song has held vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor­ships with Impe­r­i­al Col­lege Lon­don, Uni­ver­si­ty of Paris VI, Tsinghua Uni­ver­si­ty, Dalian Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy, Taiyuan Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy, Tian­jin Uni­ver­si­ty, and Dalian Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Physics as well as Insti­tute of Coal Chem­istry with­in Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Sci­ences.

A Storch Award Sym­po­sium in Hon­or of Chun­shan Song was held at ACS Fall 2010 Nation­al Meet­ing in Boston dur­ing August 22–26, 2010.

Christopher Jones heads ACS Catalysis, new American Chemical Society journal

BOSTON, Aug. 23, 2010 — The Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety (ACS) Board of Direc­tors today announced the appoint­ment of Christo­pher W. Jones, Ph.D., as Edi­tor-in-Chief of ACS Catal­y­sis, the newest jour­nal in ACS’s suite of high­ly cit­ed, peer-reviewed jour­nals.

ACS Catal­y­sis will offi­cial­ly launch in Jan­u­ary 2011 ded­i­cat­ed to pub­lish­ing orig­i­nal research on and at the inter­faces of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, homo­ge­neous catal­y­sis and bio­catal­y­sis. Appli­ca­tion cov­er­age of ACS Catal­y­sis will include life sci­ences, drug dis­cov­ery & devel­op­ment, house­hold prod­ucts, poly­mer dis­cov­ery & pro­duc­tion, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and ener­gy & fuels.

Dar­la Hen­der­son, Ph.D., Assis­tant Direc­tor of Edi­to­r­i­al Devel­op­ment in the ACS Jour­nals Pub­lish­ing Group expressed plea­sure with hav­ing Jones on board as Edi­tor-in Chief of ACS Catal­y­sis. “Dr. Jones’ vision for ACS Catal­y­sis encom­pass­es out­reach to the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty in a sig­nif­i­cant sense. Dr. Jones’ research expe­ri­ence across sev­er­al major research areas in the catal­y­sis field over­all, and col­lab­o­ra­tive work with­in the var­i­ous aspects of catal­y­sis pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage to his ser­vice as the Inau­gur­al Edi­tor-in-Chief of ACS Catal­y­sis.”

As both a catal­y­sis sci­en­tist and as the Edi­tor-in-Chief of ACS Catal­y­sis, I am very excit­ed about the poten­tial of this new jour­nal,” Jones not­ed. “ACS Catal­y­sis will offer a new forum for rapid and effi­cient dis­sem­i­na­tion of nov­el exper­i­men­tal or the­o­ret­i­cal results in all areas of catal­y­sis. The com­bi­na­tion of breadth of top­i­cal cov­er­age in catal­y­sis, a fast and rig­or­ous review of man­u­scripts, and the con­ve­nience and effi­cien­cy of the ACS Pub­li­ca­tions web plat­form unique­ly posi­tion ACS Catal­y­sis for suc­cess.”

Jones is the Pro­fes­sor and J. Carl and Sheila Pirkle Fac­ul­ty Fel­low at the School of Chem­i­cal & Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing and Adjunct Pro­fes­sor of Chem­istry and Bio­chem­istry at the Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy in Atlanta, Geor­gia. His research inter­ests are works in the broad areas of mate­ri­als design and syn­the­sis, catal­y­sis and adsorp­tion. His research group’s work on the ratio­nal design of mol­e­c­u­lar­ly engi­neered mate­ri­als draws from a num­ber of dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines to enable the devel­op­ment of func­tion­al mate­ri­als with appli­ca­tions in areas such as catal­y­sis and sep­a­ra­tions.

Jones received his BSE in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, his MS in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Cal­i­for­nia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, and his PhD in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing with a Minor in Chem­istry from the Cal­i­for­nia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy. He is a mem­ber of the Inter­na­tion­al Zeo­lite Asso­ci­a­tion, the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, the Organ­ic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, the Amer­i­can Soci­ety for Engi­neer­ing Edu­ca­tion, the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers, and the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. He recent­ly was award­ed the 2010 Ipati­eff Prize from ACS, rec­og­niz­ing out­stand­ing chem­i­cal exper­i­men­tal work in the field of catal­y­sis or high pres­sure, car­ried out by an indi­vid­ual of any nation­al­i­ty who is not over 40 years of age.

Nominations are Open for the Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis

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 Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and is award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in odd num­bered years, gen­er­al­ly at the North Amer­i­can meet­ing of The Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, where the awardee will be asked to give a ple­nary lec­ture. The award con­sists of a plaque and a prize of $5,000. An addi­tion­al $500 is avail­able for oth­er­wise unre­im­bursed trav­el expens­es.

The pur­pose of the Award is to rec­og­nize and encour­age indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions 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.

Selec­tion of the Award win­ner will be made by a com­mit­tee of renowned sci­en­tists and engi­neers appoint­ed by the Pres­i­dent of The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Selec­tion shall be made with­out regard for sex, nation­al­i­ty or affi­I­ia­tion. The award win­ner must not have turned 46 on April 1st of the award year , thus nom­i­na­tion doc­u­ments should indi­cate the age and birth­date of the nom­i­nee. [The next award is the 2011 Award year for this Emmett Award (nom­i­na­tions due by 15 Sep­tem­ber 2010). Thus, nom­i­nees should not yet be 46 on April 1, 2011.] Posthu­mous awards will be made only when knowl­edge of the awardee’s death is received after announce­ment of the Award Com­mit­tee’s deci­sion. Nom­i­na­tions for the Award should present the nom­i­nee’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions, accom­plish­ments, birth­date, and biog­ra­phy. A crit­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of the sig­nif­i­cance of pub­li­ca­tions and patents should be made as well as a state­ment of the par­tic­u­lar contribution(s) on which the nom­i­na­tion is based. Nom­i­na­tion doc­u­ments should be sub­mit­ted in one com­plete pack­age to the Pres­i­dent of the Soci­ety along with no more than two sec­ond­ing let­ters.

Selec­tion of the 2011 Emmett Award win­ner will be made by a com­mit­tee of renowned sci­en­tists and engi­neers appoint­ed by the Pres­i­dent of The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Nom­i­na­tion pack­ages for the Award must be received by 15 Sep­tem­ber 2010.

All nom­i­na­tion pack­ages (one ELECTRONIC COPY) for the Emmett Award should be should be sent to Enrique Igle­sia, Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety; at iglesia@berkeley.edu. Receipt of any nom­i­na­tion, will be con­firmed by an email mes­sage sent to any nom­i­na­tor.

Catalysis scientists elected Fellows of the American Chemical Society

The Amer­i­ca Chem­i­cal Soci­ety has announced (pubs.acs.org/cen/fellows/) the elec­tion of 192 mem­bers to its 2010 ACS Fel­lows pro­gram for their out­stand­ing achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence, the pro­fes­sion, and ser­vice to the soci­ety. These fel­lows include the fol­low­ing mem­bers of our catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty:

  • Galen B. Fish­er, Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan
  • Cyn­thia M. Friend, Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty
  • Anne M. Gaffney, AMG Chem­istry & Catal­y­sis Con­sult­ing
  • Enrique Igle­sia, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley
  • Bruce D. Kay, Pacif­ic North­west Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry
  • Robert J. Madix, Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty
  • Chun­shan Song, Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty
  • Kath­leen Tay­lor, Gen­er­al Motors (retired)
  • Yong Wang, Pacif­ic North­west Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry
  • Joseph R. Zoeller, East­man Chem­i­cal Com­pa­ny


Nominations are Open for the Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis

The Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catal­y­sis is spon­sored by Süd-Chemie, Inc. It is admin­is­tered by The Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and is award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in odd num­bered years, gen­er­al­ly at the North Amer­i­can meet­ing of The Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, where the awardee will be asked to give a ple­nary lec­ture. The award con­sists of a plaque and a prize of $5,000. An addi­tion­al $1,000 is avail­able for oth­er­wise unre­im­bursed trav­el expens­es.

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.

Selec­tion of the Award win­ner wiil be made by a com­mit­tee of renowned sci­en­tists and engi­neers appoint­ed by the Pres­i­dent of The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. Selec­tion shall be made with­out regard for age, sex, nation­al­i­ty or affil­i­a­tion. Posthu­mous awards will be made only when knowl­edge of the awardee’s death is received after announce­ment of the Award Com­mit­tee’s deci­sion. Nom­i­na­tions for the Award should be made before 1 August, 2010 and should present the nom­i­nee’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions, accom­plish­ments and biog­ra­phy. A crit­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of the sig­nif­i­cance of pub­li­ca­tions and patents should be made as well as a state­ment of the par­tic­u­lar contribution(s) on which the nom­i­na­tion is based. Nom­i­na­tion doc­u­ments should be sub­mit­ted elec­tron­i­cal­ly to the Pres­i­dent of the Soci­ety in one com­plete pack­age along with no more than two sec­ond­ing let­ters. Nom­i­na­tion pack­ages for the Award must be received by 1 August 2010.

All nom­i­na­tion pack­ages (one ELECTRONIC COPY) for the Houdry Award should be should be sent to Enrique Igle­sia, Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety; at iglesia@berkeley.edu. Receipt of any nom­i­na­tion, will be con­firmed by an email mes­sage sent to any nom­i­na­tor.

In Memoriam: George W. Roberts

It is with great sad­ness that we announce the pass­ing of George W. Roberts, Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing, North Car­oli­na State Uni­ver­si­ty. George suc­cumbed from pan­cre­at­ic can­cer on 5 April 2010 in Raleigh, North Car­oli­na. He fought bold­ly to spare his fam­i­ly the excep­tion­al pain of this ordeal.

Prof. Roberts made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions in both the indus­tri­al and aca­d­e­m­ic aspects of catal­y­sis espe­cial­ly in under­stand­ing the behav­ior of cat­alyt­ic reac­tors (cat­alyt­ic reac­tion engi­neer­ing). He strong­ly encour­aged his stu­dents to study sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems fac­ing indus­tri­al needs which broad­ened their edu­ca­tion and pre­pared them for future careers.

George was born in Newark, New Jer­sey. He received the B.ChE. degree from Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty in 1961 and the Sc.D. degree in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing in 1965 from Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy. His research advi­sor at MIT was Prof. Charles N. Sat­ter­field, a dis­tin­guished schol­ar in the field of catal­y­sis and the author of four books deal­ing with catal­y­sis and cat­alyt­ic process­es. From 1965 to 1969, Prof. Roberts was a Research Engi­neer and lat­er a Projects Super­vi­sor with the Rohm and Haas Com­pa­ny in Philadel­phia. He then joined the Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty (St. Louis) as an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor, where he found­ed and direct­ed the Chem­i­cal Reac­tion Engi­neer­ing Lab­o­ra­to­ry. He received the Dis­tin­guished Fac­ul­ty Award from Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in 1971.

Prof. Roberts joined Engel­hard in Men­lo Park, NJ in 1972 as Man­ag­er of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Research, and was respon­si­ble for lead­ing sev­er­al pro­grams that result­ed in the devel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of new cat­a­lysts and cat­alyt­ic process­es, In the mid-1970’s he head­ed a research team that devel­oped a new Pt/Re cat­a­lyst for naph­tha reform­ing with sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er sta­bil­i­ty than its com­mer­cial pre­de­ces­sor. His team also devel­oped an improved aro­mat­ic iso­mer­iza­tion cat­a­lyst for the pro­duc­tion of xylenes, based on mol­e­c­u­lar sieve tech­nol­o­gy. He then led a research effort in selec­tive hydro­gena­tion of var­i­ous streams derived from steam crack­ing of liq­ue­fied petro­le­um gas (LPG) and naph­tha. Two new process­es were com­mer­cial­ized. He led the devel­op­ment of a new, low-pol­lu­tion com­bus­tion process based on com­bin­ing cat­alyt­ic and homo­ge­neous (ther­mal) com­bus­tion. His group at Engel­hard devel­oped the cat­alyt­ic tech­nol­o­gy that result­ed in the suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tion of selec­tive oxi­da­tion of CO in the pres­ence of H2 as a means for debug­ging ammo­nia plants. This process was suc­cess­ful­ly oper­at­ed in sev­er­al domes­tic ammo­nia plants begin­ning in the late-1970’s. More­over, the research lead­ing to this process pro­vid­ed a sound tech­ni­cal foun­da­tion for the renewed study of selec­tive oxi­da­tion of CO, as part of the pro­duc­tion of H2 for use in fuel cells being used today.

From 1977 to 1989, Prof. Roberts held var­i­ous posi­tions in tech­nol­o­gy man­age­ment at Air Prod­ucts and Chem­i­cals, Inc. in Allen­town, PA. His two most notable achieve­ments were lead­ing the teams that devel­oped and com­mer­cial­ized the COPETM process for debot­tle­neck­ing Claus sul­fur recov­ery plants and the LPMeO­HTM process for methanol syn­the­sis. The COPETM process was first com­mer­cial­ized by East­man Chem­i­cal at its coal gasi­fi­ca­tion facil­i­ty in Kingsport, TN. This process has been suc­cess­ful­ly used in a num­ber of Claus plants, and won the 1987 Kirk­patrick Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Achieve­ment Award from Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing mag­a­zine.

In 1989, he joined North Car­oli­na State Uni­ver­si­ty as Pro­fes­sor and Head of the Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment. He stepped down as Depart­ment Head in 1994 to devote him­self to research and teach­ing. Prof. Roberts received an Out­stand­ing Teacher Award in 2001–2002 and the Alcoa Foun­da­tion Engi­neer­ing Research Award in 2006. Although he offi­cial­ly retired from the Uni­ver­si­ty in 2007, becom­ing Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus, George con­tin­ued to be active in research and recent­ly pub­lished a text­book. Chem­i­cal Reac­tions and Chem­i­cal Reac­tors (John Wiley & Sons, 2008) is designed pri­mar­i­ly for the chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing (“kinet­ics”) course that is required in almost every chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing cur­ricu­lum, inter­na­tion­al­ly. Prof. Roberts’ book rec­og­nizes explic­it­ly that 80–90% of indus­tri­al reac­tions involve catal­y­sis, pri­mar­i­ly het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. There­fore, het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis is intro­duced very ear­ly, and the book con­tains exten­sive treat­ments of the fun­da­men­tals of cat­alyt­ic kinet­ics and the role of trans­port effects in het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis.

Prof. Roberts had more than 75 ref­er­eed jour­nal pub­li­ca­tions, 11 ref­er­eed chap­ters in books, and 20 issued US patents on top­ics such as cat­alyt­ic com­bus­tion, methanol syn­the­sis, hydro­gen gen­er­a­tion, and cat­alyt­ic poly­mer hydro­gena­tion. His most recent catal­y­sis research focused on three very nov­el and chal­leng­ing prob­lems:

  1. Hydro­gena­tion of var­i­ous poly­mers with pre­cious met­al cat­a­lysts in order to cre­ate nov­el poly­mer­ic mate­ri­als that are dif­fi­cult to syn­the­size by poly­mer­iza­tion of the appro­pri­ate monomers.
  2. The direct reac­tion of car­bon diox­ide with methane to form acetic acid, and the direct reac­tion of car­bon diox­ide, methane and acety­lene to form vinyl acetate. This is a poten­tial­ly impor­tant approach to recy­cling car­bon diox­ide by using it as a car­bon source in chem­i­cal syn­the­sis.
  3. Cat­alyt­ic reac­tions in super­crit­i­cal flu­ids.

George was a qui­et leader of our com­mu­ni­ty and will be great­ly missed. His con­tri­bu­tions will con­tin­ue to influ­ence new cat­alyt­ic research.
Pre­pared by Robert J. Far­rauto, BASF (bob.farrauto@basf.com) 10 April 2010
Sub­mit­ted by H. Hen­ry Lamb, NCSU (lamb@ncsu.edu) 22 April 2010

Henrik Topsøe Selected as Winner for 2010 Distinguished Researcher Award, ACS Division of Petroleum Chemistry

The Petro­le­um Chem­istry Divi­sion of Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety is pleased to announce that Dr. Hen­rik Top­søe has been select­ed as the win­ner of the 2010 Dis­tin­guished Researcher Award.

Hen­rik Top­søe is being rec­og­nized for his out­stand­ing research con­tri­bu­tions to the under­stand­ing of hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts. Hen­rik Top­søe is Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent at Hal­dor Top­søe A/S in Lyn­g­by, Den­mark. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing in 1972 from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty. After a post­doc­tor­al stay at Stan­ford, he joined the Hal­dor Top­søe Research Lab­o­ra­to­ries in 1974. Here he start­ed the fun­da­men­tal catal­y­sis group and he has also been the man­ag­er of the catal­y­sis research depart­ment. Hen­rik Top­søe is adjunct pro­fes­sor at the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Den­mark (DTH) and has for many years been pres­i­dent of the Dan­ish and Nordic Catal­y­sis Soci­eties and he is on the edi­to­r­i­al boards of sev­er­al catal­y­sis jour­nals. His awards include UOP Inter­na­tion­al lec­tur­er, Ford Dis­tin­guished lec­tures, Mason lec­tur­er and the 2003 Glenn Award from ACS Fuel Chem­istry Divi­sion. He was the first indus­tri­al researcher to be award­ed The Fran­cois Gault Lec­ture­ship from the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties (2000). In 2005, the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety award­ed Hen­rik Top­søe the Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catal­y­sis.

A cen­tral theme in the research of Hen­rik Top­søe has been the estab­lish­ment of a mol­e­c­u­lar basis for the design and pro­duc­tion of improved indus­tri­al cat­a­lysts. In order to achieve this goal, Hen­rik Top­søe and his col­leagues have over the years devel­oped many impor­tant nov­el mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary tech­niques and approach­es. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis has been placed on under­stand­ing and devel­op­ing improved hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts, but many stud­ies were also devot­ed to ammo­nia syn­the­sis, methanol syn­the­sis and DeNOx cat­a­lysts. At the time Hen­rik Top­søe and his col­leagues start­ed their research on hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts, the cat­a­lyst sys­tems were poor­ly under­stood. Con­se­quent­ly, spe­cial efforts were devot­ed to the devel­op­ment of new tools and in situ approach­es which could pro­vide the nec­es­sary atom­ic and mol­e­c­u­lar insight under rel­e­vant con­di­tions. The stud­ies were the first ones to reveal the nature of the active struc­tures, the so-called Co-Mo‑S fam­i­ly of pro­mot­ed struc­tures. Lat­er stud­ies have pro­vid­ed addi­tion­al atom­ic insight into these struc­tures and have elu­ci­dat­ed the fac­tors gov­ern­ing their pro­duc­tion and how their activ­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty may be enhanced based on the opti­miza­tion of sup­port inter­ac­tions and oth­er cat­a­lysts fea­tures. This insight has been used by the indus­try world­wide for the intro­duc­tion of many improved gen­er­a­tions of cat­a­lysts – the lat­est being the Top­søe BRIMTM tech­nol­o­gy for sev­er­al crit­i­cal refin­ing ser­vices includ­ing the pro­duc­tion of Ultra Low Sul­fur Diesel (ULSD). Hen­rik Top­søe has co-authored 180 pub­li­ca­tions, 3 books and has giv­en more than 140 invit­ed lec­tures.

An ACS Sym­po­sium in Hon­or of Hen­rik Top­soe is being orga­nized by Prof. Chun­shan Song of Penn State on behalf of ACS Petro­le­um Chem­istry Divi­sion at the ACS Nation­al Meet­ing in Boston dur­ing August 22–26, 2010.

Support for Attendees to the 2010 Gordon Conference on Catalysis

We are pleased to announce that par­tial reg­is­tra­tion sup­port ($400), which will cov­er 50% of the reg­is­tra­tion fee, will be avail­able for grad­u­ate stu­dents, post-docs and ear­ly career fac­ul­ty. Approx­i­mate­ly 40–50 par­tic­i­pants will receive sup­port depend­ing on avail­able fund­ing. This sup­port is made pos­si­ble by grants from the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion — Catal­y­sis and Kinet­ics Pro­gram, Depart­ment of Ener­gy — Office of Sci­ence, the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, and indus­try con­trib­u­tors (see the GRC web­site for an updat­ed list as this sup­port becomes avail­able).

Request for sup­port should be sent by apply­ing to the con­fer­ence chair via email to datye@unm.edu and by ensur­ing that the fol­low­ing text appears in the sub­ject head­ing of your email GRC 2010 Catal­y­sis. Please sub­mit your appli­ca­tion before March 31, 2010, and include as an attach­ment one pdf doc­u­ment that includes a short one page CV, a state­ment of your research inter­ests, and one page let­ter of endorse­ment from your research advi­sor (for stu­dents and post-docs) or one page let­ter of cur­rent and pend­ing sup­port (in case of junior fac­ul­ty). Sup­port will be allo­cat­ed to one stu­dent or post-doc per research group (unless addi­tion­al sup­port becomes avail­able) and to junior fac­ul­ty who are at the ear­ly career stage (with min­i­mal extra­mur­al fund­ing). The par­tic­i­pants who receive sup­port are required to present a poster at the meet­ing. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the con­fer­ence and trav­el sup­port can be obtained from Prof. Datye’s web site: http://www.unm.edu/~cmem/labs/catalysis/index.html

To attend the GRC, you must apply via the fol­low­ing web site: http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2010&program=catalysis

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact the con­fer­ence orga­niz­ers:
Abhaya K. Datye
Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor
Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mex­i­co
Albu­querque, NM, 87131–0001
Bruce Cook
Advanced Refin­ing Man­ag­er
BP Prod­ucts N.A.
Naperville, IL, 60563–8460

In Memoriam: Jerzy Haber (1930–2010)

Pro­fes­sor Jerzy Haber (1930–2010), an out­stand­ing sci­en­tist, Leader and Tutor of many gen­er­a­tions of Pol­ish chemists, a remark­able organ­is­er of research, died on Jan­u­ary 1, 2010. He was an inter­na­tion­al­ly acclaimed spe­cial­ist in sol­id state chem­istry, catal­y­sis and sur­face phe­nom­e­na who cre­at­ed and direct­ed for many years the Insti­tute of Catal­y­sis and Sur­face Chem­istry of Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences in Krakow.

Jerzy Haber was born on May 7, 1930 in Krakow and linked with this city his entire pro­fes­sion­al and pri­vate life. Here, in 1951, he grad­u­at­ed in chem­istry from the Fac­ul­ty of Math­e­mat­ics, Physics and Chem­istry of the Jagiel­lon­ian Uni­ver­si­ty. After grad­u­a­tion, he took posi­tion of a research assis­tant at the AGH Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy in Krakow, work­ing on physi­co-chem­i­cal prop­er­ties of tran­si­tion met­al oxides in the research group of Pro­fes­sor Adam Bielañs­ki. In his research, he demon­strat­ed a cor­re­la­tion between changes in their elec­tron prop­er­ties and cat­alyt­ic activ­i­ty (A.Bielañski, J. Dereñ, J. Haber, Nature 179 (1957) 668). This was one of the first exper­i­men­tal con­fir­ma­tions of the elec­tron the­o­ry of catal­y­sis in the world. His doc­tor­al the­sis ‘A rela­tion­ship between the elec­tric con­duc­tiv­i­ty of a work­ing cat­a­lyst and its cat­alyt­ic activ­i­ty’, accom­plished at the age of 26, con­cerned the same sub­ject.
In 1960–1961, he stayed as a post­doc­tor­al fel­low at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol, where he under­took with Pro­fes­sor F. S. Stone a pio­neer­ing at that time research on the inter­pre­ta­tion of pho­toad­sorp­tion and pho­to­catal­y­sis on the basis of the crys­tal field the­o­ry, the results of which have been quot­ed until today in the text­books and mono­graphs (J. Haber, F.S. Stone, Trans. Fara­day Soc. 59 (1963) 19).

On his return to Poland, he con­tin­ued his work at the AGH Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy until 1968 first as a research fel­low and then as an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor. He was an excel­lent lec­tur­er. His lec­tures on phys­i­cal chem­istry attract­ed crowds of stu­dents of var­i­ous depart­ments of the uni­ver­si­ty.

In 1968, he was appoint­ed direc­tor of an inde­pen­dent Lab­o­ra­to­ry of Catal­y­sis and Sur­face Chem­istry of Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences (since 1978, the Insti­tute). The Insti­tute was Jerzy Haber’s life accom­plish­ment. He mas­ter­mind­ed the con­cept of cre­at­ing a plat­form for a mutu­al exchange of ideas and research in the entire area of the phys­i­cal chem­istry of gas-sol­id, gas-liq­uid and sol­id-sol­id inter­faces. He stood behind the spec­tac­u­lar devel­op­ment of the Insti­tute which start­ed in a few rent­ed premis­es with 28 mem­bers of staff, includ­ing just 5 in catal­y­sis sen­su stricte, and attained dur­ing 30 years its own impres­sive build­ing, unique research equip­ment and almost 100 mem­bers of staff, includ­ing 15 pro­fes­sors and asso­ci­at­ed pro­fes­sors, spe­cial­is­ing in diverse aspects of catal­y­sis, sur­face chem­istry and col­loids. In spite of dif­fi­cult times of polit­i­cal­ly divid­ed Europe, the Insti­tute has become an ele­ment in the inter­na­tion­al research net­work, a place of free flow of ideas, open to con­tacts with the entire world, a true cen­tre of excel­lence in its area.

At the Insti­tute, Jerzy Haber ini­ti­at­ed and devel­oped broad research, both fun­da­men­tal and applied, in diverse areas of het­ero­ge­neous and homoge­nous catal­y­sis, as well as sol­id state chem­istry applied to catal­y­sis. In par­tic­u­lar, his research con­cerned oxide sys­tems – cat­a­lysts of the selec­tive oxi­da­tion process­es, as well as zeo­lites, cat­a­lysts based on met­al­lo-organ­ic com­plex­es, and cat­a­lysts used in the envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, to men­tion just the most impor­tant research direc­tions.

The inves­ti­ga­tions have led to the for­mu­la­tion of a the­o­ry of cat­alyt­ic oxi­da­tion of hydro­car­bons and have intro­duced into the world lit­er­a­ture the con­cept of elec­trophilic and nucle­ophilic oxi­da­tion. The clas­si­fi­ca­tion revealed a cor­re­la­tion between the cat­alyt­ic prop­er­ties of tran­si­tion met­al oxides and their struc­ture, and has become foun­da­tion of the sci­ence-based selec­tion of the cat­a­lysts. Pro­fes­sor Haber demon­strat­ed that the abil­i­ty of oxides of tran­si­tion met­als of groups V – VII to add selec­tive­ly oxy­gen atoms to the hydro­car­bon chain of an organ­ic mol­e­cule is linked with the phe­nom­e­non of crys­tal shear­ing. Inves­ti­ga­tions of sin­gle-crys­tal oxide cat­a­lysts have led to a gen­er­al con­clu­sion that the con­sec­u­tive ele­men­tary steps of the cat­alyt­ic reac­tion may pro­ceed on dif­fer­ent crys­tal faces (struc­ture-sen­si­tive reac­tions).

Jerzy Haber was first in the world to ini­ti­ate research on the descrip­tion of ele­men­tary steps of the reac­tion of cat­alyt­ic oxi­da­tion of hydro­car­bons using quan­tum chem­i­cal meth­ods. They revealed that the reac­tion path depends on the ori­en­ta­tion of react­ing mol­e­cules one with respect to anoth­er and to the cat­a­lyst sur­face which under­goes restruc­tur­ing.

The inves­ti­ga­tions on the homoge­nous reac­tions of hydro­car­bon oxi­da­tion with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of tran­si­tion met­al por­phyrins as mod­el cat­a­lysts, allowed reveal­ing role of the elec­tron struc­ture of tran­si­tion met­al ions as active cen­tres for these reac­tions, and for­mu­lat­ing the mech­a­nism of ini­ti­a­tion of the chain reac­tions and the chain devel­op­ment step.

Jerzy Haber was active­ly com­mit­ted to organ­is­ing research in Poland, among oth­er by coor­di­nat­ing the nation­al research pro­gramme in catal­y­sis. Since 1971 he was full pro­fes­sor in chem­i­cal sci­ences, since 1973 a cor­re­spond­ing mem­ber and since1983 a full mem­ber of the Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, since 1990 a mem­ber of the Pre­sid­i­um of the Acad­e­my, Pres­i­dent of the Krakow Branch of the Acad­e­my since 2003, a full mem­ber of the Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Arts and Sci­ences since 1991, the direc­tor of its Class of Math­e­mat­ics, Physics and Chem­istry, 1999–2008, a found­ing mem­ber of the Pol­ish Club of Catal­y­sis and its Pres­i­dent, 1992–2007, a mem­ber of Research Coun­cil to the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic, 1991–95, a mem­ber of the Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Research Degrees, 1975–81 and 2000-06, and a mem­ber of the Nation­al Coun­cil of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, 1991–2002. For his research and admin­is­tra­tive activ­i­ty, he was award­ed among oth­ers the doc­tor­ate hon­oris causa by the Marie Curie-Sklodows­ka Uni­ver­si­ty in Lublin, the Research Prize of the Prime Min­is­ter, the Com­man­der Cross with Star of the Order of Polo­nia Resti­tu­ta.

Excel­lent eru­di­tion, organ­i­sa­tion­al tal­ents, flu­en­cy in sev­er­al lan­guages, friend­ly atti­tude to all, final­ly ease in estab­lish­ing con­tacts and social skills made Jerzy Haber a val­ued mem­ber of many inter­na­tion­al bod­ies and a pop­u­lar lec­tur­er. He hold a num­ber of func­tions in inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions and organ­i­sa­tions: among oth­ers Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of Reac­tiv­i­ty of Solids, 1976–84, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion on Col­loid and Sur­face Chem­istry Includ­ing Catal­y­sis IUPAC, 1977–87, Pres­i­dent of the Sub­com­mit­tee of Cat­a­lysts Char­ac­ter­i­za­tion IUPAC, 1978–90, Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Coun­cil of Catal­y­sis, 1988–92 and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties, 1997–99. The French Chem­i­cal Soci­ety award­ed him the Pierre et Marie Curie Prize and the Ger­man Soci­ety of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and Biotech­nol­o­gy — the medal of Alwin Mit­tasch. He was doc­tor hon­oris causa of the Uni­ver­sité Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, mem­ber of the Acad­e­mia Euro­pea and the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ence of Ukraine. He received the Order of the Aca­d­e­m­ic Palms of the French Repub­lic.

Jerzy Haber was wide­ly acclaimed in Poland and world­wide as author of sci­en­tif­ic papers: he pub­lished near­ly 530 orig­i­nal papers and 6 books, received more than 50 patents, pre­sent­ed 115 ple­nary and invit­ed lec­tures at inter­na­tion­al con­gress­es. He super­vised 30 doc­tor­al projects and was mem­ber of edi­to­r­i­al boards of many sci­en­tif­ic jour­nals, includ­ing the most impor­tant ones for his research area: Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis (1976–82), Catal­y­sis Reviews, Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing (1976–85), Reac­tion Kinet­ics and Catal­y­sis Let­ters (od 1976), Jour­nal of Chem­i­cal Tech­nol­o­gy and Biotech­nol­o­gy (since 1979), Pol­ish Jour­nal of Applied Chem­istry (since 1979), Revue de Chimie Minerale/European Jour­nal of Sol­id State Chemistry/Solid State Sci­ences (since 1980), Applied Catal­y­sis (1981–84), Bul­letin of the Pol­ish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, Chem­i­cal Series (1981–2004), Reac­tiv­i­ty of Solids (1985–90), Catal­y­sis Let­ters (since 1987), Bul­letin des Sociétés Chim­iques Belges (1991–1997), Pol­ish Jour­nal of Chem­istry (1992–1996), Comptes Ren­dus de l’A­cad­e­mie de Sci­ences, Paris (since 1998).

Cit­i­zen of the world, invit­ed to con­gress­es and meet­ings to all cor­ners of the globe, vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor of the uni­ver­si­ties in Bel­gium, France, Japan and Cana­da, he remained dur­ing all his life close­ly linked to his native Poland and city of Krakow. Enthu­si­as­tic con­nois­seur of art and his­toric mon­u­ments, he ini­ti­at­ed at his Insti­tute mod­ern research on the dete­ri­o­ra­tion mech­a­nisms and pro­tec­tion of his­toric objects and sup­port­ed the activ­i­ties of the Coun­cil of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion in Krakow. A reg­u­lar con­cert- and art exhi­bi­tion-goer. From his trav­els all over the world, he was return­ing to his beau­ti­ful house in Krakow, gar­den, dogs, exquis­ite library, col­lec­tion of prints and maps, with a pro­fes­sion­al col­lec­tion of views of his city. Charm­ing host of social meet­ings, pos­sess­ing a rare tal­ent of lis­ten­ing to the oth­ers. He is sur­vived by his wife Han­na, an archi­tect and art-lover, a con­stant com­pan­ion in all his under­tak­ings.
Writ­ten by friends
Feb­ru­ary 2010