Catal­y­sis Researcher is the recipient of the 2016 AIChE Wilhelm Award

ISRAEL E. WACHS, the G. Whit­ney Sny­der Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing at Lehigh Uni­ver­sity, is the recip­i­ent of the 2016 R. H. Wil­helm Award from the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers (AIChE). The award “rec­og­nizes an individual’s sig­nif­i­cant and new con­tri­bu­tions in chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing.” Wachs was rec­og­nized for “sem­i­nal con­tri­bu­tions towards devel­op­ment of inno­v­a­tive con­cepts for mol­e­c­u­lar chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing of mixed oxide cat­alyzed reac­tions by estab­lish­ing fun­da­men­tal mol­e­c­u­lar cat­a­lyst structure-activity kinetic relationships.”

The R. H. Wil­helm Award, spon­sored by Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Com­pany, is con­sid­ered the top award in chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing given by the AIChE. Wachs was for­mally rec­og­nized for this award at the Awards Cer­e­mony held at the AIChE Annual Meet­ing (Novem­ber 13–18, 2016) in San Fran­cisco, CA.

More infor­ma­tion about the award can be found here:
http://www.lehigh.edu/engineering/news/faculty/2016/20161114-aiche-wilhem-award-israel-wachs.html

Suljo Linic is the recipient of the 2017 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis

suljo-linicWe are pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Suljo Linic of the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan is the recip­i­ent of the 2017 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis, spon­sored by W.R. Grace & Co. and admin­is­tered by The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety. The Award con­sists of a plaque and an hon­o­rar­ium of $5,000. The plaque will be pre­sented dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 25th NAM meet­ing in Den­ver. Pro­fes­sor Linic will also present a ple­nary lec­ture dur­ing the conference.

The Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis is given in recog­ni­tion of sub­stan­tial 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. More infor­ma­tion on this award and the award process can be found at: http://nacatsoc.org/awards/emmett/

The award rec­og­nizes Pro­fes­sor Linic for ground­break­ing con­tri­bu­tions at the inter­face of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, sur­face chem­istry, nanoscience, and com­pu­ta­tional catal­y­sis. These include his work in plasmon-driven catal­y­sis that has opened new ways to intro­duce energy into chem­i­cally react­ing sys­tems, his com­bined use of exper­i­men­tal and the­o­ret­i­cal approaches to advance mol­e­c­u­lar under­stat­ing of epox­i­da­tion catal­y­sis as well as his devel­op­ment of pre­dic­tive structure-performance rela­tion­ships for metal alloys that has led to the design of novel alloy cat­a­lysts for elec­tro­chem­i­cal oxy­gen reduc­tion and hydro­car­bon oxi­da­tion reac­tions.
 
Bruce R. Cook
Vice Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

2016 CRE Practice Award winner is Stacey Zones

 s_i_zonesThe Catal­y­sis and Reac­tion Engi­neer­ing Divi­sion Lead­er­ship and Board of Direc­tors would like to con­grat­u­late the CRE Divi­sion award recip­i­ents announced at the 2016 AIChE Annual Meet­ing in San Fran­cisco. The CRE cur­rently pro­vides three awards: The Prac­tice Award, Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Travel Awards, and Poster Pre­sen­ta­tion Awards.

The 2016 CRE Prac­tice Award win­ner is Stacey I. Zones, Research Fel­low with Chevron Energy and Tech­nol­ogy Com­pany. This award rec­og­nizes indi­vid­u­als who have made pio­neer­ing con­tri­bu­tions to indus­trial prac­tice of catal­y­sis and chem­i­cal reac­tion engineering.

More infor­ma­tion on the awards can be found at the CRE divi­sion web­site here: http://www.aiche.org/community/divisions/catalysis-and-reaction-engineering-division-cre

Jeffery Bricker is named the recipient of the 2017 Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North American Catalysis Society

jeffery_brickerDr. Jef­fery Bricker, Senior Direc­tor of Research at Hon­ey­well UOP is the recip­i­ent of the 2017 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 25th North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety to be held in Den­ver, CO, June 4–9, 2017. The Award Ple­nary lec­ture will also be pre­sented dur­ing this meeting.

Dr. Bricker’s achieve­ments include the dis­cov­ery of key reac­tion mech­a­nisms in thiol oxi­da­tion chem­istry in refin­ery fuels, lead­ing to the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of an oxi­da­tion cat­a­lyst that func­tions in the absence of caus­tic. He also invented new light paraf­fin dehy­dro­gena­tion cat­a­lysts with supe­rior dif­fu­sional prop­er­ties, that is cur­rently used in more than 60 per­cent of world­wide on-demand capac­ity. He invented and devel­oped a very selec­tive and sta­ble cat­a­lyst for the oxi­da­tion of hydro­gen for inter-stage reheat­ing in eth­yl­ben­zene dehy­dro­gena­tion for com­mer­cial styrene pro­duc­tion. Finally, Dr. Bricker and his team used dif­fu­sion con­trol to improve the dehy­dro­gena­tion tech­nol­ogy for pro­duc­tion of lin­ear alkyl ben­zenes (LAB), which are the pre­cur­sors for biodegrad­able deter­gents. LAB is pro­duced by selec­tive dehy­dro­gena­tion of lin­ear C10 to C15 alka­nes into lin­ear mono-alkenes fol­lowed by alky­la­tion with ben­zene. This new cat­a­lyst tech­nol­ogy reduces by-product heavy alky­late by 20 per­cent and is used to pro­duce more than 80 per­cent of the world’s LAB.

Bricker received a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Math­e­mat­ics and Chem­istry from Hei­del­berg Uni­ver­sity in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Chem­istry from The Ohio State Uni­ver­sity in 1983. Jeff’s inno­va­tions and 61 US patents have been rec­og­nized with sev­eral awards includ­ing the 2011 ACS National Award for Cre­ative Inven­tion; the UOP Stine Star Award, given for the best break­through of the year; Spe­cialty Mate­ri­als Growth and Inno­va­tion Award and the 2015 Hon­ey­well Dis­tin­guished Tech­nol­o­gist Award, given for out­stand­ing tech­ni­cal con­tri­bu­tions over the course of a career. He fre­quently lec­tures on catal­y­sis glob­ally and was the 2008 Devon W. Meek Lec­turer.
 
Enrique Igle­sia
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

Obituary for Professor Khi-Rui Tsai

Pro­fes­sor Khi-Rui Tsai, a promi­nent pro­fes­sor of Xia­men Uni­ver­sity and a mem­ber of Chi­nese Acad­emy of Sci­ences, passed away peace­fully on Octo­ber 3rd 2016 in Xia­men at his age of 104.

Pro­fes­sor Tsai is a famous phys­i­cal chemist and catal­y­sis sci­en­tist. He is a pio­neer of coor­di­na­tion catal­y­sis and mol­e­c­u­lar catal­y­sis in China. In 1960s, he devel­oped the­o­ret­i­cal con­cepts of catal­y­sis by coor­di­na­tion acti­va­tion, and applied the prin­ci­ples of coor­di­na­tion catal­y­sis to cor­re­late sev­eral types of homo­ge­neous catal­y­sis, het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis and metallo-enzyme catal­y­sis sys­tems. In 1970s, he and Prof. Jia-Xi Lu pro­posed inde­pen­dently, from dif­fer­ent approaches, essen­tially sim­i­lar cluster-structural mod­els of Mo-nitrogenase active cen­ters and multi-nuclear coor­di­na­tion acti­va­tion of var­i­ous types of known sub­strates of nitro­ge­nase. Pro­fes­sor Tsai led a team at Xia­men Uni­ver­sity with an aim to bridge the gap between enzyme catal­y­sis and het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis since 1970s. He and his co-workers sys­tem­at­i­cally car­ried out com­par­a­tive stud­ies on the mod­els of active cen­ters and reac­tion mech­a­nisms for nitro­ge­nase enzymes and for het­ero­ge­neous ammonia-synthesis cat­a­lysts. The team also stud­ied the effects of ionic pro­mot­ers in N2 hydro­gena­tion to ammo­nia and CO hydro­gena­tion to methanol and ethanol. Pro­fes­sor Tsai pro­posed a unique mech­a­nism for the direct con­ver­sion of syn­gas to ethanol. Up to 1997, Pro­fes­sor Tsai pub­lished more than 200 research arti­cles. He got three times the State Nat­ural Sci­ence Award owing to his out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to catal­y­sis sci­ence. In 1999, he was awarded the He-Liang-He-Li Foun­da­tion Award for Progress in Sci­ence and Technology.

In addi­tion to the sci­en­tific activ­ity, Pro­fes­sor Tsai also served as a mem­ber of the 3rd national com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese People’s Polit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence, the deputy to the 3rd, 4th and 5th National People’s Con­gress and a mem­ber of the Aca­d­e­mic Degree Com­mis­sion of the State Coun­cil. He was the vice pres­i­dent of Xia­men Uni­ver­sity and the direc­tor of the Sci­en­tific Aca­d­e­mic Com­mit­tee of Xia­men Uni­ver­sity. Pro­fes­sor Tsai also served as a coun­cil mem­ber of Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties (IACS). Pro­fes­sor Tsai is also a big edu­ca­tor. He was a remark­able ambas­sador for Xia­men Uni­ver­sity and a shin­ing exam­ple of what all edu­ca­tors should aspire to be. He imbued his stu­dents with firm ideals and beliefs, pro­vided them with a strong moral com­pass, guided them using his incred­i­ble wealth of knowl­edge, and treated them all with benevolence.

Pro­fes­sor Tsai’s pass­ing is a mas­sive loss not only to Xia­men Uni­ver­sity but also to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity in China. Pro­fes­sor Tsai will be greatly missed by his fam­ily, friends, col­leagues, stu­dents and those who work in catal­y­sis field.

Gary L. Haller is the recipient of the 2016 NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis

gary-hallerI am pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Gary L. Haller has been selected as the recip­i­ent of the 2016 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 to Pro­fes­sor Haller dur­ing the 2017 NAM in Denver.

This award acknowl­edges Pro­fes­sor Haller’s com­mit­ment to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity and his self­less ded­i­ca­tion to the advance­ment of the field. He has served as a teacher and researcher, as a car­ing men­tor of stu­dents and younger fac­ulty, and as a warmly regarded aca­d­e­mic leader. Gary Haller has served the com­mu­nity in many key lead­er­ship posi­tions through­out his career. His roles as Edi­tor of the Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis and as Gen­eral Chair­man of the 11th Inter­na­tional Con­gress on Catal­y­sis brought vision, effec­tive plan­ning, and sen­si­tiv­ity to the many con­stituen­cies served and left a last­ing impact and an endur­ing exam­ple of ser­vice in our com­mu­nity. He served as Pres­i­dent and Vice-President of The Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, as well as a mem­ber of its Board of Direc­tors. He has been a mem­ber of the board of edi­tors and edi­to­r­ial boards for Amer­i­can Sci­en­tist, Catal­y­sis Reviews, Jour­nal of Catal­y­sis, Catal­y­sis Let­ters, Reac­tion Kinet­ics and Catal­y­sis Let­ters, and Jour­nal of Mol­e­c­u­lar Catal­y­sis A: Chem­i­cal. He has been the Chair of the Gor­don Research Con­fer­ence on Catal­y­sis and of the Divi­sion of Col­loid and Sur­face Chem­istry of the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. In these roles, through his vision and exam­ple, he has served as a role model for those who fol­lowed him in such roles.

His tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments and those of his aca­d­e­mic prog­eny have been widely rec­og­nized for bring­ing new under­stand­ing about how sup­ports influ­ence the reac­tiv­ity of dis­persed metal par­ti­cles and how struc­ture affects the behav­ior of acid sites in oxides. His work has advanced, con­cep­tu­ally and prac­ti­cally, our under­stand­ing of the cat­alytic prop­er­ties of car­bon nan­otubes. He has been a pio­neer in har­ness­ing the power of spec­tro­scopic meth­ods for the ben­e­fit of cat­alytic under­stand­ing. For these con­tri­bu­tions he has been rec­og­nized with the Bur­well Lec­ture­ship (Catal­y­sis Soci­ety) Nether­lands Insti­tute for Catal­y­sis Research Lec­ture­ship, the Lacey Lec­ture­ship (Cal­tech), the Ipati­eff Pro­fes­sor­ship (North­west­ern), the Harry Fair Lec­ture­ship (Okla­homa), the Yale Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing Asso­ci­a­tion Award for Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice, the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of Met­ro­pol­i­tan New York Award for Excel­lence in Catal­y­sis, the George C. A. Schuit Lec­ture­ship (Delaware).

On behalf of our mem­bers, we con­vey warm con­grat­u­la­tions to Pro­fes­sor Gary Haller along with our grat­i­tude for his con­tri­bu­tions and for his exam­ple.
 
Enrique Igle­sia
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety
 
Bruce Cook
Vice Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

Johannes Lercher and David Milstein receive 2016 ENI Awards for catalysis research

The 2016 Eni Award prizes will be pre­sented on 20 Octo­ber dur­ing an offi­cial cer­e­mony at the Palazzo del Quiri­nale in Rome.

The New Fron­tiers in Hydro­car­bons – Down­stream prize has ben awarded to Pro­fes­sor Johannes Lercher, from the Tech­ni­cal University-Munich, for his research project Novel cat­alytic strate­gies to Alkenes and Alkanols.

The Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Prize has been awarded to Pro­fes­sor David Mil­stein, from the Weiz­mann Insti­tute of Science-Israel, for the research project Novel, Envi­ron­men­tally Friendly, Effi­cient Cat­alytic Reac­tions to Replace Pol­lut­ing Processes.
 

Travel Award for Attending 16th International Congress on Catalysis

The North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety will pro­vide sup­ple­men­tal fund­ing for sup­port of atten­dance at the 16th Inter­na­tional Con­gress on Catal­y­sis (16th ICC) to be held in Bei­jing, China, July 3–8, 2016. Fund­ing for this pro­gram has been pro­vided by fed­eral agen­cies (NSF, DOE) and indus­try (Exxon­Mo­bil, UOP). These funds will be used to pro­vide par­tial reim­burse­ment of travel, lodg­ing and reg­is­tra­tion expenses for atten­dees with pri­or­ity given to:

  1. Fac­ulty mem­bers in their first four years of appoint­ment to ladder-rank posi­tions and cur­rently active in catal­y­sis research at U.S. institutions.
  2. Post­doc­toral and grad­u­ate stu­dent pre­sent­ing oral or poster con­tri­bu­tions at the 16th ICC.
  3. Invited chairs of ses­sion at the 16th ICC meeting.
  4. Other appli­cants, as funds permit.

Appli­ca­tions should be sub­mit­ted to Pro­fes­sor Jing­guang Chen (NACS Director-at-Large, and coor­di­na­tor of this grant pro­gram) no later than May 15, 2016 in elec­tronic form (jgchen@columbia.edu). This appli­ca­tion should be no longer than one page and include your qual­i­fi­ca­tions in the con­text of items 1–3 listed above.

This one-page appli­ca­tion should clearly state:

  1. Your posi­tion, includ­ing years in present posi­tion and activ­ity in catal­y­sis research since 2011 (num­bers of pub­li­ca­tions and patents in the catal­y­sis area). Please indi­cate if your aca­d­e­mic research group is cur­rently funded by DOE-BES or NSF
  2. Your accepted pre­sen­ta­tion in the 16th ICC (title, ses­sion, and oral or poster venue. Include accep­tance let­ter as a sec­ond page).
  3. Ses­sions that you are chair­ing (include invi­ta­tion to chair as a sec­ond page).
  4. Any other data that the selec­tion panel should con­sider. The selec­tion com­mit­tee will be proac­tive in encour­ag­ing diver­sity in sup­port of atten­dees to the 16th ICC meeting.

The panel deci­sion will be com­mu­ni­cated to all appli­cants no later than May 25, 2016 via email. Orig­i­nal receipts will be required for reim­burse­ment and travel must be booked via U.S. car­ri­ers.

In Memoriam: Juan F. Garcia de la Banda (1921–2015)

Juan_F_Garcia_de_la_BandaJuan Fran­cisco Gar­cía de la Banda was born in Madrid (Spain) in 1921. He stud­ied Chem­istry and Math­e­mat­ics in the Uni­ver­si­ties of Val­ladolid, Oviedo and Madrid, com­plet­ing his Bach­e­lor Degree in 1943. In 1948 he pre­sented his PhD dis­ser­ta­tion (“Rela­tion between calorific con­duc­tiv­ity and vapor pres­sure of high boil­ing point sub­stances”) super­vised by Pro­fes­sors Foz-Gazulla and Colom­ina and car­ried out at the Insti­tuto de Química Física “Roca­solano” (IQFR) of the Span­ish Coun­cil for Sci­en­tific Research (CSIC).

He stud­ied in Bris­tol between 1951 and 1952 with Pro­fes­sor William E. Gar­ner with Dr. Den­nis A. Dow­den at the Catal­y­sis Group at ICI. After­wards, he returned to Spain, within the frame­work of the IQFR and founded the “Lab­o­ra­tory on Catal­y­sis”, which became the birth­place of the Insti­tuto de Catáli­sis y Petroleo­química (ICP) in 1975. He was the first Direc­tor of the ICP and the indi­vid­ual most respon­si­ble for enhanc­ing the scope and qual­ity of research in catal­y­sis and bio­catal­y­sis in Spain.

He par­tic­i­pated in the First Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Catal­y­sis (ICC) held in Philadel­phia in 1956 and main­tained per­sonal and pro­fes­sional links with many U.S. catal­y­sis researchers, espe­cially through his per­sonal friend­ship with Dr. Heinz Heine­mann through­out their careers. He pro­posed and orga­nized the 1st Iberoamer­i­can Sym­po­sium on Catal­y­sis, held in Madrid in 1968, the first in a series that will cel­e­brate its 25th edi­tion this year in Montevideo.

Pro­fes­sor Gar­cia de la Banda served in sev­eral influ­en­tial posi­tions within the research and devel­op­ment and sci­en­tific struc­ture at the high­est lev­els in the gov­ern­ment of Spain. He is with­out doubt the most influ­en­tial and impact­ful pro­moter of catal­y­sis research in Spain in the 20th cen­tury and the key indi­vid­ual in the for­ma­tive years of the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity in Spain.
His pres­ence and his sage advice will be missed.
 
Dr. Enrique Sas­tre
Vice-Director, Insti­tuto de Catáli­sis y Petroleo­química, CSIC,
Madrid, Spain.