Gabor Somorjai named University Professor and receives National Metal of Science

Gabor Somorjai, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley (USA) has been named University Professor. He becomes only the 23rd individual in the entire University of California system to be honored with this prestigious title. Previous holders of this distinction include Glenn T. Seaborg and Melvin Calvin.

Gabor was also among a group of 15 recipients of the US National Metal of Science. This is the highest award for science and is presented by President Bush. As Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation, said in 1998 “These are superstars in their respective fields. They’ve contributed a lifetime of stunning discoveries. We can only recognize them once with a science medal, but we applaud them daily for their continual contributions to humankind, to the reservoir of scientific knowledge and for the impact they have on the students they mentor and educate along the way.”

2002 Catalysis Award of the Canadian Institute for Chemistry to Professor Michael Baird

CANADIAN CATALYSIS AWARD: The 2002 Catalysis Award of the Canadian Institute for Chemistry has been given to Professor Michael Baird of Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario. Sponsored by the Canadian Catalysis Foundation, this prize is given in even-numbered years to a researcher who has contributed to the advancement of catalysis in Canada. Michael Baird is an organometallic chemist who combines research in fundamental organo transition metal chemistry with applications to organic syntheses and catalysis. Most recently, Professor Baird has been exploring the utilization of metallocene-like organometallic compounds as homogeneous catalysts/initiators for olefin polymerization, which show interesting solvent-specifc stereochemical behavior, and a wide range of polymerization pathways for various monomer systems.

Call for papers: High throughput screening

High-Throughput Experimentation in Heterogeneous Catalysis: Synthesis, Surface Characterization and Performance Evaluation

2002 Fall ACS Meeting, August 18-22, 2002 Boston, MA

Call For Papers
Combinatorial techniques, which revolutionized the search for new drug molecules in the 1990s, have recently showed promise for the rapid development of functional inorganic materials, such as heterogeneous catalysts. This session will highlight recent developments in combinatorial heterogeneous catalysis. Both fundamental and applied studies will be included. Topics to be covered in the session include emerging methodologies for high-throughput automated catalyst synthesis and structural characterization, catalyst evaluation by kinetic screening employing mass-selective and spectroscopic techniques, data-handling and optimization routines which direct the search towards the global maximum of catalytic performance.

Submit abstracts via Online Abstract Submittal System at
Abstracts due date is April 15, 2002.

Please contact one of the following organizers for inquires and submissions:
Anne M. Gaffney
Rohm and Haas Co.
P.O. Box 904
727 Norristown Road
Spring House, PA 19477-0904
Tel: 215-619-5260
Fax: 215-619-1625
Vadim Guliants
University of Cincinnati
Dept. of Chem. Eng.
678 ERC (ML 171)
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0171
Tel: 513-556-0203
Fax: 513-556-3473
Israel E. Wachs
Lehigh University
Dept. Chem. Eng.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Tel: 610-758-4274
Fax: 610-758-5057

John Monnier awarded F. G. Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis

Dr. John Monnier [] of Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, TN has been awarded the 2002 F.G. Ciapetta Lectureship in Catalysis. This is one of 4 major awards for technical excellence the North American Catalysis Society provides every 2 years, and this award is cosponsored by the Davison Chemical Division of W.R. Grace & Company and The North American Catalysis Society. Dr. Monnier is being recognized for his pioneering work in catalysis research and process development on the epoxidation of butadiene and other non-allylic olefins with supported silver catalysts. This research has led to the identification of over 100 new applications for epoxybutene and its derivatives. In 1996, Eastman Chemical brought on line a 3 million lbs/yr plant to supply 5 new epoxybutene derivatives to the pharmaceutical and agricultural markets.

The Society administers this Lectureship. It is awarded biennially in even numbered years, and the Award consists of a plaque and an honorarium of $5,000. An additional $4,500 is available from the Society to cover traveling expenses. The honorarium is provided completely by Davison. Dr. Monnier is invited to (1) visit and lecture to each of the affiliated Clubs/Societies with which mutually satisfactory arrangements can be made and (2) prepare a review paper(s) for publication covering these Lectures.

Israel Wachs receives 2001 Clean Air Excellence Award

Professor Israel Wachs of Lehigh University’s Chemical Engineering Department has received a 2001 Clean Air Excellence Award. The EPA 2001 Clean Air Excellence Awards program honors outstanding, innovative efforts that help to make progress in achieving cleaner air. The research, sponsored by Georgia-Pacific Corp., has provided the pulp industry with a potentially profitable and innovative third alternative method of processing their waste gases. Using a new process and catalyst developed at Lehigh, the methyl alcohol and mercaptans can be converted to formaldehyde, a building-block chemical used for the adhesives, which find application in the plywood industry. [See or N. Moretti’s article in Pollution Engineering, Jan. 2002, pp 24-28]. The waste gases are simply processed through a plant, which is similar in design to a conventional formaldehyde plant that utilizes commercial-grade methyl alcohol as a feed material. The novel environmentally benign process was conceptually developed and experimentally proven on a laboratory scale (see US Patent Nos. 5,907,066 and 6,198,005 B1 to I.E. Wachs/Lehigh University). The pilot plant studies were performed at Georgia-Pacific’s Brunswick, GA pulp mill on the real industrial waste streams.

The Clean Air Excellence Awards [] Program, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Air and Radiation, was established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC). The CAAAC is a policy-level advisory group to the EPA. The Awards Program annually recognizes and honors outstanding, innovative efforts that help to make progress in achieving cleaner air.

The award criteria are: (1) the technology is commercially viable and can be widely applied, (2) the technology is cost-effective relative to other air pollution technologies that already exist and (3) the technology is developed at the prototype stage or beyond. In 2000, XononTM Cool Combustion System – Catalytica Combustion Systems, Inc. received an award for developing the XononTM Cool Combustion system to reduce nitrogen oxides by 90 percent. XononTM prevents the formation of nitrogen oxides before they can form and has been applied in Santa Clara, California in an industrial gas turbine.

In Memoriam: George C.A. Schuit (1910 – 2001)

George Schuit passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 9, 2001, at the blessed age of 91. He was a great scientist, an extremely friendly, generous, and inspiring person. After obtaining his PhD at the University of Leiden in 1938, George worked for 25 years at the Shell laboratories in Amsterdam, where he developed into one the pioneers of Dutch catalysis, and a leader of international stature. His research interests ranged from homogeneous to heterogeneous catalysis, from theoretical chemistry to spectroscopy, and from the molecular detail to the industrial application.

In 1961 he was appointed at the Eindhoven University of Technology to the chair of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, as the first professor in catalysis in the Netherlands. He supervised 22 PhD students and many more Masters students. His major fields of research were selective oxidation, hydrodesulfurization, and nitrogen fixation. Beginning in the early 1970’s, George began to spend a significant fraction of his time at the University of Delaware, and after his retirement from Eindhoven in 1976, he strengthened his commitment to Delaware, where he was influential in the start-up of a fledgling catalysis program that led to the establishment of the university’s Center for Catalytic Science and Technology in 1978. In Delaware, George collaborated extensively in research with numerous faculty and students, helped to start a short course, and worked with Jim Katzer and Bruce Gates to write the textbook “Chemistry of Catalytic Processes.” An annual lectureship in George’s honor was established in 1985; for many years, George was the honored guest at this lecture.

In the course of the eighties George and his wife returned to The Netherlands where they settled in Nuenen, just outside Eindhoven. In these years he came regularly to seminars and symposia in the University, but hardly in the laboratory. Modest as he was, he did not want to be in anyone’s way. We would have loved to see him more often to benefit from his experience and perspectives!

In 1989 Rutger van Santen – after Roel Prins, the second successor in Catalysis, who proceeded George at Eindhoven – founded an institute of catalysis, which served as the nucleation point for the Netherlands Institute of Catalysis Research (NIOK). The Eindhoven branch became the Schuit Institute of Catalysis, employing approximately 100 scientists and students and featuring twice per year the Schuit Lecture in Catalysis, with prominent speakers from all over the world. The major specialization of the Schuit Institute is the molecular description of catalysis aided by spectroscopy and theory, which is the field in George Schuit was a pioneer. This theme is also strongly in evidence in the work of the Delaware center. We are proud that George’s name is forever connected with catalysis research at Eindhoven and Delaware.

We will remember him as a pioneer of our profession, a great scientist of international caliber, and a wonderful and warm person, and an intellectual leader in catalysis.
Bruce Gates and Hans Niemantsverdriet

New York Club’s Award for Excellence in Catalysis


Presented by The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York


The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York is seeking nominations for its twenty-first annual “Award for Excellence in Catalysis.” The award, sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, consists of a plaque and a $1,200 gift. It is granted to an individual or a research team from North America to recognize outstanding contributions in either applied or basic research in either homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysis. Particular effort is made to identify worthy individuals or teams who have not received sufficient recognition for their work.

This award will bring due recognition to the recipient(s), and we appreciate your help in seeking first-rate candidates. We especially need to fortify our active nomination list! Nominations are solicited from anyone who is currently, or has been previously, active in the field of catalysis. Nominations previously submitted as well as new ones will remain active for a period of three years.

Those wishing to submit a nomination should write a letter of recommendation for the individual nominee or team, including pertinent biographical information and a specific description of the impact of the nominee’s achievements in catalysis. The maximum length of the letter should be no more than two pages. It may be accompanied by copies of no more than two items presenting important documentation, such as papers or patents.

Deadline for receipt of nominations is January 18, 2002.

Past Recipients of the Award

  • 1982 J.A. Rabo (Union Carbide)
  • 1983 K. Klier (Lehigh)
  • 1984 W. Kaeding, et al (Mobil)
  • 1985 A. Vannice (U. of Pennsylvania)
  • 1986 J. Lunsford (Texas A&M)
  • 1987 F.J. Karol, et al (Union Carbide)
  • 1988 S.J. Tauster (Engelhard)
  • 1989 Bruce C. Gates (Delaware)
  • 1990 W. Keith Hall (Pittsburgh)
  • 1991 N.Y. Chen (Mobil)
  • 1992 H.S. Gandi (Ford)
  • 1993 Gary L. Haller (Yale)
  • 1994 James A. Dumesic (Wisconsin)
  • 1995 Gary McVicker (Exxon)
  • 1996 Israel Wachs (Lehigh)
  • 1997 John Newsam (Molecular Simulations Inc)
  • 1998 Terry Baker (Northeastern)
  • 1999 Shun Fung (Exxon)
  • 2000 Henry C. Foley (Delaware)
  • 2001 J.F. Brazdil, et al (BP Chemical)

2002 Spring Symposium

Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York
Friday, April 26, 2002
Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey

The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan NY invites you to submit abstracts of papers for oral or poster presentation at the 2002 Spring Symposium. As a heading of the abstract please list the title, author(s) (underline the speaker) and affiliation. The length of the abstract should not exceed one page, single-spaced. Twenty minutes will be allotted for each oral presentation, followed by a ten-minute discussion period. Times will be strictly monitored so as to encourage a thorough discussion. In addition, two $125 awards will be given to the best student posters. All members are urged to reserve the date and participate in the Spring Symposium.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 1, 2002. You will be notified of consideration for the Symposium by February 22, 2002.

Those submitting an award nomination and/or paper(s)/poster(s) for consideration for the Spring Symposium should send or e-mail them to:
David Calabro
ExxonMobil Research & Engineering
1545 Route 22 East
Annandale, NJ 08801

Newly available Pilot Plant Facilities and Services

World-Class Pilot Plant Facilities and Services Now Available To Global Refining and Process Industries.

ChevronTexaco Global Technology Services Company (Globe Tech), an entity of ChevronTexaco Corporation and ITS Caleb Brett Corp., have entered into an agreement in October 2001 to provide clients in the refining and process industries use of Globe Tech’s pilot plant facility located in Richmond, California.

ChevronTexaco Corp., through Globe Tech, operates the pilot plant to evaluate catalysts in a variety of refinery processes. The adaptable and flexible design of the pilot plant offers the ability to test many other reaction-based processes. The facility features large-scale distillation capabilities, feedstock preparation and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Through the agreement, ITS Caleb Brett offers and Globe Tech provides pilot plant capabilities for catalytic, reaction, separation, purification, batch scale, continuous process, fluidized catalytic cracking, fixed-bed catalytic processing, small scale synthesis, proof of concept, isothermal, adiabatic, liquid and gas recycling processes and more.

For More Information, please contact:
Erik Holladay
ITS Caleb Brett
Global Alliance Services
5051 Westheimer, Suite 1700
Houston, Texas 77056
Tel: 713.407.3500 USA
Steven Sciamanna
ChevronTexaco Global Technology Services Co.
100 Chevron Way
Richmond, CA 94802
Tel. 510.242.5075 USA
November 12, 2001
Richmond, California USA Houston, Texas USA Madrid, Spain

Nominations for Herman Pines Award

The Catalysis Club of Chicago is soliciting nominations for the Herman Pines Award 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. The award will be presented annually at the Spring Symposium of the Catalysis Club of Chicago. The recipient will receive a cash award of $1,000 and reimbursement for travel and lodging as a plenary speaker at the Spring Symposium.

Past Herman Pines Award winners

  • 1999 Professor Harold Kung (Northwestern University)
  • 2000 Dr. John Monnier (Eastman Chemical Company)
  • 2001 Professor Lanny Schmidt (University of Minnesota)

A committee appointed by the Executive Committee of the Catalysis Club of Chicago will choose the recipient based on the following criteria:

  • Importance of catalysis research completed in the past five years.
  • Alternation of the award between industrial and academic/national laboratory researchers.
  • Recipient must be a resident of North America.

For the award to be given in 2002, nominations for AN INDUSTRIAL RESEARCHER are sought by December 31, 2001. Nominations should describe the specific work for which the nominee should be recognized. Please send your nomination either through Internet Nomination Form or directly via regular mail by the deadline to:
Dr. Paul T. Barger
President of the Chicago Catalysis Club
UOP Research Center
50 East Algonquin Road
Des Plaines, IL 60017-5016 (E-mail)
(847) 391-3729 (Phone)
(847) 391-3724 (Fax)
The recipient will be notified in February of 2002, and the award address will take place at the Spring Symposium in May of 2002.

Multiple ACS Awards for Catalysis Research

Once again, several of the 2002 ACS awards were given to those working in catalysis.

ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis sponsored by Shell Oil Foundation, Jack H. Lunsford, Texas A&M University. …for innovative applications of spectroscopic techniques to the characterization of solid catalysts and to the elucidation of catalytic reaction mechanisms.

ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry, Bipin V. Vora, UOP, LLC, Des Plaines, IL. …for contributions to breakthrough technologies in key petrochemical industries and for your leadership in two major commercial developments: new selective process for the production of propylene and isobutylene by catalytic dehydrogenation and new catalytic processes critical for the production of linear alkyl benzene based detergents.

Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry sponsored by Occidental Petroleum Corporation, D. Wayne Goodman,Texas A&M University. …for his innovative research that has helped bridge the gap between surface science and catalysis, and for his leadership role in a large number of councils that have significantly influenced the direction of surface chemistry.

Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, to Kurt W. Swogger, The Dow Chemical Company, Polyolefins and Elastomers Research and Development, Freeport, TX. …for his leadership in the development and commercialization of Dow INSITE*Technology which profoundly changed the course and growth of the global polyolefin industry.

Arthur C. Cope Award sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund, Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology. …for his invention of new transition metal catalysts that have made a major impact on the fields of organic chemistry and materials science.

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards sponsored by the Arthur C. Cope Fund, Xumu Zhang, The Pennsylvania State University; …for his invention of a toolbox of chiral ligands and his development of homogeneous catalysts that enable practical syntheses of many chiral molecules, especially ones having biological significance.

E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and ExxonMobil Chemical Company, George R. Lester, Allied Signal, Inc. (retired). …for his extraordinary contributions to catalytic science and technology and especially for his innovations in environmental control catalysts for automobiles, turbine engines and work places.

George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry sponsored by the George A. Olah Endowment, Gary B. McVicker, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. …for his many contributions to the fundamental understanding of the catalytic transformations of petroleum derived hydrocarbons.