In Memoriam: Wolfgang Sachtler (1924–2017)

Wolfgang SachtlerThe catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty mourns the loss of one of its for­ma­tive and most influ­en­tial fig­ures, Pro­fes­sor Dr. Wolf­gang Max Hugo Sachtler, who passed away on Jan­u­ary 8, 2017. Born on Novem­ber 8, 1924 in Delitzsch, Ger­many, Pro­fes­sor Sachtler received his PhD from the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty Braun­schweig (Brunswick), Ger­many in 1952, in the area of sur­face sci­ence. Upon grad­u­a­tion, he joined the Roy­al Dutch Shell Lab­o­ra­to­ry in Ams­ter­dam where he stayed until retire­ment as Direc­tor of Fun­da­men­tal Research in 1983. From 1963–84, he held a joint appoint­ment as Pro­fes­sor at the Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty in Lei­den. He was par­tic­u­lar­ly known for his insight­ful appli­ca­tion of sur­face sci­ence con­cepts to catal­y­sis. While at Shell and Lei­den, he advanced the con­cept of rela­tion­ship between met­al-oxy­gen bond ener­gy and the selec­tiv­i­ty for par­tial oxi­da­tion prod­ucts in hydro­car­bon oxi­da­tions, ini­ti­at­ed insight­ful dis­cus­sions on whether mol­e­c­u­lar or atom­ic oxy­gen is nec­es­sary for selec­tive epox­i­da­tion of eth­yl­ene, applied ther­mo­dy­nam­ics and exper­i­men­tal mea­sure­ments to met­al alloys to account for the effects of the sur­face com­po­si­tions of alloys to their bind­ing of adsor­bates, and pro­mot­ed the descrip­tion of bimetal­lic catal­y­sis in terms of ensem­ble and lig­and effects.
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Nominations are open for the Herman Pines Award in Catalysis

Sponsored by UOP and the Catalysis Club of Chicago

 

Herman Pines

Her­man Pines

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 co-spon­sored by UOP, where Her­man Pines began his indus­tri­al career in 1930 and amassed 145 US Patents, and by the Catal­y­sis Club of Chica­go of which
Her­man Pines was a found­ing mem­ber.
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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.