Hajo Freund of the Fritz Haber Institute has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis

HajoFreundWe are pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Hans Joachim Fre­und of the Fritz Haber Insti­tute is the recip­i­ent of the 2015 Michel Boudart for the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis, spon­sored by the Hal­dor Top­søe Com­pany and admin­is­tered jointly by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties. The Award will be pre­sented at the 24th North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety (Pitts­burgh, June 2015) and at Europacat XII (Kazan, Rus­sia, August 2015).

This Award rec­og­nizes and encour­ages indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions to the elu­ci­da­tion of the mech­a­nism and active sites involved in cat­alytic phe­nom­ena and to the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods or con­cepts that advance the under­stand­ing and the prac­tice of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. It is meant to rec­og­nize indi­vid­u­als who bring together the rigor and the inter­na­tional impact that exem­pli­fied the accom­plish­ments and the career of Pro­fes­sor Michel Boudart.

Pro­fes­sor Hajo Fre­und is being specif­i­cally rec­og­nized for his ground­break­ing exper­i­men­tal advances in under­stand­ing ele­men­tary steps of reac­tions on cat­alytic sur­faces and for his stud­ies bridg­ing rel­e­vant catal­y­sis and sur­face reac­tions at sin­gle crys­tal sur­faces through the use of novel model cat­a­lysts with well-controlled struc­tural fea­tures. His research group has syn­the­sized a broad range of rel­e­vant mate­ri­als, such as oxides of Al, Si, Ce, Ca, and V, use­ful as active mate­ri­als or sup­ports, with geo­met­ric and elec­tronic struc­tures, includ­ing sur­face defects, probed at the atomic level using tun­nel­ing and atomic force microscopy tech­niques. His work has estab­lished the state-of-the-art in new tech­niques and instru­men­ta­tion and in the use of rel­e­vant model sys­tems to estab­lish mech­a­nis­tic path­ways and struc­tural and elec­tronic require­ments in het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. One exam­ple involves the first imple­men­ta­tion of elec­tron spin res­o­nance to sin­gle crys­tals, which has enabled the mon­i­tor­ing of the for­ma­tion and reac­tions of rad­i­cal species derived from adsor­bates and metal nanopar­ti­cles on well-defined sur­faces. His stud­ies of sup­ported metal nanopar­ti­cles (Pd, Au) have led to unprece­dented insights into how sup­ports influ­ence the geo­met­ric and elec­tronic prop­er­ties and how dopants influ­ence the bind­ing prop­er­ties of such nanopar­ti­cles, even when dopants reside below sup­port sur­faces, through dopant-induced polarons that strongly influ­ence oxy­gen acti­va­tion. Recently, his group suc­cess­fully pre­pared hexag­o­nal SiO2 dou­ble lay­ers, which allowed the first direct obser­va­tion of the atomic struc­ture of amor­phous sil­ica using tun­nel­ing and atomic force microscopy and the syn­the­sis of a two-dimensional zeo­lite with bridg­ing hydroxyl struc­tures, such as those present in chabazite frame­works.
 
Enrique Igle­sia
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety
 
Johannes Lercher
Pres­i­dent, Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Societies

Christophe COPÉRET is the recipient of the 2015 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis

Coperet_ChristopheWe are pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Christophe COPÉRET of the Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Applied Bio­sciences ETH Zürich is the recip­i­ent of the 2015 Paul H. Emmett Award in Fun­da­men­tal Catal­y­sis, spon­sored by the Grace Cat­a­lyst Tech­nolo­gies oper­at­ing seg­ment of 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 24th NAM meet­ing in Pitts­burgh. Pro­fes­sor COPÉRET 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.

The award rec­og­nizes the con­tri­bu­tions of Pro­fes­sor Christophe COPÉRET to the prepa­ra­tion of well-defined het­ero­ge­neous cat­a­lysts through a mol­e­c­u­lar approach based on the con­trolled func­tion­al­iza­tion of sur­faces and the atomic descrip­tion of the sur­face species and active sites, in par­tic­u­lar via solid-state NMR spec­troscopy. This approach has allowed a detailed under­stand­ing of the struc­ture of active sites and of the reac­tion mech­a­nism of cat­alytic processes, such as olefin metathe­sis and poly­mer­iza­tion, thereby pro­vid­ing access to structure–activity rela­tion­ships and to ratio­nal cat­a­lyst design.
 
Enrique Igle­sia
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety
 
Bruce R. Cook
Vice Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Society

In Memoriam: Theodore A. Koch (1925 – 2014)

Theodore KochDr. Theodore A. Koch, 88, a retired DuPont research sci­en­tist passed away peace­fully at his home in Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware on Sep­tem­ber 13, 2014.

A native of upstate New York, Koch stud­ied chem­istry at St. Michael’s Col­lege in Burling­ton, VT and the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in Philadel­phia, PA, earn­ing his Ph.D. in chem­istry in 1952. He joined the DuPont Co. ulti­mately retir­ing from its Nylon busi­ness unit as a DuPont Fel­low after 48 years of ser­vice. An author­ity on het­ero­ge­neous cat­a­lysts, Koch spent his entire career devel­op­ing chem­i­cal processes and bring­ing them from the bench­top to com­mer­cial­iza­tion with marked cre­ativ­ity and tenacity.

Notable tech­ni­cal accom­plish­ments in Koch’s career included devel­op­ing a new cat­a­lyst for nitrous oxide destruc­tion (an ozone-depletion byprod­uct from Nylon man­u­fac­ture), devel­op­ment of a new process for hydro­gen cyanide man­u­fac­ture and improve­ments to many poly­mer inter­me­di­ates processes. Koch received the award for Excel­lence in Cat­alytic Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy from the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia in 1994 and the Lavoisier Medal for Tech­ni­cal Excel­lence from the DuPont Co. in 1998. His exter­nal roles included adjunct Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware; pres­i­dent of the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia; and mem­ber­ship in the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers, the Organic Reac­tions Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, and the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. He held 29 patents and co-authored 18 jour­nal arti­cles and one text­book on catal­y­sis enti­tled, “Cat­a­lyst Manufacture.”

Koch is sur­vived by his wife of 62 years, Anne, his five chil­dren, five grand­chil­dren and extended fam­ily. His mem­ory lives on through the Theodore A. Koch Fund that will rec­og­nize and reward Delaware Val­ley achieve­ments in catal­y­sis research. Char­i­ta­ble dona­tions may be made to the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia, Ted Koch Fund, c/o Stephen Har­ris, Trea­surer, Ren­matix, 660 Allen­dale Road, King of Prus­sia, PA 19406.

Dr. Anne Gaffney is named the recipient of the 2015 Eugene J. Houdry Award of the North American Catalysis Society

Gaffney AnneAnne Gaffney is the recip­i­ent of the 2015 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 24th North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety to be held in Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­va­nia on June 14–19, 2015. The Award Ple­nary lec­ture will also be pre­sented dur­ing this meeting.

Anne Gaffney is being rec­og­nized for out­stand­ing achieve­ments in catal­y­sis as described below: (1) Devel­op­ment of improved rhodium based hydro­formy­la­tion cat­a­lyst for butane­diol (BDO) syn­the­sis from propy­lene oxide; (2) Devel­op­ment of mod­i­fied zeo­lite cat­a­lyst for Super­flex process for con­ver­sion of inex­pen­sive HC feeds such as naph­tha to valu­able light olefins which has been com­mer­cial­ized in 2007; (3) Devel­op­ment of Alky­Clean™ process and a new zeolite-based bimetal­lic cat­a­lyst for the alky­la­tion of C3-C5 olefins with isobu­tane, which has been com­mer­cial­ized in 2013. Her other note­wor­thy achieve­ments include devel­op­ment of new cat­a­lysts based on pro­moted lan­thanide oxides for methane con­ver­sion to eth­yl­ene by oxida­tive cou­pling; inven­tion of a new direct propy­lene oxide (PO) cat­a­lyst for the selec­tive oxi­da­tion of propy­lene with mol­e­c­u­lar oxy­gen; devel­op­ment of new cat­alytic sys­tems for the par­tial oxi­da­tion of methane to syn­gas at the mil­lisec­ond con­tact time; inven­tion of new mixed metal oxide cat­a­lysts for the selec­tive oxi­da­tion of propane to acrylic acid and the oxida­tive dehy­dro­gena­tion of alka­nes to olefins.

She received a Ph.D. in phys­i­cal organic chem­istry from Uni­ver­sity of Delaware in 1981, and a B.A. in chem­istry and math­e­mat­ics from Mount Holyoke Col­lege in 1976. Hav­ing worked at ARCO, DuPont, Rohm and Haas, and Lum­mus in var­i­ous R&D and lead­er­ship roles, she has been a most pro­lific inven­tor and an author with 233 patent/patent appli­ca­tions and 94 pub­li­ca­tions (plus 2 book chap­ters and 2 books edited) as well as 96 pre­sen­ta­tions or sem­i­nars. She has received many awards such as the ACS Award in Indus­trial Chem­istry in 2013, ACS Fel­low in 2010, the Trib­ute to Women in Indus­try Award in 2007, and the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia Award in 1999.

In Memoriam: Helmut Knözinger (1935–2014)

KnoezingerHel­mut Knözinger passed away at his home in Munich on Jan­u­ary 12, 2014, at age 78. The catal­y­sis com­mu­nity loses an active mem­ber of many years, a con­trib­u­tor of out­stand­ing sci­ence, leader in var­i­ous orga­ni­za­tions, edi­tor of key pub­li­ca­tions, and part­ner in vibrant collaborations.

Knözinger stud­ied Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, with Phys­i­cal Chem­istry becom­ing his area of empha­sis dur­ing his time as a doc­toral stu­dent. His dis­ser­ta­tion (1961), which was super­vised by Georg-Maria Schwab, was his entrance into the field of catal­y­sis; he inves­ti­gated the suit­abil­ity of the cat­alytic decom­po­si­tion of methyl for­mate as a test reac­tion. He con­tin­ued on with the Habil­i­ta­tion (1967), the qual­i­fi­ca­tion for pro­fes­sor­ship within the Ger­man aca­d­e­mic sys­tem (Doc­tor of Sci­ences in oth­ers). The topic of the asso­ci­ated the­sis was the dehy­dra­tion of ethanol on alu­mina, a mate­r­ial that would later be the sub­ject of his per­haps most famous arti­cle. Knözinger held var­i­ous aca­d­e­mic posi­tions at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, with an inter­lude as a guest pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­dad Cen­tral de Cara­cas, Venezuela (1968/69), before he arrived at his final rank of pro­fes­sor (1980). He remained true to his alma mater until his offi­cial retire­ment in 2000, after which he kept an office and con­tin­ued to be active as a researcher and editor.

Knözinger researched in many dif­fer­ent areas of catal­y­sis and excelled at devel­op­ing and apply­ing spec­tro­scopic meth­ods for the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of cat­a­lysts. Each of the classes of mate­ri­als in his focus can be asso­ci­ated with meth­ods that he tai­lored for the pur­pose of their inves­ti­ga­tion. He made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of acid-base prop­er­ties of oxidic mate­ri­als, ana­lyz­ing the OH groups spec­tro­scop­i­cally, and exten­sively using car­bon monox­ide (CO) as a probe but also explor­ing much sought-for probe mol­e­cules for basic sur­face prop­er­ties. This work is doc­u­mented in many orig­i­nal and review arti­cles, includ­ing those on alu­mina in Catal­y­sis Reviews-Science and Engi­neer­ing in (with Rat­nasamy, 1978), on CO adsorp­tion in Mate­ri­als Chem­istry and Physics (with Zaki, 1987), on weakly inter­act­ing probes for zeo­lites in Jour­nal of the Chem­i­cal Soci­ety — Fara­day Trans­ac­tions (with Huber, 1998), and on acid-base char­ac­ter­i­za­tion in the Hand­book of Het­ero­ge­neous Catal­y­sis (2008). Relat­ing to his work on CO as a probe mol­e­cule, he also applied his skill in infrared spec­troscopy to sup­ported car­bonyl com­plexes, of which he wrote in Ange­wandte Chemie Inter­na­tional Edi­tion (with Lamb and Gates, 1988). Oxides sup­ported on other oxides was another focus area, with appli­ca­tions of the cat­a­lysts for exam­ple in hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion and selec­tive cat­alytic reduc­tion. In addi­tion to probe mol­e­cule adsorp­tion and IR spec­troscopy — his forte, he applied Raman, UV-vis, and pho­to­elec­tron spec­troscopy. To inves­ti­gate the mech­a­nism of dis­per­sion of oxides on other oxides, exper­i­ments to observe the trans­port were designed, and in a long-lasting col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Insti­tute for Plasma Physics in Garch­ing (a Max-Planck Insti­tute), thin film model cat­a­lysts were inves­ti­gated by sur­face sci­ence tech­niques such as ion scat­ter­ing and Auger elec­tron spec­troscopy. Exam­ples of this work are the arti­cles on molyb­dena sup­ported on alu­mina in Jour­nal of Phys­i­cal Chem­istry (with Jeziorowski, 1978) or on solid-solid wet­ting in Sur­face Sci­ence in (with Leyrer, Mar­graf, and Taglauer, 1988).

Knözinger’s work was rec­og­nized with national and inter­na­tional awards, among them the Cia­petta Lec­ture­ship (1980), the Ipati­eff Lec­ture­ship (1988), the Max-Planck Research Award (1995), the Prix Gay Lus­sac Hum­boldt Prize (1997), and the Alwin Mit­tasch Medal of Dechema (1998). He became an hon­orary mem­ber of the Hun­gar­ian Acad­emy of Sci­ences in (1995), a mem­ber of the Acad­e­mia Europaea (2000), and an hon­orary pro­fes­sor of Nankai Uni­ver­sity, Tian­jin, China (2004). He was a mem­ber of chem­i­cal and catal­y­sis soci­eties, and helped orga­nize national and inter­na­tional con­fer­ences on catal­y­sis. Notably, he was first a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Asso­ci­a­tion of Catal­y­sis and then later the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many in the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties (1993–1999). He also acted as pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties (1996–2000).

As edi­tor, Knözinger moved into the foot­steps of Schwab, who had edited a hand­book of catal­y­sis. Together with Ertl and Weitkamp, Knözinger pub­lished the first edi­tion of the Hand­book of Het­ero­ge­neous Catal­y­sis with five vol­umes in 1997. Such was the suc­cess that a sec­ond edi­tion, with Schüth as addi­tional edi­tor and eight vol­umes, appeared in 2008. He served as an edi­tor of Advances in Catal­y­sis, in the years 1998 through 2011; under his reign, three vol­umes were ded­i­cated to spec­tro­scopic analy­sis of the work­ing catalyst.

While Knözinger remained rooted in Munich through­out his career, he cul­ti­vated col­lab­o­ra­tions and exchange. He him­self was an avid trav­eler and also a guest pro­fes­sor mul­ti­ple times, in Cara­cas, Xian­men, Evanston, Ams­ter­dam, and Paris. Researchers from around the world vis­ited his lab­o­ra­tory (their prove­nience was, in fact, tracked by pins in a wall map at the insti­tute), mostly to per­form IR spec­tro­scopic exper­i­ments using his spe­cially designed appa­ra­tus. Guests were treated with gra­cious­ness and enjoyed Bavar­ian hospitality.

His con­stant inter­est in everybody’s research was man­i­fest in his daily after­noon rounds through the labs with indi­vid­ual con­ver­sa­tions, his recep­tion of a knock at his office door, his overnight read­ing of man­u­scripts handed to him. His reli­a­bil­ity and his self-discipline were exem­plary. His advis­ing was never force­ful, pro­mot­ing aca­d­e­mic free­dom and inde­pen­dence. A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of stu­dents achieved the doc­toral degree under his guid­ance and are tes­ta­ment to his skill as an advi­sor and men­tor. Knözinger was a gifted ath­lete in his youth and a moun­tain enthu­si­ast; he insti­gated reg­u­lar group out­ings – hik­ing in sum­mer and ski­ing in win­ter. He cre­ated an atmos­phere of togeth­er­ness that let team spirit and humor flour­ish and friend­ships be forged.

Knözinger was also a tal­ented pho­tog­ra­pher and adhered to this pas­sion through­out his life – his cam­era accom­pa­nied him on most occa­sions. The var­i­ous pho­tographs dis­played in his office spoke of his skill, of his trav­els around the world, and his eye as an observer.

Hel­mut Knözinger’s pres­ence and his views will be missed.
 
Friederike Jentoft

In Memoriam: George Donald Blyholder (1931–2013)

Blyholder - BWGeorge Don­ald Bly­holder was born Jan­u­ary 10, 1931 in Eliz­a­beth, New Jer­sey but he grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and Chicago, Illi­nois. He received his BA from Val­paraiso U., his BS from Pur­due U. in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing and a Ph.D. in chem­istry from the Uni­ver­sity of Utah. His the­sis was enti­tled “Kinet­ics of Graphite Oxi­da­tion” and a part of this was pub­lished with his advi­sor, the renowned kinetist Henry Ery­ing. While a grad­u­ate stu­dent, he met and mar­ried Betty Sue Con­rad. Fol­low­ing grad­u­a­tion, he did post­doc­toral stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota and then at The Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity with Prof. Paul H. Emmett. His work with Emmett involved the use of C-14 labeled ketene to study the Fischer-Tropsch reac­tion mech­a­nism. In 1959, he moved to Fayet­teville, Arkansas as a pro­fes­sor of chem­istry at the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas. There he was involved in pio­neer­ing research on the use of infrared spec­troscopy to study catal­y­sis. His pub­li­ca­tion “Mol­e­c­u­lar orbital view of chemisorbed car­bon monox­ide” in the Jour­nal of Phys­i­cal Chem­istry in 1964 has become a clas­sic pub­li­ca­tion with 719 cita­tions and prob­a­bly more where it is just referred to as the “Bly­holder Model”. He retired in 1996, becom­ing an emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor. He pub­lished more than 100 arti­cles in sci­en­tific jour­nals with most in the area of sur­face sci­ence. His death at age 82 was on Febu­rary 24, 2013.

Dr. Burt Davis has been selected for the 2014 NACS Award for Distinguished Service

Burt_DavisDr. Burtron H. Davis has been selected as the recip­i­ent of the 2014 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 Research and Engi­neer­ing and Clari­ant and will be pre­sented dur­ing the 2015 NAM in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Davis is being rec­og­nized in par­tic­u­lar for his con­tri­bu­tion to indus­trial research prob­lems with a detailed under­stand­ing of cat­alytic trans­for­ma­tions. His work in iso­topic label­ing stud­ies has helped obtain in depth knowl­edge of reac­tion path­ways of indus­tri­ally rel­e­vant processes and prob­ing cat­alytic mech­a­nisms. Specif­i­cally, Dr. Davis has focused on Fischer-Tropsch reac­tion mech­a­nisms and cat­alytic trans­for­ma­tions using cobalt, iron and ruthenium-based cat­a­lysts research­ing fun­da­men­tal ques­tions
with indus­try rel­e­vance. Dur­ing his five decade career, Dr. Davis has co-authored more than 500 peer reviewed pub­li­ca­tions and orga­nized numer­ous sym­posia in var­i­ous areas of catalysis.

In ser­vice to the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity, Dr. Davis has served the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety in var­i­ous capac­i­ties includ­ing orga­niz­ing the 12th NAM in Lex­ing­ton and serv­ing as the Hon­orary Chair of the 23rd NAM in Louisville. For the past three decades Dr. Davis has func­tioned as a his­to­rian of the NACS and the catal­y­sis com­mu­nity. His fore­sight, ded­i­ca­tion and efforts to archive and record the his­tory of the soci­ety and cat­alytic sci­ence has led to an unprece­dented NACS hosted col­lec­tion of more than 1300 videos of con­fer­ence pre­sen­ta­tions and one on one inter­views. This col­lec­tion stands as a tes­ta­ment to the ded­i­ca­tion of Burt Davis to the preser­va­tion of the his­tory of catal­y­sis for gen­er­a­tions to come.