Alex Mills: The catalyst chemist

George Alexander Mills

George Alexan­der Mills

, Age 90 of Hockessin, DE died April 28, 2004 at Chris­tiana Hos­pi­tal in Newark. He was born March 20, 1914 in Saska­toon, Saskatchewan, CN and became a U.S. cit­i­zen in 1942. He was a res­i­dent of Swarth­more, PA for 28 years; Bethes­da, MD for 12 years; and Newark and Hockessin, DE for 20 years.

Dr. Mills was a chemist for over 40 years, mak­ing major con­tri­bu­tions to indus­tri­al cat­alyt­ic process­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly hydro­car­bon fuels and petro­chem­i­cals includ­ing DABCO for polyurethanes. He was exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Cat­alyt­ic Sci­ence & Tech­nol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware until 1984; chief of the Coal Divi­sion Bureau of Mines; direc­tor of the Office of Inter­na­tion­al Coop­er­a­tion Fos­sil Ener­gy at the Depart­ment of Ener­gy in Wash­ing­ton, DC; and direc­tor of research at Houdry Process Cor­po­ra­tion (Air Prod­ucts) in Mar­cus Hook, PA.

He received the Hen­ry H. Storch Award from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety; the Pio­neer Award from the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chemists; and the E.V. Mur­phree Award in chem­istry from Exxon Mobil Research. He was elect­ed to the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Engi­neer­ing. He was author and
co-author of 143 arti­cles in tech­ni­cal pub­li­ca­tions and held 60 U.S. patents. Dr. Mills was pres­i­dent of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca from 1969–73. He served as chair­man of both, the Fuels Divi­sion, ACS and the Petro­le­um Division,ACS at dif­fer­ent times. He was chair­man of the Philadel­phia Catal­y­sis Club dur­ing the orga­ni­za­tion of the First Inter­na­tion­al Con­gress on Catal­y­sis (Philadel­phia, 1954–56). Final­ly he and his work were great­ly influ­enced by his close coop­er­a­tion with Eugene Houdry.

He received a BS and an MS from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan and a PhD from Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, where he stud­ied with Nobel Prize win­ner Harold Urey.
Con­tributed by Thanks to The News Jour­nal (Delaware)