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.