Henrik Topsøe Selected as Winner for 2010 Distinguished Researcher Award, ACS Division of Petroleum Chemistry

The Petro­le­um Chem­istry Divi­sion of Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety is pleased to announce that Dr. Hen­rik Top­søe has been select­ed as the win­ner of the 2010 Dis­tin­guished Researcher Award.

Hen­rik Top­søe is being rec­og­nized for his out­stand­ing research con­tri­bu­tions to the under­stand­ing of hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts. Hen­rik Top­søe is Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent at Hal­dor Top­søe A/S in Lyn­g­by, Den­mark. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing in 1972 from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty. After a post­doc­tor­al stay at Stan­ford, he joined the Hal­dor Top­søe Research Lab­o­ra­to­ries in 1974. Here he start­ed the fun­da­men­tal catal­y­sis group and he has also been the man­ag­er of the catal­y­sis research depart­ment. Hen­rik Top­søe is adjunct pro­fes­sor at the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Den­mark (DTH) and has for many years been pres­i­dent of the Dan­ish and Nordic Catal­y­sis Soci­eties and he is on the edi­to­r­i­al boards of sev­er­al catal­y­sis jour­nals. His awards include UOP Inter­na­tion­al lec­tur­er, Ford Dis­tin­guished lec­tures, Mason lec­tur­er and the 2003 Glenn Award from ACS Fuel Chem­istry Divi­sion. He was the first indus­tri­al researcher to be award­ed The Fran­cois Gault Lec­ture­ship from the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties (2000). In 2005, the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety award­ed Hen­rik Top­søe the Eugene J. Houdry Award in Applied Catal­y­sis.

A cen­tral theme in the research of Hen­rik Top­søe has been the estab­lish­ment of a mol­e­c­u­lar basis for the design and pro­duc­tion of improved indus­tri­al cat­a­lysts. In order to achieve this goal, Hen­rik Top­søe and his col­leagues have over the years devel­oped many impor­tant nov­el mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary tech­niques and approach­es. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis has been placed on under­stand­ing and devel­op­ing improved hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts, but many stud­ies were also devot­ed to ammo­nia syn­the­sis, methanol syn­the­sis and DeNOx cat­a­lysts. At the time Hen­rik Top­søe and his col­leagues start­ed their research on hydrotreat­ing cat­a­lysts, the cat­a­lyst sys­tems were poor­ly under­stood. Con­se­quent­ly, spe­cial efforts were devot­ed to the devel­op­ment of new tools and in situ approach­es which could pro­vide the nec­es­sary atom­ic and mol­e­c­u­lar insight under rel­e­vant con­di­tions. The stud­ies were the first ones to reveal the nature of the active struc­tures, the so-called Co-Mo-S fam­i­ly of pro­mot­ed struc­tures. Lat­er stud­ies have pro­vid­ed addi­tion­al atom­ic insight into these struc­tures and have elu­ci­dat­ed the fac­tors gov­ern­ing their pro­duc­tion and how their activ­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty may be enhanced based on the opti­miza­tion of sup­port inter­ac­tions and oth­er cat­a­lysts fea­tures. This insight has been used by the indus­try world­wide for the intro­duc­tion of many improved gen­er­a­tions of cat­a­lysts – the lat­est being the Top­søe BRIMTM tech­nol­o­gy for sev­er­al crit­i­cal refin­ing ser­vices includ­ing the pro­duc­tion of Ultra Low Sul­fur Diesel (ULSD). Hen­rik Top­søe has co-authored 180 pub­li­ca­tions, 3 books and has giv­en more than 140 invit­ed lec­tures.

An ACS Sym­po­sium in Hon­or of Hen­rik Top­soe is being orga­nized by Prof. Chun­shan Song of Penn State on behalf of ACS Petro­le­um Chem­istry Divi­sion at the ACS Nation­al Meet­ing in Boston dur­ing August 22–26, 2010.