Jean-Claude Volta was born in Givors near Lyon, France on 3rd March 1946 and died in Lyon on 18th June 2011. He received a chemical engineer degree at the ‘‘Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Industrielle de Lyon’’ ESCIL, in 1968 and his ‘‘Doctorat ès Sciences’’ in 1973 from the University of Lyon.
His scientific career was almost entirely at the “Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse” IRC, CNRS in Villeurbanne (Lyon), now IRCELYON. His passion for Brazil was quite intense. He collaborated in particular with Paolo Gustavo Pries de Oliveria and Lucia Appel from INT (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia) in Rio de Janeiro and worked there for one year.
He retired in March 2006 as “Directeur de Recherche au CNRS”, after being at the head of the Oxide group. Everyone will remember him as an enthusiastic and brilliant scientist who contributed enormously to the scientific and social life of the Institute over 30 years.
He was awarded the annual award by the Catalysis division of the French Chemical Society in1984 for his major contribution in ‘‘structure sensitivity’’ of metallic oxides for catalytic selective oxidation of hydrocarbons. His case study was MoO3 single crystals.
He has more than 150 publications and patents in the field of oxidation catalysis in which he is world famous. His contribution to VPO catalysts for butane oxidation to maleic anhydride was important and outstanding. He has developed the spin echo mapping technique in MAS-NMR with Dr. Alain Tuel (IRCELYON), pioneered in situ/Operando Raman studies with analysis of reactants and products by GC on line with Professor Ollier at Ecole Centrale de Lyon and HR-TEM with Professor Chris Kiely (University of Liverpool, UK, now at Lehigh University, USA).
Jean-Claude was a founding member of the European CONCORDE (CO-ordination of Nanostructured Catalytic Oxides Research and Development) network and played a vital role in discussions leading to its formation. A special issue of the Journal Applied Catalysis A was organized by his friends and colleagues who wanted to express their recognition to Jean-Claude Volta on the occasion of his retirement and to celebrate his contribution to the field of structure sensitivity and selective oxidation in heterogeneous catalysis.
This note is essentially based on the preface of this special issue.
Applied Catalysis A: General 325 (2007) 193