Dr. Jeffery Bricker, Senior Director of Research at Honeywell UOP is the recipient of the 2017 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 25th North American Meeting of the Catalysis Society to be held in Denver, CO, June 4–9, 2017. The Award Plenary lecture will also be presented during this meeting.
Dr. Bricker’s achievements include the discovery of key reaction mechanisms in thiol oxidation chemistry in refinery fuels, leading to the commercialization of an oxidation catalyst that functions in the absence of caustic. He also invented new light paraffin dehydrogenation catalysts with superior diffusional properties, that is currently used in more than 60 percent of worldwide on-demand capacity. He invented and developed a very selective and stable catalyst for the oxidation of hydrogen for inter-stage reheating in ethylbenzene dehydrogenation for commercial styrene production. Finally, Dr. Bricker and his team used diffusion control to improve the dehydrogenation technology for production of linear alkyl benzenes (LAB), which are the precursors for biodegradable detergents. LAB is produced by selective dehydrogenation of linear C10 to C15 alkanes into linear mono-alkenes followed by alkylation with benzene. This new catalyst technology reduces by-product heavy alkylate by 20 percent and is used to produce more than 80 percent of the world’s LAB.
Bricker received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Chemistry from Heidelberg University in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1983. Jeff’s innovations and 61 US patents have been recognized with several awards including the 2011 ACS National Award for Creative Invention; the UOP Stine Star Award, given for the best breakthrough of the year; Specialty Materials Growth and Innovation Award and the 2015 Honeywell Distinguished Technologist Award, given for outstanding technical contributions over the course of a career. He frequently lectures on catalysis globally and was the 2008 Devon W. Meek Lecturer.
President, North American Catalysis Society