Three recipients were selected to receive awards for excellence in organic catalysis at the 21st Conference of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society(www.orcs.org) sponsored by the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society(ORCS) on the week of April 2, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The 2005 Paul N. Rylander Award went to Dr. Jean-Marie Basset, Laboratoire de Chimie Organometallique de Surface, CNRS, Lyon, France and the 2006 Paul N. Rylander Award was presented to Professor Gadi Rothenberg, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The 2006 Murray Raney Award, sponsored by the W. R. Grace Co., was presented to Professor Isamu Yamauchi, Osaka University, Japan.
The Paul N. Rylander Award is an annual award, sponsored by ORCS, made to an individual who has made significant contributions to the use of catalysis in organic reactions as exemplified by Paul N. Rylander. The Murray Raney Award is made to an individual who has made significant contributions to chemistry and the chemistry industry via catalyst technology based on that originally developed by Murray Raney.
Bassett’s research has been on the forefront of the correlation of reactions which occur at the active sites of heterogenized surface organometalllic catalysts and solution phase reactions of organometallic catalysts. This has allowed him to design well defined surface catalysts that catalyze reactions that sometimes won’t occur in the homogeneous phase. His presentation was titled “New Catalytic Reactions Discovered via Surface Organometallic Chemistry”.
Rothenberg’s research has provided novel, ligand-free catalysts for carbon-carbon coupling reactions, as well as unique catalysts for selective oxidative dehydrogenation. Recently he has developed high-throughput data analysis methods and catalyst descriptor models to better find the best homogeneous catalyst for a particular transformation. His presentation was entitled “How to Find the Best Homogeneous Catalyst”.
Yamauchi’s research investigated improved methods for preparing precursors to skeletal catalysts, novel bimetallic compositions, and application of improved copper catalysts to the hydration of acrylonitrile and hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. His talk was entitled “Synthesis and Features of New Raney Catalysts from Metastable Precursors”.
The proceedings of the meeting including the award addresses will appear in a future volume of the Chemical Industries series.