Enrique Iglesia is the recipient of the 2019 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis

We are pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Enrique Igle­sia of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley is the recip­i­ent of the 2019 Michel Boudart Award for the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis. The award is pre­sent­ed joint­ly by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety (NACS) and the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties (EFCATS). The award is sup­port­ed by the Hal­dor Top­søe Com­pa­ny and is award­ed bien­ni­al­ly in odd-num­bered years. Pro­fes­sor Igle­sia will give ple­nary lec­tures at the 2019 NACS and EFCATS meet­ings. The award con­sists of a plaque and a prize of $6,000. The plaque will be pre­sent­ed dur­ing the clos­ing ban­quet cer­e­monies at the 2019 North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety (NAM26 in Chica­go).

The Michel Boudart Award rec­og­nizes and encour­ages indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions to the elu­ci­da­tion of the mech­a­nism and active sites involved in cat­alyt­ic phe­nom­e­na and to the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods or con­cepts that advance the under­stand­ing and/or prac­tice of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis.

Pro­fes­sor Enrique Igle­sia and his research group have advanced the design, syn­the­sis, and struc­tur­al and mech­a­nis­tic char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of sol­id cat­a­lysts for chem­i­cal reac­tions involved in the pro­duc­tion, con­ver­sion, and use of ener­gy car­ri­ers, in sus­tain­able syn­the­ses of chem­i­cals and inter­me­di­ates, and in the pro­tec­tion of the envi­ron­ment. These advances exploit nov­el pro­to­cols for the syn­the­sis of well-defined nanos­truc­tures and iso­lat­ed uni­form sites with­in porous solids, as well as tech­niques that probe the local struc­ture and atom­ic con­nec­tiv­i­ty in these mate­ri­als, in most instances as cat­alyt­ic turnovers occur. His research approach, in the spir­it and teach­ings of his men­tor, Pro­fes­sor Michel Boudart, is under­pinned by chem­i­cal kinet­ics, spec­tro­scop­ic probes, ther­mo­dy­nam­ic cycles, tran­si­tion state the­o­ry, and sta­tis­ti­cal mechan­ics and quan­tum meth­ods for the pur­pose of elu­ci­dat­ing the essen­tial fea­tures of the rel­e­vant sur­face chem­istry and the nature of the required active sites. His most recent work has brought togeth­er sol­va­tion effects on reac­tiv­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty induced by con­fine­ment and by dense phas­es, whether liq­uid or adsorbed lay­ers, into a uni­fy­ing con­cep­tu­al frame­work. In doing so, these stud­ies have led to the more accu­rate and explic­it iso­la­tion of the respec­tive effects of the bind­ing point and the reac­tion envi­ron­ment on tran­si­tion state sta­bil­i­ty, thus allow­ing the def­i­n­i­tion of more com­plete descrip­tors of site reac­tiv­i­ty in oxi­da­tion and acid catal­y­sis. The rel­e­vance of his research to the prac­tice of catal­y­sis is evi­dent from his many patents, sev­er­al of which have enabled improve­ments in cat­alyt­ic process­es for the con­ver­sion of nat­ur­al gas and oxy­genates to fuels and chem­i­cals as well as the broad­er appli­ca­tion of zeo­types in chem­i­cal syn­the­ses and envi­ron­men­tal con­trol.
Jing­guang Chen
Pres­i­dent, North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety