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.