Rostam Madon receives the 2009 AIChE Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Practice Award

The Catal­y­sis and Reac­tion Engi­neer­ing (CRE) Divi­sion of the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers (AIChE) is delight­ed to announce that Ros­tam J. Madon of BASF Cat­a­lysts, LLC has been select­ed as the recip­i­ent of the AIChE CRE Divi­sion Prac­tice Award for 2009. This award rec­og­nizes indi­vid­u­als who have made pio­neer­ing con­tri­bu­tions to indus­tri­al prac­tice of catal­y­sis and chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing. The can­di­date must have made impor­tant and spe­cif­ic tech­ni­cal con­tri­bu­tions, ver­i­fi­able by means of well-doc­u­ment­ed evi­den­tial mate­ri­als, to the inven­tion, devel­op­ment, design or imple­men­ta­tion of indus­tri­al prod­ucts, cat­a­lysts or process­es through inge­nious and cre­ative appli­ca­tion of chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing and/or catal­y­sis con­cepts. Awardees are select­ed based on their con­tri­bu­tions to the dis­cov­ery and appli­ca­tion of inno­v­a­tive catal­y­sis or reac­tion engi­neer­ing solu­tions to tech­no­log­i­cal prob­lems, and/or com­mer­cial­iza­tion of new prod­ucts and process­es. The award con­sists of a plaque and cash award of $1,000 to be pre­sent­ed at the Divi­sion Recep­tion dur­ing the AIChE annu­al meet­ing in Nashville, Ten­nessee. A spe­cial ses­sion will be held in hon­or of the recip­i­ent at the annu­al meet­ing dur­ing which he will also present a lec­ture.

Ross Madon has made pio­neer­ing con­tri­bu­tions of remark­able breadth and depth to the chem­istry and engi­neer­ing of cat­alyt­ic process­es. Ear­ly in his career, he guid­ed the field by address­ing arti­facts in kinet­ic data using meth­ods that are accept­ed today as defin­i­tive cri­te­ria for kinet­ic con­trol in catal­y­sis. In the process, he brought tran­si­tion state for­malisms for ther­mo­dy­nam­i­cal­ly non-ide­al sys­tems, first intro­duced by his advi­sor Michel Boudart, into the realm of prac­ti­cal catal­y­sis. His con­tri­bu­tions to cat­a­lyst design for Fis­ch­er-Trop­sch syn­the­sis and cat­alyt­ic crack­ing, two of the most hydro­dy­nam­i­cal­ly, kinet­i­cal­ly, and mol­e­c­u­lar­ly com­plex reac­tion sys­tems known, illus­trate his unique abil­i­ty to con­tribute con­cepts and approach­es to sys­tems that oth­ers avoid or mere­ly mis­in­ter­pret because of their com­plex­i­ty. Ross Madon excels at the inter­face of chem­istry and engi­neer­ing and his achieve­ments bridge con­cep­tu­al advances with com­mer­cial cat­a­lysts and cat­alyt­ic tech­nolo­gies. Recent­ly, he elu­ci­dat­ed the mech­a­nism by which vana­di­um caus­es struc­tur­al degra­da­tion of FCC cat­a­lysts and used this under­stand­ing to min­i­mize its dele­te­ri­ous effect. His stud­ies have pro­vid­ed a def­i­nite assess­ment of the role of ZSM‑5 addi­tives in FCC to replace inac­cu­rate or phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal descrip­tions of such phe­nom­e­na. His kinet­ic treat­ments of FCC catal­y­sis brought fun­da­men­tal chem­i­cal insights into a sys­tem once con­sid­ered too com­plex for such rig­or. Ross then used the knowl­edge to go beyond its schol­ar­ly ele­gance and designed com­mer­cial FCC cat­a­lysts based on such prin­ci­ples. He is the coin­ven­tor and devel­op­er of the Redux­ion – Max­ol® fam­i­ly of FCC cat­a­lysts and of the Iso­Plus® and Ultri­um® fam­i­lies. He coin­vent­ed the Flex-Tec® resid crack­ing cat­a­lyst which has been wide­ly and suc­cess­ful­ly deployed in demand­ing resid cat crack­ing process­es. He has thrived in indus­tri­al set­tings, but his thought process and con­cep­tu­al approach is firm­ly plant­ed in the realm of thought­ful sci­ence. He has tack­led tru­ly dif­fi­cult prob­lems and tak­en them beyond where oth­ers could, with ele­gance and rig­or bal­anced by rel­e­vance and impact.