2020 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

2020 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

Presented to Professor Raul F. Lobo

It is my honor to announce the 2020 recipient of the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award. The recipient must have demonstrated significant contributions to the advancement of Catalysis. Such advancement can be scientific, technological, or in organizational leadership. After a thorough review of the nominees for the award, it is my pleasure to announce Prof. Raul F. Lobo of the University of Delaware as the 2020 recipient of the CCP Award!

Prof. Lobo is currently the director of the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology and the Claire D. LeClaire Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He is recognized worldwide for his synthesis and application of microporous oxides and microporous catalysts to heterogeneous catalysis, particularly in the areas of acid catalysis for C-C bond forming reactions, methane activation and the mechanisms of selective catalytic reduction of NOx with ammonia over Cu-containing zeolites. He developed structure-property relations of the nitrogen-selective adsorbent zeolite Li-X, the most widely used zeolite adsorbent for the production of dioxygen from air using pressure swing adsorption. His group identified the key site for N2 adsorption using a combination of neutron diffraction and NMR spectroscopy. More recently his group discovered a new type of adsorption site for CO2 in small-pore zeolites: they observed a strong affinity for CO2 adsorption in the middle of flat 8-ring windows due to a sharp electric field gradient interacting with the quadrupole of CO2, that is selective to CO2 over water because molecules with permanent dipoles are attracted to strong electric fields but not field gradients. Raul’s group also identified Cu-containing zeolites that have promising adsorption properties due to temperature-dependent motion of Cu(I) ions in and out of zeolite cavities. His catalysis contributions entail several advances in hydrocarbon activation, NOx reduction, and biomass upgrading.

Please join me in congratulating Prof. Lobo on adding another accolade onto a storied career.

Eric Sacia
Catalysis Club of Philadelphia