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Press release ¤ Information de presse

Nov 10, 2006

Alwin Mittasch Prize is conferred on Avelino Corma, Valencia

The Alwin Mittasch Prize 2006 of the DECHEMA Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology e.V., Frankfurt Main, Germany, is conferred on

Professor Avelino Corma, Universidad de Valencia, Spain,

The prize will be awarded at the International Catalysis Symposium in the BASF Conference Center in Ludwigshafen, Germany, on November 23.

The prize was originally established by BASF in 1990 as the Alwin Mittasch Medal for outstanding work in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. This year, it is being awarded for the first time at the international level as the Alwin Mittasch Prize.

Professor Corma received the Alwin Mittasch Award for his innovative contributions to the development of novel catalyst materials based on zeolites and their applications in refining technology, petrochemical syntheses and fine chemicals syntheses. His particular contribution has been in developing new concepts for the molecular design of zeolite materials that not only ensure efficient catalytic processes but are also of importance with regard to material sciences. Corma has played a key role in zeolite research in the past decades and is one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of heterogeneous catalysis.

“We are very happy that Professor Corma has been recognized for his outstanding contribution to the field of zeolite catalysis. The further development of this class of catalysts – for example for isomerization and cracking reactions in crude oil processing and for selective oxidations – plays an important role in allowing the chemical industry to conserve resources and improve its environmental performance. BASF and Dow, for instance, have jointly developed a new zeolite-catalyzed process for propylene oxide using hydrogen peroxide and leading to water as the only by-product,” said Prof. Dr. Rainer Diercks, head of Chemicals Research and Engineering at BASF.

Professional Background

Avelino Corma was born in Moncófar (Spain) in 1951. He studied chemistry at Universidad de Valencia and was awarded his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Then he received a post-doctoral fellowship for a two-year stay at Queen’s University, Canada. In 1979, he started as Teneru Scientist at Instituto Catálisis y Petroleoquímica in Madrid (CSIC), where he was promoted to full professor in 1987. In 1989 he founded and currently directs the Instituto de Tecnología Química UPV-CSIC (Universidad Politecnica de Valencia – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas), one of the leading institutions in catalysis research in the world. His research activities have led to more than 570 publications and to over 120 U.S. and European patents.

Professor Corma has already received numerous awards for his works, e.g. Dupont Award of Materials Science (1995), Ciapetta (1998) and Houdry (2002) Awards of the North American Catalysis Society, Francois Gault Award (2001) - the highest honor bestowed by the European Catalysis Society and the Breck Award of the International Zeolite Association (2004). He is Doctor Honoris Causa by the Utrech University, and he is a member of numerous scientific committees and advisory boards and scientific consultant to national and international companies.

Alwin Mittasch Prize

This international prize is awarded for outstanding work that has contributed towards extending the fundamentals of catalysis and its exemplary application in industry. The award originated as the Alwin Mittasch Medal for catalysis research in Europe and was founded by BASF AG in 1990. This prize, which is no longer confined to Europe, comprises a gold medal, a certificate, and €10,000 in prize money. It is named in memory of Alwin Mittasch (1869 – 1953), a pioneer in the field of catalysis.

Previous winners of the Alwin Mittasch Medal are Prof. Dr. Gerhard Ertl, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany (1990), Prof. Dr. Jerzy Haber, Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, University of Krakow, Poland (1992), Prof. Dr. phil. Hans-Herbert Brintzinger, University of Konstanz, Germany (1995), Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Walter Kaminsky, University of Hamburg, Germany (1995) and Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. Ing. Senator a.D. Hansjörg Sinn, Hamburg, Germany (1995), Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wilhelm Keim, RWTH Aachen, Germany (1998) and Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Helmut Knözinger, University of Munich, Germany (1998), Prof. Dr. Rutger Anthony van Santen, Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2001).


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