Avelino Corma, was conferred with the Honoris Causa by the Delf University of Technology

The researcher of the ITQ, Avelino Corma was conferred with the Honoris Causa by the Delf University of Technology, the highest ranking Dutch university in the World Reputation Ranking 2012 of the Times Higher Education.

The official ceremony took place on January 11, 2013, at the university’s Aula Congress Centre and the honorary supervisor was Prof. Freek Kapteijn, Professor at the faculty of Applied Sciences.

Professor Corma is a highly successful scientist in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. Heterogeneous catalysts – catalysts that do not function in the same phase as the reactants – are widely used in the chemical and petrochemicals industry. The catalysts used there are often zeolites, minerals that occur in nature but which can also be artificially produced. In the institute he established, the Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ), over the years Professor Corma has developed a whole series of zeolites for use in industry.

His work is an outstanding example of Catalysis Engineering: he develops catalysts by combining his consummate fundamental understanding with the principles of engineering, the results of which are then applied in practice. His activities serve as an example and an inspiration to many researchers in this field, but Professor Corma is also active in other fields. For example: these days he is focusing on metal organic frameworks (MOF’s), crystalline materials with nanopores, whose extended internal surface area make them highly suited to being used as catalysts, or in separation processes in the petrochemicals industry, for instance.

Professor Corma is the co-founder and former director of the Instituto de Tecnología Química of the Universidad Politécnica in Valencia, Spain. His work has led to that institution being recognized for its excellence in the area of heterogeneous catalysis. Professor Corma’s own work on acid-base and redox catalysis has allowed him to develop catalysts with multiple commercial applications, and he is a recognized leader in catalysts used in refining, petrochemistry and chemical processes. In addition, he is responsible for more 900 research papers (which have been cited more than 15,000 times) and more than 100 patents, including the isopar process for short chain paraffin isomerization, propylene oxide and a catalyst for natural gas transformation.

He has received numerous awards, including the Ciapetta and Houdry Awards of the North American Catalysis Society, the F. Gault Award of the European Catalysis Society, the M. Boudart Award on Catalysis by the North American and European Catalysis Societies, the G. J. Somorjai ACS Award on Creative Catalysis, the Breck Award of the International Zeolite Association, the National Award of Science and technology of Spain, the ENI Award on Hydrocarbon Chemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Prize, Rhodia Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Prize for Science and Industry and Gold Medal for the Chemistry Research Career 2001-2010 in Spain and La Grande Médaille de l’Académie des sciences de France 2011.

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