Author Archive

Obituary: Professor Wilhelm Keim

Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wilhelm Keim, (1934 – 2018)

Wilhelm Keim was born on 1 December 1934 in Oberhausen, Germany. He studied chemistry in Münster and Saarbrücken before he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research in Mülheim/Ruhr headed by Karl Ziegler, to work on his dissertation under the guidance of Günther Wilke. He obtained the PhD in 1963 for his work on π-allyl complexes of Ni, Pd and Pt. After two years as a postdoc with Thomas J. Katz at Columbia University, New York, he joined the Shell Oil Componay in the USA, where he rapidly rose through the ranks and became department head and research manager at a young age. During this time he and his team developed the Ni-catalysed oligomerisation of ethene, essential part of what we know as the Shell Higher Olefin Process, SHOP. With an annual capacity of more than 1 million tons of α-olefins, this process is one of the important large scale applications of homogeneous transition metal catalysis. The resulting alkenes are important intermediates for the production of surfactants and as co-monomers for low density polyethylene and other polyolefins.

In 1973 Wilhelm Keim moved back to Germany, accepting the offer of the Chair of Industrial Chemistry at RWTH Aachen as successor of Friedrich Asinger. He continued to carry out fundamental studies on alkene oligomerisation but also worked on a wide range of transition metal catalysed reactions employing homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. He became a leading figure in the catalysis landscape, sought after expert, and advisor to many companies over the years. Notably he was also member of the supervisory board of Degussa AG for several years.

Wilhelm was always an ambassador for fundamental research as well as for application oriented research and he managed to find a balance between both, fostering the collaboration and dialog between industry and university. He had a fine sense for new developments and the potential of new research areas and was among the pioneers exploring new types of solvents like ionic liquids and fluorinated solvents. Also his work on CO2 as a feedstock broke new ground. He was an inspiring teacher and mentor for more than 150 PhD students, always personally concerned about their career in industry and academia. Many of us continued to consult him for advice, from leading positions in industry and from academia alike. All of them form a well-connected network as the so-called “Keimlinge” (English translation: seedlings).

With his professional drive, his charismatic personality and wit, he also served the scientific community through organisations like GDCh, DECHEMA and DGMK for many years on the board or as chairman or president. He also was a founding member of the Petrochemical Division of DGMK. His many years of service and scientific achievements were recognised with the Carl-Engler-Medal in 1999 and he became an honorary member of DECHEMA. He was member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea and Dr. h.c. of the University of Lille, France. He was also honorary professor at the Dalian University of Technology and University of Hangzhou, China, as well as adjunct professor at King Fahd University of Dharhan, Saudi Arabia.

In 2001 Wilhelm Keim retired and became emeritus professor. He supported his successor, Walter Leitner, in such an exemplary manner that Walter always refers to him as “the best imaginable predecessor”. For many years he continued to advise companies and scientific organisations and kept contact to a huge community of colleagues and friends.

Wilhelm Keim died on 30 September 2018 at the age of 83. He leaves a hole in our hearts and will be dearly missed as an outstanding scientist, wonderful mentor and dear friend by so many colleagues in the community.

Arno Behr, Stefan Mecking, Dieter Vogt

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27th EuCheMS Conference on Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids

The 27th EuCheMS Conference on Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids conference took place from 7 October until 12 October, 2018. Two Green Chemistry poster prizes were awarded to the following winners:

Olesia Danyliv (Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Structure-Property Correlation in Nafion/Protic Ionic Liquid Membranes

Bettina Heller (Lehrstuhl für Physikalische Chemie II, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany)

 Surface Composition of Ionic Liquid Mixtures with Functionalized and Non-Functionalized Imidazolium Cations

On behalf of Green Chemistrywe would like to congratulate both winners on their outstanding achievements!

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ISGC, the International Symposium on Green Chemistry, La Rochelle, May 13th-17th 2019

ISGC, the International Symposium on Green Chemistry, will be held in La Rochelle – France, May 13th-17th 2019. There will be 11 topics, plenary lectures, 260 oral communications and 40 industrial communications, 1000+ participants (academic institutions and private industry).

The call for communications is in progress. The deadline for papers is November 15th 2018 (and March 31st 2019 for poster submissions).

The main objective of ISGC-2019 is to gather the most eminent scientists involved in the field of green chemistry to debate on the future challenges of Chemistry keeping in mind the problems of access to a sustainable energy, the management of resources (carbon, water, metals, minerals), Human development, global warming, impact on the environment, competitiveness of our Industry. New in 2019, ISGC will also aim at improving public perception and awareness on sustainable chemistry through the organization of general conferences. Raising awareness and progressively educating our society on the issues surrounding sustainable development has become a priority to accelerate the emergence of eco-designed chemicals, technologies or services on the market.

For more information please see www.isgc-symposium.com

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Novel Enzymes 2018

The 6th Novel Enzymes Conference, focusing on the most exciting advances in applied enzymology. Emphasis will be given to discovery of new enzymes, engineering approaches (including novel assays), and newly developed enzyme applications.

Topics include:

  • Enzyme discovery
  • Enzyme mechanisms
  • Enzyme engineering
  • Enzyme applications

The conference will be held in Darmstadt, Germany, from 9 to 12 October 2018.

Register now!

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Green Chemistry Conference & UNIDO – Global Chemical Leasing Award

The Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism are pleased to invite you to the Green Chemistry Conference & UNIDO – Global Chemical Leasing Award which will take place in Vienna from Monday, 5 November 2018 until Tuesday, 6 November 2018.

This Conference brings together experts to present the current status of Green Chemistry worldwide and in the European Union. We are glad to announce the participation of international leading scientists in the field of Green and Sustainable Chemistry.

International perspectives and policy will be discussed – amongst others – by experts from UNIDO, ISC3, UN Environment, the EEA, ECHA and the European Commission.

Please note that participation at the conference is free of cost and registrations will be assigned in the order of receipt.

For registration please send an email to: greenchemistry-vienna@umweltbundesamt.at where you will be provided with further instructions.

The detailed agenda can be found here.

 

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Professor Ken Seddon OBE Memorial Seminar

On Friday 14 September, the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories Research Centre (QUILL) at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast hosted a Memorial Seminar for former Green Chemistry Advisory Board, Professor Ken Seddon OBE. Green Chemistry were very proud to sponsor the event.

The extremely-well attended seminar commemorated Ken’s larger-than-life personality and his contributions to science.

You can find out more about Professor Seddon’s contribution to the field of green chemistry in a special Obituary written by Dr John Holbrey and Professor Tom Welton OBE, published in Green Chemistry. Read it here.

 

 

Pictured are the speakers (L-R): Dr Gabriela Fedor, Evonik Industries; Professor Walter Leitner, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion; Professor Edwin Constable, University of Basel; Professor Jim Swindall CBE, Green Lizard Technologies Ltd; Dr Gosia Swadzba-Kwasny, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Elaine Seddon, The University of Manchester; Professor Peter Licence, University of Nottingham; Professor Tom Welton OBE, Imperial College London; Dr John Holbrey, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Douglas MacFarlane, Monash University; Professor Christopher Adams, XeF6 Consulting/Cardiff Catalysis Institute; Professor Peter Wasserscheid, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; and Dr Donald Braben, University College London.

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