National research team receives award for removing sulfur from gasoline

October 10, 2001

A team of chemists and engineers from ExxonMobil and Akzo-Nobel Catalysts, LLC, will be honored October 18 by the world's largest scientific society for developing an effective process to remove sulfur from gasoline. They will receive one of two 2001 Industrial Innovation Awards at the American Chemical Society's Southwest regional meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

In an effort to reduce air pollution from gasoline-powered engines, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations require oil refineries to reduce the average amount of sulfur in gasoline from 150 parts per million (ppm) to 30 ppm by 2004. The primary contributor to sulfur in gasoline is the fluid catalytic cracked naphtha blending component. Catalytic cracking is a refining process where a catalyst -- a substance that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction -- is used to break down the large, heavy hydrocarbons found in oil into the smaller, lighter molecules of gasoline.

Traditional methods for reducing sulfur in gasoline are either too expensive or result in a loss of octane required for today's high performance engines. ExxonMobil scientists and their colleagues have developed a novel catalyst and process specifically designed to overcome these challenges. The new process, called SCANfiningTM, is effective in reducing cracked naphtha sulfur levels up to 99 percent.

"The development of SCANfiningTM is a tremendous accomplishment," said Hugh Helferty, Ph.D., fuel lab director at ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories. "The process is being applied at many ExxonMobil and other refineries around the world."

The American Chemical Society's Industrial Innovation Awards recognize individuals and teams whose discoveries and inventions contribute to the commercial success of their companies and enhance our quality of life.
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Garland B. Brignac is a research associate at ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories in Baton Rouge, La. He received his B.S. from Louisiana State University in 1974. He resides in Clinton, La.

Bruce R. Cook, Ph.D., is an advanced research associate at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Annandale, N.J. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Hope College in Holland, Mich., in 1981 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1986. He resides in Stewartsville, N.J.

Richard A. Demmin, Ph.D., is an engineering associate at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Fairfax, Va. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1981 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and 1986. He resides in Fairfax, Va.

John P. Greeley is an advanced engineering associate at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Fairfax, Va. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Rutgers University in 1980. He resides in Fairfax, Va.

Thomas R. Halbert, Ph.D., is a distinguished research associate at ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories in Baton Rouge, La. He received his B.A. in chemistry from Rutgers University in 1972 and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 1977. He resides in Baton Rouge, La.

Jeffrey L. Kaufman is a senior engineering associate at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co. in Baytown, Texas. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1971 and his M.S. in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 1972. He resides in Kingswood, Texas.

Mark Lapinski, Ph.D., formerly of ExxonMobil, is a senior specialist at UOP in Des Plaines, Ill. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1984 and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. He resides in Aurora, Ill.

Steve Mayo is technical service development manager at Akzo-Nobel Catalysts, LLC, in Houston, Texas. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1983. He resides in Houston, Texas.

Craig A. McKnight, formerly on loan to ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories, is a research associate at the Syncrude Research Center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He received his B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. in chemical engineering from Queens University at Kingston, Canada. He resides in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.

Kenneth L. Riley, Ph.D., is a senior engineering associate at ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories in Baton Rouge, La. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1963, 1965 and 1967. He resides in Baton Rouge, La.

American Chemical Society

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