Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

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Chemistry Professor Terry Collins Receives Excellence in Catalysis Award

photo of Terry CollinsTerry Collins, Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, has received the 2007 Excellence in Catalysis Award from the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York. The award, sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, recognizes outstanding contributions in applied or basic research in homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysis. Collins is noted for his exceptional work in homogeneous catalysis, or chemical reactions in which the catalyst and the reactants are in the same phase, typically a single liquid phase. He is being recognized for designing innovative, environmentally benign catalysts — tetra-amido macrocyclic ligand (Fe-TAML®) activators – that have the potential for enormous, positive impact on the environment.

Experts worldwide believe that these systems can be used effectively to replace chlorine-based oxidants in large global technologies so that some of society’s most toxic chlorinated residuals are not produced by industry. The Fe-TAML activators can be used for pulp bleaching in the pulp and paper industry, for removal of textile dyeing mill pollutants, and for the easy destruction of dangerous pollutants including pesticides, nitrophenols, estrogenic compounds and chemical and biological warfare agents, and for use in products as commonplace as laundry detergent. Their greatest impact could lie in providing generalized water purification.

Head of the Institute for Green Oxidation Chemistry at the Mellon College of Science, Collins and his research team have been awarded more than ten U.S patents and over 100 international patents covering Fe-TAML technology, and one license agreement has been issued for the development of products based on Fe-TAMLs. Over 100 companies worldwide have expressed interest in the catalysts, including companies in the chemical and laundry industries.

Collins has been recognized worldwide by professional organizations, educational institutions and industry. His honors include the Environmental Protection Agency's 1999 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and Japan's Society of Pure and Applied Coordination Chemistry Award.

Amy Pavlak
March 15 , 2007