'Heroes of Chemistry' honored for medical, energy, environmental breakthroughs

lion pounds of Bio-PDO is saving 10 million gallons of gasoline a year.

  • Dennis M. Adkesson is a process engineer with Tate & Lyle, N.A., A.E. Stanley Manufacturing Company, Decatur, Ill. He received a B.S. in science engineering from Northwestern University in 1970.
  • Catherine H. Babowicz is a process engineer at DuPont. She received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1976.
  • Charles E. Nakamura, Ph.D., is a biochemist at DuPont. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis University in 1986.
  • Gregory M. Whited, Ph.D., is a microbiologist at Genecor International, Palo Alto, Calif. He received a Ph.D. in microbiology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1986.

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Fairfax, Va., developed PxMax, the world's most selective catalytic process for producing para-xylene, a hydrocarbon and key component in the world's most important polyester, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET has myriad uses, including woven materials in clothing and home furnishing, containers, LCD's, films and coatings. PxMax dramatically reduces the cost of producing para-xylene. It also has environmental benefits as the process generates less waste and significantly reduces energy needed to produce para-xylene.

  • Jeevan S. Abichandani, Ph.D., is the Research and Development Manager at Univation, an ExxonMobil joint venture. He received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982.
  • Jeffrey S. Beck, Ph.D., is manager of Corporate Strategic Research at ExxonMobil. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989.
  • Art Chester, Ph.D., has retired as a senior scientific advisor at ExxonMobil. He received a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Michigan State University in 1966.
  • Tom Degnan, Ph.D., is manager, Breakthrough


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