Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

Pines, Herman, 1902-1996

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1902 - 1996

Herman Pines was born on January 17, 1902 in Lodz, Poland. Because he was Jewish, he was prohibited from attending the university in Poland. He attended the École Supérieure de Chimie Industrielle in Lyon, France, completing his undergraduate studies in Chemistry and receiving his Chemical Engineering degree (Ch.E) in 1927. In 1930, he emigrated to the United States and accepted a position as Research Chemist and Coordinator of Exploratory Research at Universal Oil Products (UOP) in Chicago, a position he held until 1952. In 1935, he completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Chicago.

From 1941-1952 (concurrent with his employment at UOP), Pines held the positions of part-time lecturer, Assistant Research Professor, and Associate Professor of Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University. During this period, he became associated with the pioneering Russian chemist Vladimir Ipatieff with whom he conducted numerous experiments and made valuable discoveries in the fields of catalysis and hydrocarbon conversion reactions. The most important of these resulted in the creation of a high-octane aviation fuel used by Allied airplanes during World War II. In 1953, after Ipatieff's death, Pines became the Ipatieff Research Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Ipatieff High Pressure and Catalytic Laboratory at Northwestern University. In 1970, he became Ipatieff Professor, Emeritus, and after his retirement from Northwestern University, he was a Visiting Professor at various institutions in Israel, Brazil, and the United States. Herman Pines died on April 10, 1996 in San Rafael, California.

Pines was the author of over 266 papers and 2 books on various aspects of catalysis and hydrocarbon conversion reactions, held over 145 U.S. patents, and was co-editor of Advances in Catalysis for over twenty years. He received numerous awards based on his extensive and ground-breaking research, including the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fritsche Award in 1956, the ACS Midwest Award in 1963, and the Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis in 1981. Pines was made a member the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon (Honorary Chemical Society) on June 6th, 1946.

Pines' early discoveries of conjunct polymerization, of paraffin alkylation, and the elucidation of the mechanism of isomerization of saturated hydrocarbons resulted in commercial realization of the process for the production of unleaded gasoline. This was followed by studies of catalytic properties of aluminas as catalyst and support, the mechanism of dehydration of alcohols, the mechanism of aromatization of alkanes over chromia, and the hydrogen transfer reaction of aromatic hydrocarbons. He was a pioneer in establishing the field of base-catalyzed hydrocarbon reactions.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Herman Pines (1902-1996) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 11/3/8/4
Abstract Correspondence, teaching files, speeches, legal documents, teaching manuals, technical drawings, lecture and class notes, drafts and published copies of essays of Herman Pines, Research Chemist and Coordinator of Exploratory Research at Universal Oil Products (UOP) in Chicago part-time lecturer, Assistant Research Professor, and Associate Professor of Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University.