Twenty years after international scientists determined that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were impacting the ozone layer, three DuPont scientists are being recognized for their invention of non-ozone-depleting alternatives. The Heroes of Chemistry awards were presented by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 10. ACS is the world’s largest scientific society.
The three standouts from DuPont are: Donald B. Bivens, Ph.D., a former process engineer and research scientist at DuPont and now a consultant for the company; Mark B. Shiflett, Ph.D., a research associate; and Akimichi “Michi” Yokozeki, Ph.D., a process engineer and research scientist. They were among 24 research chemists from six companies, named as “chemical innovators whose work has led to the welfare and progress of humanity” in a significant way in the past decade. Individuals were nominated by their companies and the winners are chosen by an ACS panel in recognition of industrial work that has led to the successful development and commercialization of key products.
“DuPont was the first company to develop and commercialize CFC alternatives with the introduction of Suva® refrigerants, based on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) technology, and we more recently expanded the portfolio with DuPont® ISCEON® 9 Series refrigerants, which are HFC blends ideal for retrofit applications,” said Mark Baunchalk, global business manager, DuPont Refrigerants. “It’s a key part of the vision we call ‘the science of cool’ to create more sustainable solutions for refrigeration and air conditioning worldwide.”
“DuPont scientists have one of the world’s best track records for creating unique innovations that address important societal needs,” said Thierry Vanlancker, global business director, DuPont Fluoroproducts. “By developing user friendly refrigerant blends, this team carried on that great tradition. We are grateful to the ACS for the recognition they are giving these great scientists.”
According to ACS President E. Ann Nalley, Ph.D.: “Heroes save lives and change them for the better. This year’s Heroes of Chemistry have improved our lives through their inventions. We at ACS celebrate them and the corporate management that supports innovations that bring the benefits of chemistry to us all, every day.”
The Heroes of Chemistry program, started in 1996 by the ACS, honors industrial chemists and chemical engineers who create commercially successful products that improve the quality of life.