William C. Pfefferle
William C. Pfefferle
|Born||April 24, 1923|
|Died||December 28, 2010 (aged 87)|
|Alma mater||Drexel University|
|Known for||catalytic combustion, "Magnaforming"|
|Awards||ASME Gas Turbine Award|
ACS Industrial Innovation Award
In 1956 he moved to Engelhard Industries, Iselin, NJ. While at Engelhard he invented "Magnaforming", a technique that now creates a large amount of the world's gasoline. He pioneered "permeation mediated catalysis" and developed phosphoric acid fuel cells.
Nicknamed the "father of catalytic combustion", Pfefferle invented the original catalytic combustor for gas turbine engines in the early 1970s. Gas turbines work by mixing fuel with compressed and heated air, which burns and generates energy to turn the turbines. Unfortunately, nitrogen oxide gases, which contribute to global warming, are emitted during this process. Pfefferle developed a process using a catalyst to allow combustion while forming minimal amounts of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.
In 1977, Pfefferle founded William C. Pfefferle Associates, which he continued until 1986. He worked on several projects included a heavy oil burning downhole steam system for Dresser Industries.
In 1986, Pfefferle co-founded Precision Combustion in North Haven, Connecticut. Pfefferle helped to develop clean and efficient catalytic combustion technologies for combustion engines. He also invented the "Microlith" catalytic reactor for automobiles and fuel processing, and the RCL catalytic combustor for ground-power gas turbine machines.
Pfefferle received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Gas Turbine Award in 2003. Also in 2003, he received the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Industrial Innovation Award. He was survived by his wife Eleanor, whom he married in 1950.
Honors and accolades
- 1990 Inductee - New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame
- 2003 Honoree - American Chemical Society's Industrial Innovation Awards
U.S. patents held
Pfefferle held over 100 patents including on two major processes, namely catalytic combustion and magnaforming:
- 3,928,961 - Catalytically Supported Thermal Combustion. This is the basic patent in a group of over ten covering technology for burning fuels in continuous combustion systems (such as gas turbines and furnaces) without formation of pollutants while improving efficiency.
- 3,392,107 - Magnaforming. This process for raising octane is now used to produce much of the world's gasoline, improving product yields and lengthening catalyst life.
Pfefferle also held numerous other patents concerning the catalytic method, combustion and related topics.
- A Compact Catalytic Combustor System for Small Turbogenerators. ASME International Joint Power Conference, 1997 (with G.Kraemer, T. Strickland, and J. Ritter).
- Compact, High Efficiency Catalytic Muffler for Utility Engines, Issues in Emissions Control Technology, SAE, 1997 (with S. Etemad, R. Sun, and S. Roychoudhury).
- Development and Performance of Microlith Light-Off Preconverters for LEV/ULEV. Low Emission Vehicle Technologies, SAE, 1997 (with S. Roychoudhury, G. Muench, J. Bianchi, and F. Gonzales).
- Experimental & Modeling Results for an Advanced Gas Catalytic Combustor for Gas Turbine Engines. Third Workshop on Catalytic Combustion, AIChE, 1996 (with H. Karim and G. Kraemer).
- Catalytically Stabilized Incineration of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons. Innovative Hazardous Waste Treatment Technology Series, H. Freeman, ed., Technomic Publishing Company, 1990.
- Catalysis and Combustion. Catalysis Reviews, J. Carberry, ed., 1987 (with L.D. Pfefferle).
- Catalytically Stabilized Combustion. Prog. Energy Comb. Science, N.A. Chigier, ed., Pergamon Press, 1986 (with L.D. Pfefferle).
- New Haven Register, December 29, 2010.
- New York Times: William C. Pfefferle Jr. Obituary. 1 January 2011.
- Worthy, Sharon. Bio-Medicine: Connecticut chemist receives award for cleaner air technology. 23 June 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Engelhard Industries
- Robert N. Carter, Lance L. Smith, Hasan Karim, Marco Castaldi, Shah Etemad, George Muench, R. Samuel Boorse, Paul Menacherry and William C. Pfefferle (1998). Catalytic Combustion Technology Development for Gas Turbine Engine Applications. MRS Proceedings, 549, 93 doi:10.1557/PROC-549-93
- Precision Combustion, Inc, North Haven, Connecticut.
- ASME: Gas Turbine Award. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- * 5,636,511 - Gas Turbine Torch Assembly
- 5,634,784 - Catalytic Method
- 5,601,426 - Catalytic Method
- 5,593,299 - Catalytic Method
- 5,531,066 - Fuel Injector and Ignitor Assembly
- 5,466,651 - Catalytic Method
- 5,453,003 - Catalytic Method
- 5,440,872 - Catalytic Method
- 5,437,152 - Catalytic Method
- 5,421,154 - Exhaust Temperature Control
- 5,417,933 - Catalytic Method
- 5,376,345 - Catalytic Method and Apparatus
- 5,342,591 - Microlith Catalyst Reaction System
- 5,234,882 - Catalyst Coating Method
- 5,146,881 - Catalytic Glow Plug
- 5,051,241 - Microlith Catalytic Reaction System
- 4,918,915 - Method for Clean Incineration of Wastes
- 4,905,658 - Catalytic Valve for I.C. Engines
- 4,896,636 - Catalytic Glow Plug
- 4,864,811 - Method for Destroying Hazardous Organics
- 4,819,595 - Method of Operating Catalytic Ignition Cyclic Engines
- 4,811,707 - Method of Operating Catalytic Ignition Cyclic Engines
- 4,773,368 - Method of Operating Catalytic Ignition Cyclic Engines
- 4,646,707 - Method of Operating Catalytic Ignition Cyclic Engines
- 4,603,547 - Catalytic Relight Coating for Gas Turbine
- 4,439,136 - Thermal Shock Resistant Spherical Plate Structures
- 4,407,785 - Minimizing Catalytic Activity Variations in Catalytic Gas Phase Reactions
- 4,402,662 - Shock Resistant Catalysts
- 4,384,843 - Combustion Method, Apparatus with Catalytic Tubes
- 4,341,662 - Method of Catalytically Coating Low Porosity Ceramics
- 4,337,028 - Catalyst Monolith
- 4,295,818 - Catalytic Monolith and Method of Its Formulation
- 4,287,090 - Method and Composition of Treating Flue Deposits
- 4,276,203 - Catalytic System and Process for Producing It
- 4,239,499 - Production of Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) from Methanol
- 4,094,142 - Turbine System Method and Apparatus
- 4,073,716 - Process for Producing SNG and High Octane Motor Fuel
- 4,065,917 - Method of Starting Combustion System Utilizing Catalyst
- 4,019,316 - Method of Starting Combustion System Utilizing Catalyst
- 4,011,839 - Low NOx Internal Combustion Engine
- 3,982,879 - Low NOx Catalytic Furnace
- 3,975,900 - Gas Turbine Catalytic Combustor Temperature Control
- 3,940,923 - Reheat Gas Turbine Engine
- 3,923,011 - Low NOx Internal Combustion Engine
- 3,914,090 - Low NOx Catalytic Furnace
- 3,875,047 - Pt Re Reforming Process
- 3,846,979 - Two Stage Combustion Process
- 3,705,095 - Use of Pt Re Catalysts in Magnaforming Process
- 3,705,094 - Use of Pt Re Catalysts in Magnaforming Process
- 3,679,578 - Platinum Rhenium Paraffinic Naphtha Reforming Process
- 3,676,329 - Use of Pt Re Catalysts in Reforming Process
- 3,676,328 - Use of Pt Re Catalysts in Reforming Process
- 3,658,691 - Serial Reforming: Pt Re on Acidic and Non Acidic Base
- 3,646,236 - Disproportionation of Toluene
- 3,620.962 - Low Pressure Hydrocracking Process
- 3,595,805 - Steam Reforming with Preliminary Hydrodesulfurization
- 3,567,624 - Hydroforming with Preliminary Desulfurization
- 3,481,722 - Process for Producing Hydrogen
- 3,375,191 - Hydrocracking without Net Hydrogen Consumption
- 3,344,586 - Gas Separation Apparatus
- 3,290,406 - Process for Dehydrogenation
- 3,278,268 - Method for Hydrogen Production
- 3,264,207 - Controlling Hydrogen Partial Pressure in Reforming
- 3,251,652 - Process for Producing Hydrogen
- 3,241,293 - Diffusion Purification of Gases
- 3,198,604 - Hydrogen Generating System
- 3,144,313 - Diffusion Purification of Gases
- 3,138,948 - Hydrogen Measuring System
- 3,087,112 - Trace Gas Analyzer
- 2,989,574 - Inhibition of Polymer Formation in Alkylation