Professor Wilhelm Keim, former Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, has passed away on September 30, 2018. His research focused on homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, including, for example, multiphase catalysis and the catalytic conversion of CO2. He co-developed the Shell higher olefin process (SHOP), which is an industrial process for the production of linear α-olefins from ethylene.
Wilhelm Keim was born on December 1, 1934, in Oberhausen, Germany. He studied chemistry at the Universities of Münster and Saarbrücken, both Germany, and received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Karl Ziegler from the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, in 1963. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University, New York, USA, and then joined the Shell Development Company, Emeryville, CA, USA. Keim became Professor at RWTH Aachen University and Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry in 1973, where he remained until his retirement in 2000.
Among other honors, Keim received the Alwin Mittasch Prize from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Katalyse (GeCatS, German Catalysis Society) and the DECHEMA (German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) in 1988, the Carl Engler Medal from the Deutsche Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Erdöl, Erdgas und Kohle (DGMK, German Society for Petroleum and Coal Science and Technology) in 1999, and the DECHEMA Medal in 2001.
- Nickel catalyzed dimerization of propene in chloroaluminate ionic liquids: Detailed kinetic studies in a batch reactor,
M. Eichmann, W. Keim, M. Haumann, B. U. Melcher, P. Wasserscheid,
J. Mol. Catal. A 2009, 314, 42–48.
- Methanol findet zu wenig Beachtung als Kraftstoff und Chemierohstoff der Zukunft (Methanol Needs More Attention as a Fuel and Raw Material for the Future),
M. Bertau, H. Offermanns, G. Menges, W. Keim, F. X. Effenberger,
Chem. Ing. Tech. 2010, 82, 2055–2058.
- Carbon Dioxide as a Carbon Resource – Recent Trends and Perspectives,
M. Hölscher, C. Gürtler, W. Keim, T. E. Müller, M. Peters, W. Leitner,
Z. Naturforsch. B 2012, 67, 961–975.
- Oligomerization of Ethylene to α-Olefins: Discovery and Development of the Shell Higher Olefin Process (SHOP),
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 12492–12496.