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Heinz Heinemann Papers


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Heinz Heinemann was a German-American chemist and a leader in the development of catalytic technologies. Heinemann was born in Berlin, Germany in 1913. He attended the university and the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. When his thesis was rejected because he was Jewish, he moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Basel. In 1938, he came to the United States to begin his professional career. From 1941 to 1948, he was a research supervisor for Attapulgus Clay Company. In 1948, he joined the Houdry Process Corporation as a section manager in their research department, and in 1957, he joined the W. M. Kellogg Company, first as assistant to the vice president of research and later as director of chemical and engineering research. From 1969 until 1978, he was affiliated with Mobil Research and Development Corporation and was manager of catalysis research in their laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.

Upon his retirement from Mobil in 1978, he became a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he continued to pursue research on new catalytic processes for the production of gaseous and liquid fuels from coal and later from natural gas. He began by working with graphite as a model carbon solid to study the catalytic gasification using potassium hydroxide as a catalyst. He found that at the relatively low temperature of 500 degrees Celsius, hydrocarbons from C1 to C6 could be formed with high efficiency. He worked on the mechanism and discovered that the carbon bond next to the oxygen-potassium bond of potassium hydroxide had to be broken as the rate-limiting step to produce products of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Following the work with graphite as a model catalyst, he studied the steam gasification with chars at temperatures below 700 degrees Celsius using a potassium oxide-calcium oxide catalyst, which shows superior resistance to deactivation by sulfur.

In 1989 and 1990, Heinemann turned to the oxydehydrogenation of methane using catalysts such as calcium, nickel or potassium oxides at temperatures below 600 degrees Celsius, a theme that he pursued for the remainder of his years at Berkeley. When he retired from his position as senior scientist in 1995, he continued working as a distinguished scientist in the Washington, D.C. office of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, serving as a liaison between the laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy.

During the course of his career, which spanned more than sixty years, Heinemann participated in the invention and development of fourteen commercial processes, including the process for converting methanol to gasoline, was awarded seventy-five patents, and published more than one hundred-fifty papers. He was a cofounder of the Philadelphia Catalysis Club, the Catalysis Society of North America, and the International Congress on Catalysis, serving as its president from 1956 to 1960. In addition to serving as the editor of Catalysis Reviews for its first sixteen years, he was a consulting editor for over ninety books in the Chemical Industries Series, published by Marcel Dekker, Incorporated, many of which dealt with catalysis.

Heinz Heinemann died on November 23, 2005 at the age of ninety-two.


Heinz Heinemann Papers, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The University of California. "In Memoriam: Heinz Heinemann."

The Heinz Heinemann Papers contain the personal papers of German-American chemist Heinz Heinemann. Arranged mostly chronologically by date, this collection consists of ten boxes. The files in this collection primarily concern conferences attended by Heinemann and courses that he taught at the University of California, Berkeley as a professor.

The Heinz Heinemann Papers were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Barbara Heinemann in 2006.

The Heinz Heinemann Papers were processed by Andrew Mangravite in 2015 and encoded into EAD by Samantha Brigher in 2020.

Science History Institute Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Samantha Brigher.
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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials.

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The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Heinz Heinemann Papers. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Inventory

Patents issued - General, 1939-1978.
Box 1 Folder 1
Loose reprints (Folder 1 of 2), 1940-1985.
Box 1 Folder 2
Loose reprints (Folder 2 of 2), 1987-1995.
Box 1 Folder 3
Petroleum Refiner patent reviews (Heinemann served as a department editor for Petroleum Refiner, editing a feature "New U.S. Patents Affecting Petroleum Refining.") (Folder 1 of 2), 1950-1953.
Box 2 Folder 1
Petroleum Refiner patent reviews (Folder 2 of 2), undated.
Box 2 Folder 2
Tear sheets of patent reviews by Heinz Heinemann, F. Heinemann, and H. Shalit in World Petroleum, 1953-1961.
Box 2 Folder 3
International Congress on Catalysis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 10-14, 1956; Program and minutes of Planning Committee meetings, 1954 December-1956 September.
Box 2 Folder 4
2nd International Congress on Catalysis, Paris, France (Incl. program and conference materials.), 1960 July.
Box 2 Folder 5
4th International Congress on Catalysis, Moscow, Russia (Incl. program, conference materials, and symposium abstracts.), 1968 July.
Box 2 Folder 6
Mobil Oil Corporation v. WR Grace & Company - testimony of Heinz Heinemann, 1972.
Box 2 Folder 7
The Catalysis Society - bylaws and correspondence (Incl. revision), 1964-1969, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 1
Heinz Heinemann award nominations (E. V. Murphee Award, Houdry Award, and Houdry Award address.), 1970, 1971, 1975.
Box 3 Folder 2
Chang, Clarence D., and Anthony J. Silvestri. "Manganese Nodules as Demetalation Catalysts", 1975.
Box 3 Folder 3
6th International Congress on Catalysis, London, United Kingdom (Incl. program and attendee list.), 1976 July.
Box 3 Folder 4
Heinemann, Heinz. "Advances in Catalytic Chemistry I: Symposium in Honor of Alex G. Oblad," Snowbird, Utah (Incl. after-dinner talk by Heinemann and symposium abstracts.), 1979 October.
Box 3 Folder 5
Welch Foundation Talk - "Catalytic Routes to 100 Octane Gasoline," Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 1980 February.
Box 3 Folder 6
7th International Congress on Catalysis, Tokyo, Japan, June 30-July 4, 1980 (Incl. correspondence with Heinemann.), 1977-1980.
Box 3 Folder 7
Heinemann, Heinz. "High Octane Fuels from Biomass via Methanol and Ethanol," National Conference on Fuels from Crops, Melbourne, Australia, 1981 September-1981 October.
Box 3 Folder 8
Heinemann, Heinz. "Gasification of Graphite at Low Temperature in the Presence of Alkaline Substances," Fuels Engineering Graduate Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah (Incl. lecture overheads.), 1982 March.
Box 3 Folder 9
Kurt Wohl Memorial Lecture, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, 1982 April 15.
Box 3 Folder 10
"Advances in Science II: Symposium in Honor of Heinz Heinemann," Salt Lake City, Utah (Incl. abstracts of presentations.), 1982 May.
Box 3 Folder 11
5th Conference on Catalysis, Roermond, Netherlands, July 12-16, 1982 (Incl. conference materials and Heinemann's "Summary of Lectures and Discussions."), 1981-1982.
Box 4 Folder 1
International Coal Conversion Conference, Pretoria, South Africa, August 16-20, 1982 - conference materials (In English and Afrikaans, some in microfiche form, and a report by Heinemann on South African conversion facilities.), 1981-1982.
Box 4 Folder 2
CSIRO Division of Material Science/Australian Institute of Petroleum Course - lecture overheads and course book, 1983 April.
Box 4 Folder 3
Heinemann, Heinz. "My Philosophy of Research in Catalysis," Industrial Affiliates Program, Kinetics and Mechanisms, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 1983 August 15.
Box 4 Folder 4
8th International Congress on Catalysis, Berlin, Germany, July 2-6, 1984 (Incl. conference materials and correspondence.), 1983-1984.
Box 4 Folder 5
CSIRO - loose materials and research report, 1983-1987.
Box 4 Folder 6
IRI (Industrial Research Institute) Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 5-8, 1985 (Incl. conference materials and IRI Annual Report for 1984.), 1984-1985.
Box 5 Folder 1
"Advances in Catalytic Chemistry III: Symposium in Honor of Michel Boudart," Salt Lake City, Utah, 1984 May.
Box 5 Folder 2
Carrazza, J., G. A. Somorjai, and Heinz Heinemann. "Steam Gasification of Carbonaceous Solids Catalyzed by a Mixture of Potassium and Nickel Oxides below 1000 K," ACS Fall National Meeting, Anaheim, California, 1986 September.
Box 5 Folder 3
"Methane Conversion" - Symposium on the Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Natural Gas, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Incl. conference materials and abstracts.), 1987 April.
Box 5 Folder 4
CSIRO/Australian Petroleum Institute - "Catalysis in Petroleum and Chemical Processing," Sydney, Australia, 1987 May.
Box 5 Folder 5
ACS 22nd State-of-the-Art Symposium - "Catalysis for the Future," U. C. Berkeley, Berkeley, California (Incl. conference materials and correspondence.), 1987 July.
Box 5 Folder 6
9th ICC, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Incl. conference materials and Heinemann's "Brief History of Early ICC Conferences."), 1988 June-1988 July.
Box 6 Folder 1
Avidan, A. A., M. Edwards, and H. Owen. "Fluid Catalytic Cracking: Past and Future Challenges," 6th International Conference on Fluidization, Banff, Alberta, Canada, 1989 May.
Box 6 Folder 2
Catalysis Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - conference materials, 1989 May 16.
Box 6 Folder 3
U.S. Department of Energy - 9th Annual Gasification and Gas Stream Cleanup Systems Contractors Review Meeting, Morgantown, West Virginia (Incl. attendee list, program, and drafts of materials for a presentation on "Catalytic Gasification Fundamentals."), 1989 June.
Box 6 Folder 4
"Advances in Catalytic Chemistry IV: Symposium in Honor of John H. Sinfelt", 1989 October.
Box 6 Folder 5
ACS - "PACIFICHEM," Honolulu, Hawaii (Incl. correspondence, program book, and drafts of materials for a poster presentation.), 1989 December.
Box 6 Folder 6
FTP - "Oxidative Coupling of Methane" (First submitted February 1990.), undated.
Box 6 Folder 7
Council of the International Congress on Catalysis - Constitution Review Committee (Incl. correspondence and draft proposals.), 1990.
Box 6 Folder 8
ACS Symposium - Clarence Chang, San Francisco, California, 1992 April 7.
Box 7 Folder 1
10th ICC, Budapest, Hungary, July 19-24, 1992 - correspondence (Heinemann did not attend.), 1991-1992.
Box 7 Folder 2
National Research Council, Washington, D.C. - "Catalysis Looks to the Future", 1992.
Box 7 Folder 3
SFA Pacific, Incorporated - company info and correspondence, 1997-1998.
Box 7 Folder 4
19th North American Catalysis Society Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - program book (Heinemann was Honorary Chairman.), 2005 May.
Box 7 Folder 5
Davis, B. "50 Years of Catalysis: One Decade at a Time", undated.
Box 7 Folder 6
"Industrial Catalysis I" - course notes (Folder 1 of 2), undated.
Box 8 Folder 1
"Industrial Catalysis I" - course notes (Folder 2 of 2), undated.
Box 8 Folder 2
"Industrial Catalysis II" - course notes (Folder 1 of 3), undated.
Box 8 Folder 3
"Industrial Catalysis II" - course notes (Folder 2 of 3), undated.
Box 8 Folder 4
"Industrial Catalysis II" - course notes (Folder 3 of 3), undated.
Box 8 Folder 5
"Oxidation" - course notes (Folder 1 of 2), undated.
Box 8 Folder 6
"Oxidation" - course notes (Folder 2 of 2), undated.
Box 8 Folder 7
"Gasification" - lecture overheads for Heinemann, Somorjai, and Pereira, "Fundamentals of Catalytic Gasification of Coals and Chars", undated.
Box 8 Folder 8
Viewgraphs for November Advisory Board Meeting, undated.
Box 8 Folder 9
Course problems (otherwise unidentified), undated.
Box 8 Folder 10
Carrazza, J., J. J. Chludzinski, Jr., H. Heinemann, G. A. Somorjai, and R. T. K. Baker. "Controlled Atmosphere Electron Microscopy Study of the Gasification of Graphite by Water, Hydrogen and Oxygen Catalyzed by a Nickel/Potassium Mixture," LBL 23337, undated.
Box 8 Folder 11
Gates solutions, undated.
Box 8 Folder 12
Spain slides - G. Osterloh LBL MS 66/423 6/07 (3.5 diskette), undated.
Box 8 Folder 13
Lecture slides (In slide holders.), undated.
Box 8 Folder 14
Lecture slides (boxed), undated.
Box 8 Folder 15
Heinz Heinemann Lecture Slides 1 - Australia Meeting, Houdry Address; Morgantown-1, Morgantown-2, Morgantown-3, Munich Meeting, undated.
Box 9
Heinz Heinemann Lecture Slides 2 - gasification, methanol to gasoline, Spain (extra), undated.
Box 10

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