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Development of RANEY® Brand Nickel Catalyst Earns Historic Chemical Landmark Award

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Murray Raney, inventor of Raney Nickel

We are proud to have our RANEY® brand of catalyst honored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) with the National Historic Chemical Landmark designation for the invention of the RANEY® nickel catalyst.

Grace received the award at a ceremony held at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) where a plaque will be placed. The ceremony’s location is just a few blocks from where the first iteration of the catalyst was invented by Murray Raney at his home in 1923. The award ceremony was attended by UTC students and faculty, members of the local ACS chapter, Grace employees and retirees, and local dignitaries.

The Raney Catalyst Company, founded by Murray Raney, was bought by Grace in 1963. Originally, Raney nickel was used to turn liquid vegetable oils into solid shortening, but by 1950, it had become one of the most widely utilized catalysts in the world. Today, RANEY® nickel, produced by Grace, is used to convert building-block chemicals into pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, agrochemicals, personal care products, fibers, fragrances and many other products that are an integral part of modern daily life. RANEY® nickel catalyst is exclusively made at Grace’s Chattanooga site, making more than 1500+ metric tons of RANEY® catalyst annually. 

ACS established the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program in 1992 to recognize seminal events in the history of chemistry and increase awareness of chemistry's contributions to society. Past landmarks include the discovery and production of penicillin, the invention of synthetic plastics and the works of such notable scientific figures as educator George Washington Carver and environmentalist Rachel Carson. 

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