Haldor Topsøe was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1913. He studied chemical engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). In 1940, he founded the company Haldor Topsøe, which has become one of the most successful companies in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. The company develops and markets catalysts and processes for petroleum refining, air-pollution control, synthesis gas production, ammonia and methanol production and solid oxide fuel cells. The company Haldor Topsøe is also a leader in the production and state-of-the-art scientific characterization of new catalysts. Dr. Topsøe is currently the sole owner of the company. He has written numerous articles on ammonia synthesis, catalysis, and energy questions. He is the author of several books on economics. Dr. Topsøe has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Aarhus University, DTU, and the Chalmers University in Sweden; the Gold Medal from the Royal Academy of Sciences; the Hoover Medal for his technical abilities and entrepreneurship; and the Grove Memorial Medal for Advances in Fuel Cell Technology. Topsøe is a member of the Danish and the Swedish Academies of Technical Sciences and of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

The following interview was conducted on August 16, 2010.

Keyword(s): autobiography

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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