William C. Pfefferle Jr. | March 7, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 10 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 10 | p. 56 | Obituaries
Issue Date: March 7, 2011

William C. Pfefferle Jr.

Department: ACS News
Keywords: Obituaries, People

William C. Pfefferle Jr., 87, an entrepreneur and expert in the field of catalytic combustion, died on Dec. 28, 2010.

Pfefferle earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Drexel University in 1944 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1952. He also served in the Merchant Marine Academy during World War II.

After working as a research chemist for Standard Oil of Indiana until 1956, Pfefferle joined Engelhard Industries in Iselin, N.J. He remained with the company for 22 years, becoming refinery research section chief and, later, a research associate.

At age 63, he cofounded Precision Combustion, a North Haven, Conn., clean energy technology company that develops and manufactures catalytic devices and systems for energy-sector applications.

Primarily during his time with Precision Combustion, Pfefferle was awarded approximately 100 U.S. patents. He was inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1990. He received a regional Industrial Innovation Award from ACS in 2003. He joined ACS in 1947.

A Quaker and pacifist, Pfefferle sought scientific solutions to societal problems ranging from energy efficiency to pollution.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eleanor, and four children: Lisa, Marc, Susan, and Eric.

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