Olah’s Groundbreaking Work Resulted in the Elimination of Poisonous Leaded Gasoline in Automobiles
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, awarded to George A. Olah in 1994, will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on January 26, 2023. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online.
George Olah was a Jewish refugee from Budapest, Hungary, who emigrated to the United States during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, after surviving the Nazi occupation of Hungary during World War II.
Olah is best known for his groundbreaking work in hydrocarbon technology, which eliminated the need for the highly destructive chemical Tetraethyllead in automobiles. Lead-based Tetraethyllead was mixed in with gasoline beginning in the 1920s, even though it was hazardous to human health–especially that of children–and contaminated the groundwater, soil, and air. It wasn’t until Olah’s Nobel Prize-winning research in the early 1960s that a clean alternative to Tetraethyllead was discovered. As a result, in 1973, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the “lead phasedown” program requiring a reduction in lead content in gasoline.
Auction owner Nate Sanders said, “This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest Nobel Prizes to be made available publicly. George Olah’s Prize is unique in that his research directly saved millions of lives all over the world and improved the health of countless others.”
Olah won USC’s first Nobel Prize in 1994. He was the Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Chair in Organic Chemistry and founding director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute at USC Dornsife. Olah spent the last part of his life at the Loker Institute working on clean energy technologies.
Olah died in 2017 in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 89.
Bidding begins at $200,000 USD.
Additional information on the Nobel Prize can be found at natedsanders.com.
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About Nate D. Sanders Auctions
An industry leader in documents and autographs, Nate D. Sanders Auctions has conducted auctions in Los Angeles, California, since 1990 and now holds major auctions on a monthly basis. Owner Nate D. Sanders is recognized for his knowledge of sports, historical and Hollywood memorabilia. To learn more visit natedsanders.com.