The ethanol industry lost another visionary this past week. Raphael “Ray” Katzen passed away on Sunday, July 12. Ray was a visionary that saw the potential of cellulosic ethanol while working at a defense plant under contract for the federal government during World War II. His life’s work was dedicated to producing ethanol from a variety of feedstocks cost competitively. The engineering company he founded, Katzen International Inc., was known across the globe for its cutting edge technology.
Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen expressed his sadness at the loss of this industry leader:
“Ray Katzen is well known to the ethanol industry for the technology he commercialized and the passion he expressed when talking about the evolution of the worldwide ethanol industry. While he could have deservedly rested on his laurels in retirement, Ray never looked backwards; he always looked forward, challenging the industry to always work toward improvements and innovation in technology. Accompanied by his lovely wife, Selma, Ray was a presence at virtually every gathering of the industry, poised to question and comment, assuring the industry kept its eye on the vast potential of cellulose. Ray Katzen will be sorely missed by a grateful industry, but his legacy of technology innovation and his commitment to the future will endure.”