Alumni Profile: Jacque C. Morrell 1916


Alumni Profile: Jacque C. Morrell 1916

Jacque C. Morrell, Cortesey of Chicago Tribune

Dr. Jacque C. Morrell originally of Savannah, Ga., earned a bachelor of science degree from The Cooper Institute and master`s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from Columbia University.

Dr. Jacque C. Morrell held more than 400 patents, most of them for inventions related to the production and refining of petroleum. The basic sulfuric acid-alkylation process for producing iso-octane aviation fuel, which he originated in the 1930’s, is named for him. He also has patents for TNT and absorbents used in gas masks.

During World War I, he served as master engineer in the Chemical Warfare Service. Because of the heavy use of gas warfare, coconut shells were valued as an absorbant material but were in short supply. Jacque developed a process for making absorbents from wood and coal. He received more than 25 patents for the process and assigned them to the government.

Following his work with the Army during WWI, Jacque worked from 1921 to 1942 for the Universal Oil Products Company in Chicago as associate director of the company’s research laboratories.  In June, 1940, Jacque Morrell announced that along with Aristid Grosse and Julian Mavity he had developed a new process critical to the production of Synthetic Rubber, SBR.  He also developed a process to produce TNT, trinitrotoluene, from coal tar that made it possible for the U.S. to manufacture 88 billion tons as easily as it had produced 3 billion tons.

During World War II, Jacque returned to the Chemical Warfare Service as the Chief of Development. In 1949, he became chief of staff for intelligence research and analysis for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Jacque retired from the C.I.A. in 1957 and continued his work in chemical engineering, first in developing longer-lasting catalysts to be used in the petroleum refining and later in developing ways to refine shale oil.


Dr. Jacque C. Morrell, died March 20, 1985 in Washington, DC. He was 92 years old.  Morrell, a retired air force colonel, was buried March 26 with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Dr. Jacque C. Morrell was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.

He is the author of multiple papers including:

The velocity of inversion of sucrose as a function of the thermodynamic concentration of hydrogen ion, Journal of the American Chemical Society.  1921  Link

He is the author of multiple books.  These include:

Stability of Gasoline to Light, by Jacque C Morrell, Universal oil product Company, 1936

The velocity of inversion of sucrose as a function of the thermodynamic concentration of hydrogen ion by Jacque C Morrell, 6 editions published between 1922 and 2016.

Cracking of tar acids from coal by Jacque C Morrell

The applicability of the analytical method in the determination of the anti-knock properties of motor fuels by Jacque C Morrell

The cracking process in the gas making industry by Jacque C Morrell

The cracking of Spindletop crude oil by Jacque C Morrell

Polymerization and other chemical reactions in the sulphuric acid refining of cracked distilates by Jacque C Morrell

Developments in hydrocarbon chemistry and technology by Jacque C Morrell


Jacque C. Morrell, 92; Held Many Oil Patents. The New York Times. April 5, 1985.  Link

Heise, Kenan. Jacque Morrell, 92, Held Many Petroleum Patents. Chicago Tribune. Link


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