1987 Charles J. Pedersen
Charles J. Pedersen, DuPont’s only Nobel laureate, received a master’s degree in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1927 and began his career with DuPont at the Chambers Works’ Jackson Laboratory in Deepwater, N.J. One of Pedersen’s early accomplishments was to improve the process for making the "anti-knock" gasoline additive, tetraethyl lead.
Tetraethyl lead added to gasoline reduces knock and improves performance
He also discovered the first “deactivators” that countered the degrading effects of heavy metals in gasoline, oils and rubbers. During a period of 10 years he filed for some 30 patents for antioxidants and other products. In 1946 Pedersen was promoted to research associate and thereafter pursued his own research projects. In 1959 Pedersen transferred to the Experimental Station where he joined the Elastomers Department. It was here that Pedersen discovered crown ethers.