Frank Sherwood Rowland (born June 28, 1927 ) is an American Nobel laureate and a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. His research is in atmospheric chemistry and chemical kinetics.
Born in Delaware, Ohio, Rowland received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1948. He then earned his M.S. in 1951 and his Ph.D. in 1952, both from the University of Chicago. He held academic posts at Princeton University (1952-56) and at the University of Kansas (1956-64) before becoming a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, in 1964. At Irvine in the early 1970s he began working with Mario Molina. Rowland was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978, and served as a president of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1993.
His best-known work is the discovery that chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion. Rowland theorized that manmade organic compound gases combine with solar radiation and decompose in the stratosphere, releasing atoms of chlorine and chlorine monoxide that are individually able to destroy large numbers of ozone molecules. Rowland's research, first published in Nature magazine in 1974, initiated a scientific investigation of the problem. The National Academy of Sciences concurred with their findings in 1976, and in 1978 CFC-based aerosols were banned in the United States.
He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Mario Molina of MIT and Paul Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. The Physical Sciences Building at the University of California, Irvine, which held his laboratories for many years, was renamed Rowland Hall in his honor that same year.
He has won numerous awards for his work:
* Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, 1983
* Japan Prize, 1989
* Peter Debye Award, 1993
* Roger Revelle Medal, 1994
* Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995
* MJ Molina and FS Rowland "Stratospheric Sink for Chlorofluoromethanes: Chlorine Atom-Catalysed Destruction of Ozone" Nature 249 (28 June 1974):810-2 doi:10.1038/249810a0