Sweeney, Orland Russell
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-4120
1.8 linear ft. (6 document boxes)
Collection includes biographical information, correspondence, clippings, honors, patents, publications concerning utilization of agricultural wastes (corncobs, cornstalks, etc.), committee files involving his work with the Greater Iowa Commission, War Production Board, Iowa State Planning Board, and Midwest Research Institute, and project files including chemical warfare, chicle substitute, coal and corn alcohol. Professor and Head of Dept. of Chemical Engineering at Iowa State University (1920-1948). Born 1882 in Martin's Ferry, Ohio, moving to Piper City, Illinois at an early age. Spent seven years working in the iron and steel industry. Education: B.S. in Chemical Engineering (1909) and M.A. (1910) from Ohio State University; Ph.D. (1916) from University of Pennsylvania. During WWI he worked in the development of large poison gas plants. Served on the faculties at University of Pennsylvania, North Dakota Agricultural College, and as head of the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at University of Cincinnati before coming to Iowa State College in 1921 in the same capacity. In research Sweeney promoted the utilization of agricultural waste materials for products such as insulation and wallboard. His work in the manufacture of furfural, an oily liquid used in the making of lacquer and dyes, from corncobs has resulted in an industry of great importance. His writings have been widely published in scientific periodicals, and his patents number about 300 for water softening processes, utilization of agricultural wastes and electrolytic apparatus. His inventions include several medical appliances used in making disinfectants. Memberships: American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Iowa Engineering Society, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Phi Lambda Upsilon.