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In 1968, the U.S. Education Foundation in Tel Aviv arranged for Hajib H. Zaid, a refugee from the West Bank, to attend college. Aged 17, Zaid had little more than his wits and his love of chemistry to sustain him. After earning a B.A. in Chemistry and Math from Kansas Wesleyan University (1973), "Gene" Zaid took a job as a research chemist in Boeing Industries' Wichita plant, but also built himself a laboratory in his garage, in order to pursue his own inventions. Today, as a result of his efforts to improve the oil, gas and salt industries while protecting the environment, Zaid has won eight patents and founded two thriving corporations.
Zaid's first patent (#4,713,184, granted in 1987) was for a mixture of oil-soluble and water-soluble compounds that keeps oil wells and pipes free from bacteria, corrosion and debris. Zaid's combination "Corrosion Inhibitor" and "Scale Inhibitor" (known as JC 5150) became the cornerstone of his JACAM Chemical Partners, Ltd., which today does more than $3 million of business with oil companies in the U.S. and the Middle East. Zaid also developed and patented a process for converting potentially hazardous liquids encountered in the oil industry into solid pellets (1989): this makes the materials safer to handle, easier to transport, and friendly to the environment as well.
More recently, Zaid---sketching out the idea on a napkin during his lunch hour---invented a chemically treated form of rock salt ("CI" salt) that can de-ice roads without corrosive damage to them or the vehicles that drive on them (a patent is pending). Zaid continues to tackle, and solve, one problem after another in the realm of industrial chemistry. As an embodiment of the American dream (he became a naturalized citizen in 1987) and a protector of the environment, Gene Zaid stands as a preeminent role model for our aspiring inventors.