[If you are a distiller, make sure you know about the birectifier]
So who was this guy, Rafael Arroyo, and why did he win the contract to advance Puerto Rican rum? Could anyone else have done as good a job? Was this guy some sort of genius or coincidentally just a native with the right scientific skill set? (my bet is staggering genius.)
In tracking down his lost papers I found another patent of his. Arroyo is known to most contemporary rum enthusiasts through his patent on producing heavy bodied rums which was digitized by google and thus accessible.
We can get a glimpse of Arroyo’s credentials through his other patents which are all for advanced industrial fermentations proving he entered rum work with a formidable skill set. By the 1940’s when Arroyo was working on rum he must have been well into his career and had some pretty heavy industrial experience under his belt.
Arroyo also appears to be from Puerto Rico which isn’t the biggest surprise, though it is surprising that PR industry was doing boundary pushing work in bio technology in the 1930’s.
Hopefully soon I can dig up an obituary so we can learn more about the guy.
[Added 1/17/15 courtesy awesome reader Rex Clingan]
From the American Chemical Society 1949:
Rafael Arroyo, 57, Puerto Rican industrial research chemist, died suddenly Aug. 16 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. He had been for many years head of the chemistry department of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Rio Piedras, and specialized in the industrial utilization of sugar cane molasses and its by-products. He originated the “Proceso Arroyo” under which the production of rum spirits by a special treatment of the molasses used in the fermentation stage was increased. He graduated in 1916 from Louisiana State University, where he had majored in sugar engineering. In the U. S. he had worked for Armour and Co., Staier Chemical Co., and the U. S. Industrial Alcohol Co. He joined ACS in 1946.
Fermentation Agent 1938