Manufactures of consumer products seek to package their wares in a way that they are lightweight and convenient to carry. The African-American inventor who made such packaging possible is Anthony L. Dent. The product is High Density Polyethylene catalysts. HDPE catalysts produce resins that are used to make six-pack can and bottle holders, one-gallon milk and water containers, and other products. The patent belongs to PQ Corporation.
Dent was born April 19, 1943, in Indian Head, Maryland. He and a sibling were reared by his mother, a domestic worker, whom he claims as his early role model. Dent became interested in chemistry through a pre-college summer job at the U.S. Naval Ordnance station in Indian Head. He was fortunate to have two key mentors, Frank Palmer, a Howard University chemist who was working at the naval station and Dr. Harold Delaney, a chemistry professor at Morgan State University from which Dent received his bachelor’s degree in 1966. Dent was awarded a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University and was a faculty member for 8 years at Carnegie-Mellon University in the School of Engineering.
Dent retired from PQ Corporation after 22 years in 2000. He currently co-edits the NOBCCHE News Magazine (National Organization of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers), and is the printed materials chair of the organization’s National Conference Planning Committee.