BLUFThe Houdry process--named after a French engineer who later became a nationalised American, produced better gasoline that could more easily be turned into 100-octane aviation gasoline.
This article from the American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry and Public Outreach makes the following points:
- The catalytic cracking of petroleum revolutionised industry and transport.
- Eugene Houdry’s syndicate built a demonstration plant in France to produce high-octane fuel.
- The French Government chose not to continue with its support.
- Houdry offered the process to the US, who took it up.
- During WW2, high-octane fuel gave allied air power a considerable advantage.