Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

Inorganic Materials & Catalysis

Establishing fundamental insight into structure-performance relations for heterogeneous catalysts relevant to a sustainable economy

Resolving catalyst operation at the molecular scale

The Inorganic Materials & Catalysis (IMC) group investigates heterogeneous catalysts that are pivotal to clean and sustainable chemical conversion processes for the production of fuels and chemicals. Heterogeneous catalysis significantly shapes society, as it plays a crucial role in the production of base chemicals, fuels for mobility and the synthesis of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. At IMC, we investigate the atomic scale relation between the active site and its immediate surrounding and catalytic performance. The group addresses this challenge by combining detailed characterization of nanoscopically organized and well-defined chemically functionalized catalytic solid materials under realistic conditions with advanced kinetic testing supported by multiscale theoretical modeling concepts. The catalytic systems selected deal mostly with current needs to develop a sustainable economy. The scientific challenge is to analyze catalyst synthesis and performance on relevant scales of the underlying processes. The catalysts of choice are usually complex and in recent years computational tools have been developed to model the respective relevant processes not only in space but also in time. It implies a significant focus on the detection and simulation of the state of the catalyst at reaction conditions.

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