Sustainable Chemistry & Catalysis

The research activities of the chair of Sustainable Chemistry & Catalysis aim to advance the general sustainability aspects of the chemical industry, the desired energy and resource transition and the emerging aim to establish a circular economy.

The research of the group focuses on:

Development of new homogeneous and heterogeneous catalyst materials and catalytic conversion routes for the synthesis of valuable organic chemical building blocks (chemicals) and materials from renewable resources, be it biomass, CO2 or waste streams.
• The development of new hybrid materials and new concepts in molecular catalysis to achieve these transformations.
The full integration of such catalytic processes and technologies in future refinery systems and circular economy concepts. The research is done at the interface of the disciplines of organic and inorganic chemistry and heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis.

New routes and heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts for the valorization of renewables-derived platform molecules

Waste-to-chemicals: volatile fatty acids to aromatics New route to sugar-derived aromatics: Diels-Alder aromatization of bio-based furanics


Lignin valorization: e.g., aromatics from lignin by tandem homogeneous catalysis

New concepts at the interface of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, e.g. Pickering emulsions as medium for catalysis and Single Atom Catalysts

Pickering emulsions allow tandem reactions using antagonistic catalysts (e.g. acid and base catalyzed reactions)

Advanced characterization of complex biomass feeds, e.g. lignins and humins

Structure elucidation of model and industrial humins, side products of sugar refining, can aid valorization or prevent their formation

Structure elucidation of technical lignins, such as Kraft lignin provides input for lignin valorization