Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT)

Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT)

The Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology was founded 2011. Its mission is to bridge the gap between fundamental and applied research and the development of new technologies and products in the field of catalysis and process technology of catalyzed processes. The focus of our work is the sustainable utilization of alternative feedstocks and their conversion into energy carriers intermediates. This includes the development of new catalytic systems based on a fundamental understanding of processes on a molecular level.

Nachruf Baumgaertner


Exciting results from a PhD and a Master thesis recently published
The synthesis of chemicals and chemical products from renewable resources in a current and promising approach for a sustainable production. The group “Novel Catalyst Materials” (Dr. Erisa Saraci) uses for example platform molecules from biomass as raw materials. A particularly attractive conversion is the selective oxidation of 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural.
Two articles have been published recently in high-ranking journals and range from fundamental studies to a final overall process:

1) The first article represents a part of the PhD thesis of Oliver Schade and deals with the understanding of the reaction mechanism of the silver-catalyzed oxidation of HMF to 5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furancarboxylic acid (HFCA). For this, the working catalyst was studied under reaction conditions (in situ) by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. This enabled the clarification of a heterogeneously catalyzed dehydrogenation mechanism, which takes place on metallic silver particles.
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2020, 10, 5036-5047.

2) The second article is based on the Master thesis of Weiss Naim, which was initiated in a cooperation with the group of Prof. Andrea Kruse at the University of Hohenheim. This article deals with the influence of process-related byproducts of HMF synthesis on the selective oxidation of HMF to 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid. Here we could show that an overall process starting from biomass followed by the heterogeneously catalyzed oxidation of HMF is possible and FDCA can be produced in high yield.
(ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 31, 11512–11521.)
Congratulations to Oliver Schade for an excellent PhD thesis and congratulations to Naim Weiss for a very good Master thesis with subsequent publication!
Continuous co-precipitation is a scalable approach for the production of heterogeneous catalysts, which is particularly characterized by the homogeneity of the precipitated materials. For the catalysts of the type Cu/ZnO/ZrO2 (CZZ) obtained in this work, high BET and copper surfaces as well as an improved metal dispersion are achieved in this way. CZZ catalysts are particularly well suited for the direct synthesis of dimethyl ether (DME) from CO2, CO and H2, compared to conventionally prepared catalysts.
Direct thermochemical liquefaction is a key enabling technology to access biogenic resources - including residues - for a future bioeconomy. At IKFT, a brochure was created that aims at explaining this technology to the public and presenting its state of the art. It is available online following this link: