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. The institute receives basic funding from the Helmholtz Association's program-oriented funding, largely in the Energy research field in the program Materials and Technologies for the Energy Transition.


chemical Engineering Research and Design
Paper on turbulence modeling in bubble columns featured on front cover of “Chemical Engineering Research and Design”

Computational Fluid Dynamics is a promising approach to support the design of industrial bubble columns operated at elevated pressures and temperatures. Nowadays such computations are often limited to lab-scale bubble columns and aqueous liquids at ambient conditions. Of special importance is reliable modeling of turbulence, which differs from that in single-phase flows. In a recent paper, Erdogan et al. present a systematic framework for the development of improved statistical turbulence models for bubble-driven liquid flows at technically relevant conditions. It combines scale-resolved (direct) simulations of swarms of millimeter-sized bubbles with scale-reduced simulations of an industrial pilot-scale bubble column, where numerical results for organic systems under elevated pressure are compared with measurements reported in literature.

IEA Bioenergy Task 34 lead will be continued at IKFT in the upcoming three years

Task lead of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Task 34 ‚Direct Thermochemical Liquefaction (DTL)‘ will remain at IKFT with Dr.-Ing. Axel Funke and Alex Böhm for the upcoming triennium 2022-2024. IEA Bioenergy Task 34 consists of representatives from research institutes and industry to foster a reasonable implementation of DTL technology. A very dynamic development of DTL oil production capacity, especially in Northern Europe, is currently observed that goes hand in hand with new product applications. IEA Bioenergy Task 34 will continue to foster this development, next to evaluating the role of DTL technology in a future circular economy to provide system services and sector coupling.

PhD defense of Dr.-Ing. Philipp Haltenort

We congratulate Dr.-Ing. Philipp Haltenort on successfully graduating as Dr.-Ing. on Jan. 21, 2022. In his dissertation, "Demonstration and evaluation of the continuous and heterogeneously catalyzed synthesis of oxymethylene dimethyl ethers (OME) from dimethyl ether and trioxane" a reactor system was developed for the production of OME. These represent a sustainable and clean alternative to fossil diesel fuels. With the experimental work on the identification and kinetic description of the reaction system as well as an economic potential analysis of the process, his work represents a fundamental contribution to the development of this synthesis process.


IKFT Seminar: Monday, May 23rd at 2:00 pm (IKFT, room 202)

Topic : Micropyrolysis experiments in off-line mode with comprehensive characterization of liquid products: What we can learn about biomass thermoconversion?

Prof. Dr. Alberto Wisniewski Jr (Petroleum and Energy from Biomass Research Group – PEB, Federal University of Sergipe - Department of Chemistry)