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.


Sustainable kerosene
Sustainable kerosene: Accelerating production on an industrial scale

The BMBF is funding the international CARE-O-SENE research project with 30 million euros. It aims to improve the production of sustainable kerosene on an industrial scale. For this purpose, the collaborative partners, including KIT, are developing tailor-made catalysts to further develop the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) established in fuel production for the use of renewable energy sources. The application-oriented project focuses on the development of resource-saving catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. By using green hydrogen and carbon dioxide from biogenic sources or by separation from the air (Direct Air Capture), sustainable kerosene is obtained in this way.  Seven partners from South Africa and Germany are participating in the project. It is coordinated by the integrated chemical and energy company Sasol and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. The third major partner is KIT with theIKFT and the IIP. Other partners are Ineratec GmbH, a KIT spin-off, the University of Cape Town, with which KIT has had intensive relations for years, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS).
The measurements of the CATACT beamline at the KIT Light Source not only provide information about disturbing structural changes that can occur during the chemical reaction and reduce the yield of the target product. The different preparation methods are used to optimize the reaction parameters and to gain the identification of structure-activity correlations (Department of Novel Heterogeneous Catalysts at IKFT). The data are then incorporated into theoretical models and sustainability calculations (Theoretical Catalysis Department at IKFT). On this basis, IKFT researchers can make predictions about how the catalyst will change and what adjustments are necessary to make the industrial process stable, ecologically sustainable and economical on this basis.

European Young Chemists‘ Award
European Young Chemists’ Award

Our PhD Researcher Sebastian Weber won the Gold Medal of the European Young Chemists’ Award at the PhD Level during the EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Lisbon. The prize is awarded every two years by the Società Chimica Italiana (SCI) and the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) to showcase and recognize the excellent research being carried out by young scientists working in the chemical sciences.

George Parku nominated for the 2022 DAAD STIBET Grant for Outstanding Commitment

This year’s prestigious DAAD STIBET prize for outstanding commitment of international doctoral students is granted to George K. Parku, who is conducting his PhD at IKFT in the Group of Prof Dahmen in the field of ‚Optimization of low temperature, aqueous pyrolysis condensates for downstream microbial conversion‘. Next to excellent study results, this grant rewards outstanding commitment in the international context at KIT. The nomination was decided by vice presidents Prof Hirth and Prof Kraft; the ceremonial committal took place as part of KIT’s International Days on June, 22nd 2022.


IKFT Seminar:  Tuesday, March 14th at 2:00 pm (Room 202, IKFT)

Topic: Empowering catalyst supports – A new concept for catalyst design demonstrated in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

Prof. Dr. Nico Fischer (Catalysis Institute, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town)

IKFT Seminar:  Monday, 27th of February 2023, at 14.00 (Room 202, IKFT)