Sonja Mürtz


Sonja Mürtz

M. Sc.
Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry


Building: Sammelbau Chemie

Room: 38B 341

Worringerweg 1

52074 Aachen


Phone: +49 241 80 20112
Fax Fax: +49 241 80 22561


Hydrogen will be an important energy carrier in the future. Volatile energy from renewable sources can be stored using water splitting methods and transformed back to electrical energy in a fuel cell when needed. Moreover, the chemical industry and the mobility sector will have to use hydrogen to overcome dependencies on fossil resources in areas which cannot be electrified. To minimize impact of industry, companies, and electricity consumers on nature and environment, it is important to make hydrogen production as sustainable and efficient as possible.

Hydrogen production through water electrolysis is intensively investigated but low hydrogen evolution rates due to the kinetically limited anodic oxygen formation at high overpotentials remain challenging. Thus, this technique is not yet economically competitive to fossil-based processes or other energy carriers because of high energy consumption.

Replacing oxygen evolution with glycerol oxidation reaction is a promising approach to increase the efficiency of the hydrogen production and generate valuable chemicals such as glyceric aldehyde, acid or dihydroxyacetone simultaneously. Glycerol oxidation as the anodic reaction could decrease the cell voltage as alcohols are oxidized at lower potentials compared to water. In addition, glycerol is cheap and abundantly available as a side product of biodiesel production. Currently, it is deposited on landfills or burned due to overproduction.

Research focus:

  • Development and characterization of new electrode materials for the selective electro-oxidation of glycerol
  • Influence of reaction conditions on conversion and yield of the anodic glycerol oxidation in chronoamperometric experiments


S. Mürtz, N Kurig, FJ Holzhäuser, R. Palkovits, Reviving electrocatalytic reductive amination: a sustainable route from biogenic levulinic acid to 1, 5-dimethyl-2-pyrrolidone, Green Chemistry, 2021.