Research Prof. Palkovits
Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry
With heterogeneous catalysis and material design as core expertises, we tackle global challenges via the development of sustainable chemical transformations and processes.
Our focus areas comprehend:
Lignocellulose is the main constituent of biomass, does not compete with food industry and is readily available as a part of various waste streams of for instance agriculture, forestry, and paper industry. Therefore, lignocellulose is likely to be an important renewable feedstock for the production of chemicals and biofuels. Major research challenges comprehend the design of selective and stable solid catalysts for tailored transformations in aqueous phase.
Catalysis presents a major tool for the design of benign chemical processes. Despite intensive research, zero emission technologies remain rare. Consequently, efficient catalysts for the abatement of exhaust emissions is of utmost importance. The Center for Automotive Catalytic Systems Aachen is a Project House of RWTH Aachen University and enables in an interdisciplinary approach a comprehensive optimization of complete exhaust gas aftertreatment systems from material synthesis and catalyst structures to system integration.
Energy generation based on wind, water and sun light enables a CO2-free energy supply. However, the energy supply is not constant but fluctuates over time necessitating suitable technologies for short, medium and long-term energy storage. Especially chemical energy conversion in compounds of high volumetric and gravimetric energy density presents a promising tool to address energy storage. Herein, catalysis plays a major role as enabling technology, for example aiming for energy efficient water electrolysis, hydrogen storage via selective transformations with CO2 as well as biofuel synthesis.
Advanced synthesis strategies enable the design of materials with tailored structural and chemical properties for application in separation challenges and catalysis. Especially covalent organic framework materials present promising materials for various applications. Applying hypercrosslinked polymers, a selective adsorption of platform chemicals from aqueous phase has been demonstrated. Focusing on covalent triazine frameworks, single-site catalysis as well as nitrogen-stabilization of small nanoparticles became possible. Recently, even solid analogues of triphenylphosphine ligands loaded with ruthenium could be successfully applied in formic acid decomposition.