Sustainable catalytic processes

Catalysts are indispensable and omnipresent in chemical industry and industrial biotechnology. They accelerate chemical reactions by reducing the activation energy, thus enabling the selective and efficient synthesis of products.

The innovation field "Catalysts" is working on the development of chemical, electrochemical and biotechnological catalysts for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from renewable resources.

In so-called CCU processes (Carbon Capture and Utilization), carbon dioxide (CO2) is converted by means of heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis into C1 intermediates, ethene and higher hydrocarbons. Furthermore, catalysts are developed for ammonia synthesis, reforming processes and the oxidative conversion of organic educts.

The C1 intermediates obtained, such as methanol or formate, are used as substrates in whole-cell catalytic processes for the fermentative synthesis of value-added products.

Fields of activity and technologies

  • Catalysts for heterogeneous catalytic gas phase reactions
  • Catalyst screening in continuous and batch experiments
  • Electrocatalysts and electrodes for cathodic and anodic reactions
  • Coupling of chemo-, electro- and biocatalytic reactions in process cascades
  • Metabolic engineering of microbial production strains
  • Process development
  • Feasibility studies for industrial process implementation

Our approach: Power-to-X-to-Y

When the intermediates derived from CO2 and regenerative energy are further processed in coupled chemical and biotechnological procedures to more complex and higher-value products, various synthesis routes are accessible for a broad range of chemical products with increased added-value.


In this way, CO2 becomes to a useful primary resource. We will be happy to advise you on which routes are suitable for your case.


Chemical catalysts

  • Catalyst development and synthesis
  • Catalyst screening
  • Process development
    • Heterogeneously catalyzed reactions in gas and liquid phases
    • CO2 conversion
    • Renewable ("green") ammonia

Electrochemical catalysts

  • Development of electrocatalysts and electrode materials
  • Electrochemical CO2 conversion
  • Electrochemical syntheses
  • Electrochemical conversion of biogenic raw materials


  • Strain development
  • Metabolic engineering of microbial production strains
  • Fermentation (laboratory scale) of C1 substrates
  • Conversion of C1-substrates and other biogenic substrates
  • Biobased polymer building blocks
  • Microbial electrosynthesis