D2/E2 - Activation of carbon oxides

The chemical and biological transformations of CO and CO2 are key processes in industry and nature.

D2 - Dry reforming of methane (DRM)

Due to the low selectivity of methane activation, oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) is associated with a considerable pro­duction of CO2 which in turn requires costly separation procedures in industrial applications.

Thus, concomitant to the improvement of the OCM process, the studies in this research band aim at conversion routes of CO2 that may be combined with the OCM process, i.e., the dry reform­ing of methane (DRM):
CH4 + CO2 → 2 CO + 2 H2    

Here we follow the same multi-scale strategy as outlined for OCM. Cata­lytic model systems on ideal surfaces are systematically explored in terms of the adsorption behavior of reactants and putative intermediates and products. In a model approach the acti­vation of CO2 with basic and redox species will be studied over binary and ternary manganese oxo gas phase clusters and thin chromium oxide films with well-controlled defect chemistry.

Project team

Dau, Dobbek, DriessFreundHildebrandt, Kaupp, Kraume, Limberg, OestreichRay, Risse, Sauer, SchefflerSchlögl, Schwarz, Schomäcker,  ThomasWozny.
Former team members: Enders, HornSchubert, Tzschucke.
Main investigators are given in bold.

E2 - Understanding the molecular mechanisms of enzymatic conversions of carbon oxides

The main objective of the biological part of this research Band (E2) is to understand the molecular mechanisms of enzymatic conversions of carbon oxides by analysing the catalytic cycles of selected enzymes using different cofactors. Thus, the elucidation of the respective catalytic mechanisms will provide further insight on how similar reactions are catalysed by quite different active sites.

Stereo presentation of a CODH II dimer

Among them, the [NiFe]-containing carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH; E2-1) catalysing the transformation of CO to CO2 and vice versa constitutes an excellent reference system for the studies in this research band, as high-resolution three-dimensional structures are available that substantially support the EPR, IR and Mößbauer spectroscopic and theoretical studies.

Project Team

Bittl/Teutloff, Dau, Dobbek, Fischer, Hildebrandt/Zebger, Kaupp/Pelmenschikov, Knorr, Leimkühler, Mroginski, Weidinger, Wollenberger.
Former team members: Tzschucke.
Main investigators are given in bold.