Research Achievements 2007 - 2011

The following section outlines concisely the major achievements of each Research Field with respect to added-values through topical interaction and referring to selected theme-relevant publications.

Research Areas of UniCat

In Area A, the central challenge was to explore how the performance of catalytic materials varies depending on different length scales and in different molecular environments. 

A1: Bridging model systems to real catalysis: oxidative methane coupling
A2: Tailoring metal-support interactions
A3: Hierarchically organised solid catalysts
A4: Consecutive catalysis for fine chemical synthesis
A5: Linking homogeneous and biocatalysis

In Area B, the mechanisms of biocatalytic processes of intriguing redox-, light- and voltage-“powered” enzymes were investigated at molecular and cellular levels. 

B1: Photosynthetic water oxidation, light driven H2 production, hydrogenase-based biofuel cells
B2: Structure-function analysis of oxygen tolerant hydrogenases
B3: Cofactor insertion and functional investigations on complex molybdoenzymes
B4: Light- and voltage-gated enzymes
B5: Bioelectronic building blocks 

In Area C, the novel catalytic systems developed in areas A and B are scaled up and tested on the mini-plant level, thereby developing novel reactor types and methodologies for process design.

C1: Processing of solid catalysts
C2: Biocatalysis and process techniques
C3: Process simulation with hierarchic models
C4: Design of integrated catalytic processes

Development of Research Structure since 2011

Based on our research achievements until 2011, the organisation of the research programme is shifted from a competence-oriented to a target-oriented structure that allows for elucidating complex catalytic processes in a more efficient and comprehensive manner.

The former Areas A, B, and C are merged into two new areas devoted to Chemical (Area D) and Biological Catalysis (Area E). The projects in both areas are intertwined to form four Research Bands.

Special Issue

Unforeseen exciting new results have been achieved, ranging from materials synthesis for solar-energy-driven catalytic transformations, novel molecular catalysts for facile activation of small molecules, heterogenization of homogeneous catalysts, structuring of surface nanoparticles, structural elucidation of metalloenzyme cofactors, and process modeling to the use of new reactor types.

ChemCatChem, 2, 709 - 875 (2010)

Guest editors: Christian Limberg and Matthias Driess