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Heterogeneos catalysis and sustainable processes

Regina Palkovits has moved to RWTH Aachen as Professor for Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry in 2010. Information on her current research is available here. This web page documents the activities of her group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (until 2010).

Our research focuses on the development of novel solid catalysts for the efficient utilization of fossil and renewable resources and process design for the transformation of biomass into value-added chemicals and biofuels.

Regina Palkovits

Prof. Dr. Regina Palkovits

2010
Professor at RWTH Aachen
2009
Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung
2008
Habilitand at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung
2007
Post-Doc Fellowship with Prof. Dr. B. M. Weckhuysen, Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
2003-2006
Ph.D. Thesis with Prof. Dr. F. Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Department of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Functional Solids
2003
Diploma Thesis at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung with Prof. Stefan Kaskel
2002
Term abroad at the Chemical Engineering Department of Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA
1998-2003
Undergraduate studies of chemical engineering at the Technical University Dortmund
2010
Innovation Award of North Rhine-Westfalia
2010
Junior Professorship of the Robert Bosch Foundation
2010
Jochen-Block Award of the German Catalysis Society
2008
GKSS Award for "Comprehensible Science" (Helmholtz Society)
2008
„Fast Track“ fellowship of the Robert Bosch Foundation
2007
Hendrik Casimir-Karl Ziegler research prize of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Science and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science
1998
Bookprize of the Chemical Industry Fond
2008
Material cost fellowship of German Chemical Industry Fund

RWTH Aachen, Department of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry

Lecture of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry I (WS 2010/2011) for students of chemistry and process engineering, RWTH Aachen University.
Lecture of Nanostructured Catalyst Design (SS 2011) for graduate students of chemistry, RWTH Aachen.
Lecture of Sustainable Industrial Catalysis (SS 2011) for graduate students of chemistry, RWTH Aachen.
Informations and documents can be found on the lecture website of RWTH Aachen.

2010
Member of "Junge Akademie"
2009
Member of the "Global Young Faculty", founded by Mercator Foundation and Institute for Advanced Study for the Humanities Essen
2008
External Member of the Cluster of Excellence "Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass" at RWTH Aachen
 

R. Palkovits, F. Schüth, M. Antonietti, C. Baltes, A. Thomas, German patent application, (2009), DE 10 2009 034 685.6, pending. Verfahren zur Oxidation von Methan.

R. Rinaldi, R. Palkovits and F. Schüth, German patent application, (2008) DE 10 2008 0 14, pending. Depolymerization of cellulose by solid catalysts in ionic liquids.

S. Kaskel, R. Palkovits, H. Althues, U. Holle; Patent (2005) DE-A-10349061.2 Production of Plastics containing fillers.

RWTH Aachen, Department of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry

Lecture of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry I (WS 2010/2011) for students of chemistry and process engineering, RWTH Aachen University.
Lecture of Nanostructured Catalyst Design (SS 2011) for graduate students of chemistry, RWTH Aachen.
Lecture of Sustainable Industrial Catalysis (SS 2011) for graduate students of chemistry, RWTH Aachen.
Informations and documents can be found on the lecture website of RWTH Aachen.

Research Topics

Molecular inspired solid catalysts for the direct oxidation of methane to methanol
Molecular inspired solid catalysts for the direct oxidation of methane to methanol

Molecular inspired solid catalysts for the direct oxidation of methane to methanol

Direct oxidation of methane to methanol is a long standing challenge in catalysis hampered by the high binding energy of the CH3-H bond and the ease of overoxidation to CO2. Our studies concentrate on the development of polymer based solid catalysts for the oxidation of methane to methanol via methylbisulfate as intermediate species. The polymers exhibit structural units which allow molecular coordination of metal centres within the material. We could demonstrate that such materials reach activities comparable to the well known molecular Periana system together with high selectivities and stability over several recycling steps. Further investigations cover catalyst development, structure-activity relations and process design.

Funded by: EnerChem

Development of solid catalysts for ammonia decomposition
Development of solid catalysts for ammonia decomposition

Development of solid catalysts for ammonia decomposition

Ammonia synthesis is one of the most important achievements of the chemical industry. Recently however, ammonia decomposition has attracted increasing attention, not only for cleanup of syngas from coal or biomass gasification but increasingly also for the on-site production of COx-free hydrogen for fuel cell applications. Accordingly, suitable catalysts for both low and high temperature applications are required. To allow ammonia decomposition at low temperature, we concentrate on supported noble metal catalysts and study factors as micro- and mesoporosity of the support and promoters of the group of alkaline and alkaline earth metals. Besides, metal carbides and nitrides are considered for high temperature applications.

Funded by: EnerChem

Processes for the efficient utilization of renewable resources

Processes for the efficient utilization of renewable resources

Our research with special focus on for development of processes for efficient utilization of renewable resources in developing and emerging countries is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation in the frame of the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship for Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources.

The present approach aims for the development of catalytic low temperature conversion technologies for the efficient utilization of biomass based on lignocellulose rich residues and waste streams with focus on catalyst and process development for application in developing and emerging countries. Main challenges include process design and identification of suitable inexpensive and potentially noble metal free catalysts, which are resistant against naturally occurring sulfur compounds, allow energy efficient processing at moderate reaction conditions in aqueous phase.

Bi-functional catalysts for direct transformation of cellulose and wood
Bi-functional catalysts for direct transformation of cellulose and wood

Bi-functional catalysts for direct transformation of cellulose and wood

Hydrogenolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose resulting in C-C and C-O cleavage is a promising technology for the direct transformation of biomass into value-added chemicals and could be an entry point for future biorefinery concepts. Suitable catalyst systems cover the whole range of molecular and solid acid catalysts together with hydrogenation catalysts. Interestingly, the requirements concerning catalyst development for biomass conversions appear to be different from those for catalysts for conventional petrochemical processes. Both the high polarity of the substrates and the high polarity of the utilized solvents together with the need for liquid phase processes necessitate new strategies in material design and adapted surface properties of the catalysts.

Funded by: TMFB and Robert Bosch Stiftung

Production of biomass based monomers for polymer production
Production of biomass based monomers for polymer production

Production of biomass based monomers for polymer production

Terephthalic acid presents such an important oil-based building block for chemical synthesis and important monomer for a multitude of polymers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyamide. Accordingly, a biomass-based alternative to terephthalic acid would be highly desirable. Therein, 2,5-furandialdehyde (FDA) and 2,5-furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) appear to be interesting molecules which can be prepared via dehydration of sugars to form 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) followed by oxidation. Consequently, the development of suitable solid acid and oxidation catalysts is necessary and depends on solvent system, reaction conditions and process design.

Funded by: NETZ and Robert Bosch Stiftung

 

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