Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry | RWTH Aachen


Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner

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Research topics and profile (related to bioeconomy)

The aim of the research is the development of sustainable syntheses for the production of chemical products within the field of Green Chemistry. Research focuses on the production and characterization of novel organometallic catalysts and catalytically active materials, the establishment of new transformations and syntheses, the investigation of alternative solvents, and the development of reaction engineering concepts for molecular catalysis.

Vision: The long term vision of our scientific activities is to establish an integrated approach to catalysis research bridging molecular and engineering sciences for sustainable chemical production.

Mission: Our research is directed towards fundamental understanding and generic methodological developments in the field of molecular catalysis. Based on the specific expertise and know-how of our team in Green Chemistry, we actively engage in collaborations with neighbouring disciplines, because interactions with other areas such as biotechnology, material sciences, and process engineering are seen to be vital for the development of modern catalysis sciences.

Strategy: Our scientific approach is based on the four areas of design and preparation of catalysts and catalytically active materials, the search for new or improved chemical transformations, exploring the potential of advanced fluids as reaction media for solution phase processes, and new concepts for reaction engineering of molecular catalysis. These sectors are not isolated, but are strongly linked through common research goals and/or experimental techniques.

Contributions to BioSC

The limitation of fossil resources and the global efforts to reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions demand innovative strategies for sustainable production of fuels and chemicals from renewable raw materials. The present contribution exemplifies this for selected biomass-derived platform chemicals of the molecular pathways in the complex reaction networks. For future sustainable conversion of biogenic feedstocks, the development of novel catalytic methodologies for highly selective transformations in the combination with an integrated product separation is of particular importance.