Research Prof. Palkovits


Heterogeneous Catalysis and Technical Chemistry

With heterogeneous catalysis and material design as core expertises, we tackle global challenges via the development of sustainable chemical transformations and processes.

Our focus areas comprehend:

  Focus areas of the working group heterogenous catalysis Regina Palkovits  


Biomass Valorization

Lignocellulose is the main constituent of biomass, does not compete with food industry and is readily available as a part of various waste streams of for instance agriculture, forestry, and paper industry. Therefore, lignocellulose is likely to be an important renewable feedstock for the production of chemicals and biofuels. Major research challenges comprehend the design of selective and stable solid catalysts for tailored transformations in aqueous phase.

  Logos of the following Partners: Tailor Made Fuels from Biomass, Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V., Sustainable Chemical Synthesis, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation respective Organization  


Recent advances in heterogeneous catalytic transformations of lignocellulosic feedstocks into biofuels

Alternative monomers based on lignocellulose and their use for polymer production

Catalytic isomerization of biomass-derived aldoses: A review


Environmental Catalysis

Catalysis presents a major tool for the design of benign chemical processes. Despite intensive research, zero emission technologies remain rare. Consequently, efficient catalysts for the abatement of exhaust emissions is of utmost importance. The Center for Automotive Catalytic Systems Aachen is a Project House of RWTH Aachen University and enables in an interdisciplinary approach a comprehensive optimization of complete exhaust gas aftertreatment systems from material synthesis and catalyst structures to system integration.

  Logo of Center for Automotive Catalytic Systems Aachen The Center for Automotive Catalytic Systems Aachen  


Nitrogen oxide removal over hydrotalcite-derived mixed metal oxides

Investigation of potassium doped mixed spinels Cu x Co3−x O4 as catalysts for an efficient N2O decomposition in real reaction conditions

Catalytic versus stoichiometric reagents as a key concept for Green Chemistry



Energy generation based on wind, water and sun light enables a CO2-free energy supply. However, the energy supply is not constant but fluctuates over time necessitating suitable technologies for short, medium and long-term energy storage. Especially chemical energy conversion in compounds of high volumetric and gravimetric energy density presents a promising tool to address energy storage. Herein, catalysis plays a major role as enabling technology, for example aiming for energy efficient water electrolysis, hydrogen storage via selective transformations with CO2 as well as biofuel synthesis.


Solid catalysts for the selective low-temperature oxidation of methane to methanol

Direct methane oxidation over Pt-modified nitrogen-doped carbons

Ammonia as a possible element in an energy infrastructure: catalysts for ammonia decomposition


High-performance Materials

Advanced synthesis strategies enable the design of materials with tailored structural and chemical properties for application in separation challenges and catalysis. Especially covalent organic framework materials present promising materials for various applications. Applying hypercrosslinked polymers, a selective adsorption of platform chemicals from aqueous phase has been demonstrated. Focusing on covalent triazine frameworks, single-site catalysis as well as nitrogen-stabilization of small nanoparticles became possible. Recently, even solid analogues of triphenylphosphine ligands loaded with ruthenium could be successfully applied in formic acid decomposition.

  Formation of covalent triazine frameworks   Logo of the DFG DFG  


Selective liquid phase adsorption of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural on nanoporous hyper-cross-linked polymers

Local platinum environments in a solid analogue of the molecular Periana catalyst

N-containing covalent organic frameworks as support for rhodium as transition-metal catalysts in hydroformylation reactions

Solid molecular Phosphine catalysts for formic acid decomposition in the biorefinery