Catalysts are the key to many technologies and processes needed to build a climate-neutral economy. A hotspot for catalysis research has been developing in Berlin's research landscape for some time.
As part of the Excellence Strategy, new clusters such as UniSysCat have been created in which established research institutes bundle their activities and the chemical industry is involved through the BASCat laboratory. An important field of research is the production of green hydrogen: in order to produce hydrogen and synthetic fuels in a climate-neutral way using renewable energies, innovative catalysts are needed. The recently launched Berlin-based CatLab project, which is funded as part of the federal Hydrogen Strategy, is pursuing completely new approaches based on thin-film technologies that promise real leaps in innovation.
In order to make our energy system CO2-neutral, the production of green hydrogen and its further processing into basic chemicals and synthetic fuels on an industrial global scale is absolutely necessary. However, such a hydrogen economy can only be achieved with innovative leaps in synthetic chemistry. Novel catalysts and catalytic processes are the key.
To further promote catalysis research in Berlin, HU and HZB have now signed a cooperation agreement. Part of the laboratories in the new IRIS Research Building is additionally equipped for the development and investigation of heterogeneous catalyst systems. To study catalysts in action, electron microscopes have been set up in the basement. In addition, in-operando investigation methods such as X-ray diffraction, photoelectron, Raman, and UV-vis spectroscopy will be used, which will be completed by the high-end analysis options of the neighboring synchrotron radiation source BESSY II of the HZB. Close cooperation is also planned in the field of thin-film technology, using additive manufacturing processes and nanostructuring and synthesis methods.