Kira Ehmann receives poster award

The PhD student was awarded at the conference "The Role of Catalysis for the Energy-Transition"

Kira Ehmann, PhD student at Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, was awarded a poster prize at the conference "The Role of Catalysis for the Energy-Transition".

At the conference "The Role of Catalysis for the Energy-Transition", which took place from 05.10.-07.10.22 in Ludwigshafen, Kira Ehmann was awarded for her poster entitled "Catalyst Recycling by a Self-Separation of the Product Phase in the Production of Formic Acid from Carbon Dioxide". Kira Ehmann is a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in the Multiphase Catalysis group of PD Dr. Andreas Vorholt.

"I am very happy about the poster award and the opportunity to have presented and discussed my research results in an academic, but mainly industrial environment", explains Kira Ehmann. Her poster presented her research on the production of formic acid from carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) in a reaction system with self-separating product and recyclable catalyst phase. She developed an alternative concept to the typical approach of liquid/liquid multiphase reaction systems for catalyst recycling in homogeneous catalysis. She only used a single solvent for the homogeneous ruthenium phosphine catalyst in the CO2 hydrogenation to formic acid instead of one solvent for the catalyst and another immiscible solvent for the product in her research.1 By selecting a rather polar amine, which is required as additive in the reaction, the formic acid produced in course of the reaction self-separates together with the amine as a second liquid phase. In the process, the doctoral student investigated different reaction conditions to optimize the product yield and to achieve the complete transfer of the formic acid to the formed phase. Finally, after each reaction, she separated the second phase with formic acid and amine and recycled the remaining phase with her catalyst in the next reaction using new CO2, H2 and amine. Kira Ehmann was thus able to show that the catalyst phase can be used for several reactions in succession.

About the conference
The conference "The Role of Catalysis for the Energy-Transition" was organized by the Division “Petrochemistry” of the German Society for Sustainable Energy Carriers, Mobility and Carbon Cycles e.V. (DGMK), the Division of Industrial Chemistry of the Società Chimica Italiana (SCI) and the ÖGEW Austrian Society for Energy Sciences. The aim is to strengthen the exchange between experts from academia and industry.


1 K. R. Ehmann, A. Nisters, A. J. Vorholt, W. Leitner, ChemCatChem 2022, 14, e202200892. DOI: 10.1002/cctc.202200892
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