Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner - Molecular Catalysis


Dipl.-Chem. Univ. (Chemistry)University of Regensburg (1982-1987)
Dr. rer. nat.Institute for Inorganic Chemistry , University of Regensburg (1987-1989)
PostdocDyson Perrins Laboratory for Organic Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK (1990)
FellowshipLiebig Fellow of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, University of Regensburg (1991-1992)
Research associateMax-Planck-Working Group „CO2-Chemistry“, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (1992-1995)
HabilitationFriedrich-Schiller-University Jena(1995)
Lecturer (Privatdozent)Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (1995)
Group leaderDepartment of “Organic Synthesis” , Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim/Ruhr (1995-1998)
Head of the Technical LaboratoriesMax-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim/Ruhr (1998-2002)
Acting Chair
“Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry”, RWTH Aachen (2000-2002)
ChairTechnical Chemistry and Petrochemistry, Institut für Technische and Makromolekulare Chemie, RWTH Aachen (seit 2002)
External Scientific Member Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr (2002-2017)
DirectorMolecular Catalysis, MPI CEC (since 2017)


Full publications list | ORCID | ResearcherID

Selected MPI CEC publications

  • Kreissl, H., Jin, J., Lin, S.-H., Schütte, D., Störtte, S., Levin, N., Chaudret, B., Vorholt, A., Bordet, A. Leitner, W. (2021). Commercial Cu2Cr2O5 Decorated with Iron Carbide Nanoparticles as Multifunctional Catalyst for Magnetically Induced Continuous Flow Hydrogenation of Aromatic Ketones. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition in English, (xx), xx-xx. doi:10.1002/anie.202107916.
  • Kaithal, A., Chatterjee, B., Werlé, C.,  Leitner, W. (2021). Acceptorless dehydrogenation of methanol to carbon monoxide and hydrogen using molecular catalysts. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition in English, (xx), xx-xx. doi:10.1002/anie.202110910.
  • Zenner, J., Moos, G., Luska, K. L., Bordet, A.,  Leitner, W. (2021). Rh NPs Immobilized on Phosphonium- based Supported Ionic Liquid Phases (Rh@SILPs) as Hydrogenation Catalysts. Chimia,75(9), 724-732. doi:10.2533/chimia.2021.724.
  • Weidener, D., Klose, H., Graf von Westarp, W., Jupke, A., Leitner, W., De Maria, P. D., Grande,P.M.  (2021). Selective lignin fractionation using CO2-expanded 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (2-MTHF). Green Chemistry, (23), 6330-6336. doi:10.1039/D1GC01651B.
  • Rösler, T., Ehmann, K. R., Köhnke, K., Leutzsch, M., Wessel, N., Vorholt, A. J., Leitner, W.  (2021). Reductive hydroformylation with a selective and highly active rhodium amine system. Journal of Catalysis,400, 234-243. doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2021.06.001.
  • Bardow, A., Bizzarri, C., Cao, X. E., Cowan, A. J., Cummings, C., Del Angel Hernandez, V., Doan, H.,  Dowson, G., Ghosh, S., Gil, V., Gugujonovic, K., Kamali, A. R., König, M., Leitner, W ., Luo, J., Emerging technologies: general discussion. Faraday Discussions,230(0), 388-412. doi:10.1039/d1fd90048j.
  • Antico, E., Schlichter, P.,Werle, C., Leitner, W. (2021) Reduction of Carboxylic Acids to Alcohols via Manganese(I) Catalyzed Hydrosilylation. JACS AU,1(6), 742-749. doi:10.1021/jacsau.1c00140.
  • Bordet, A., El Sayed, S., Sanger, M., Boniface, K. J., Kalsi, D., Luska, K. L., Jessop, P.; Leitner,W. (2021). Selectivity control in hydrogenation through adaptive catalysis using ruthenium nanoparticles on a CO2-responsive support. Nature chemistry. doi:10.1038/s41557-021-00735-w.
  • Leitner, W., & Schmitz, M. (2021). Concluding remarks: Carbon dioxide utilization: where are we now? and where are we going? Faraday discussions.(XX) XX-XX doi:10.1039/d1fd00038a.
  • Püschel, S., Störtte, S., Topphoff, J., Vorholt, A. J., Leitner, W. (2021). Green process design for reductive hydroformylation of renewable olefin cuts for drop-in diesel fuels. ChemSusChem, (14), 1-10. doi:10.1002/cssc.202100929.
  • Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2021). Metal Nanoparticles Immobilized on Molecularly Modified Surfaces: Versatile Catalytic Systems for Controlled Hydrogenation and Hydrogenolysis. Accounts of Chemical Research, (xxx), xxx-xxx. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.1c00013.
  • Kaithal, A., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W. (2021). Carbon monoxide and hydrogen (syngas) as a C1-building block for selective catalytic methylation Chemical Science. 12, 976-982
  • Kuß, D. A., Hölscher, M.,  Leitner, W. (2021). Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol with Mn-PNP-Pincer Complexes in the Presence of Lewis Acids: the Formate Resting State Unleashed. CHEMCATCHEM . (13) 1-6  doi:10.1002/cctc.202100649.
  • Rengshausen, S., Van Stappen, C., Levin, N., Tricard, S., Luska, K.L., DeBeer, S., Chaudret, B., Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2021). Organometallic Synthesis of Bimetallic Cobalt‐Rhodium Nanoparticles in Supported Ionic Liquid Phases (CoxRh100−x@SILP) as Catalysts for the Selective Hydrogenation of Multifunctional Aromatic Substrates Small, 17,2006683 (10pp)
  • Weidener, D, Leitner, W., Domínguez de María, P., Klose, H., Grande, P.M. (2021). Lignocellulose fractionation using recyclable phosphoric acid: Lignin, cellulose and furfural production. ChemSusChem. 14, 909-916,
  • Kaithal, A., Kalsi, D., Krishnakumar, V., Pattanaik, S., Bordet, A., Leitner, W., Gunanathan, C. (2020). Ruthenium-Catalyzed Selective Hydroboronolysis of Ethers ACS Catalysis 10(24), 14390-14397.
  • Voit, G., Jenthra, S., Hölscher, M., Weyhermüller, T., Leitner, W. (2020). Reversible Insertion of Carbon Dioxide at Phosphine Sulfonamido PdII–Aryl Complexes Organometallics 39(24), 4465-4473.
  • Bordet, A., Moos, G., Welsh, C., Licence, P., Luska K.L., Leitner, W. (2020). Molecular Control of the Catalytic Properties of Rhodium Nanoparticles in Supported Ionic Liquid Phase (SILP) Systems ACS Catalysis 10(23), 13904-13912.
  • Strohmann, M., Vossen, J.T., Vorholt, A.J., Leitner, W. (2020). Recycling of two molecular catalysts in the hydroformylation/aldol condensation tandem reaction using one multiphase system Green Chemistry 22(23), 8444-8451.
  • Kacem, S., Emondts, M., Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2020). Selective hydrogenation of fluorinated arenes using rhodium nanoparticles on molecularly modified silica Catalysis Science & Technology 10(23), 8120-8126.
  • Pandey, P., Daw, P., Din Reshi, N.U., Ehmann, K.R., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W., Bera, J.K. (2020).  A Proton-Responsive Annulated Mesoionic Carbene (MIC) Scaffold on Ir Complex for Proton/Hydride Shuttle: An Experimental and Computational Investigation on Reductive Amination of Aldehyde Organometallics 39(21), 3849-3863.
  • Weidener, D., Dama, M., Dietrich, S.K., Ohrem, B., Pauly, M., Leitner, W., Domínguez de Maria, P., Grande, P.M., Klose, H. (2020). Multiscale analysis of lignocellulose recalcitrance towards OrganoCat pretreatment and fractionation Biotechnology for Biofuels 13, 155.
  • Hussong, C., Langanke, J., Leitner, W. (2020). A green route to polyurethanes: oxidative carbonylation of industrially relevant aromatic diamines by CO2-based methyl formate Green Chemistry 22(23), 8260-8270.
  • Hussong, C., Langanke, J., Leitner, W. (2020). Carbon2Polymer: A CO2‐based Route to Polyurethanes via Oxidative Carbonylation of TDA with Methyl Formate Chemie Ingenieur Technik 92(10), 1482-1488.
  • Goclik, L., Offner-Marko, L., Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2020). Selective Hydrodeoxygenation of Hydroxyacetophenones to Ethyl-Substituted Phenol Derivatives Using a FeRu@SILP Catalyst Chemical Communications 56(66), 9509-9512.
  • Weidener, D., Holtz, A., Klose, H., Jupke, A., Leitner, W., Grande, P.M. (2020). Lignin Precipitation and Fractionation from OrganoCat Pulping to Obtain Lignin with Different Sizes and Chemical Composition Molecules 25(15), 3330.
  • Chatterjee, B., Kalsi, D., Kaithal, A., Bordet, A., Leitner, W., Gunanathan, C. (2020). One-pot dual catalysis for the hydrogenation of heteroarenes and arenes Catalysis Science & Technology.
  • Beck-Sickinger, A.G., Carell, T., Dehnen, S., Leitner, W., Schreiner, P.R., Wennemers, H. (2020). From Scientists to Scientists—Moving Angewandte into the Future Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59(31), 12548-12549.
  • Cramer, H.H., Chatterjee, B., Weyhermüller, T., Werlé, C., Leitner, W. (2020). Controlling the Product Platform of Carbon Dioxide Reduction: Adaptive Catalytic Hydrosilylation of CO2 Using a Molecular Cobalt(II) Triazine Complex Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59(36), 15674-15681.
  • Erken, C., Hindemith, C., Weyhermüller, T., Hölscher, M., Werlé, C., Leitner, W. (2020). Hydroamination of Aromatic Alkynes to Imines Catalyzed by Pd(II)–Anthraphos Complexes ACS Omega 5(15), 8912-8918.
  • Moos, G., Emondts, M., Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2020). Selective Hydrogenation and Hydrodeoxygenation of Aromatic Ketones to Cyclohexane Derivatives Using a Rh@SILP Catalyst Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59(29), 11977-11983.
  • Esteban, J., Vorholt, A.J., Leitner, W. (2020). An overview of the biphasic dehydration of sugars to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and furfural: a rational selection of solvents using COSMO-RS and selection guides Green Chemistry.
  • Estes, D.P., Leutzsch, M., Schubert, L., Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2020). The Effect of Ligand Electronics on the Reversible Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2 to Formic Acid using Ruthenium Polyhydride Complexes: A Thermodynamic and Kinetic Study ACS Catalysis 10(5), 2990-2998.
  • Zimmerman, J.B., Anastas, P.T., Erythropel, H.C., Leitner, W. (2020). Designing for a green chemistry future Science 367(6476), 397-400.
  • El Sayed, S., Bordet, A., Weidenthaler, C., Hetaba, W., Luska, K., Leitner, W. (2020) Selective Hydrogenation of Benzofurans using Lewis Acid Modified Ruthenium-SILP Catalysts ACS Catalysis 10(3), 2124-2130.
  • Holtz, A., Weidener, D., Leitner, W., Klose, H., Grande, P.M., Jupke, A. (2020). Process development for separation of lignin from OrganoCat lignocellulose fractionation using antisolvent precipitation Separation and Purification Technology 236, 116295.
  • Kaithal, A., van Bonn, P., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W. (2020). Manganese(I)‐Catalyzed β‐Methylation of Alcohols using Methanol as C1 Source Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59(1), 215-220.
  • Kaithal, A., Schmitz, M., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W. (2020). On the mechanism of the Ruthenium‐catalyzed β‐methylation of alcohols with methanol ChemCatChem 12(3), 781-787. 
  • Scott, M., Westhues, C.G., Kaiser, T., Baums, J.C., Jupke, A., Franciò, G., Leitner, W. (2019). Methylformate from CO2: an integrated process combining catalytic hydrogenation and reactive distillation Green Chemistry 21(23), 6307-6317. 
  • Strohmann, M., Bordet, A., Vorholt, A.J., Leitner, W. (2019). Tailor-Made Biofuel 2-Butyltetrahydrofuran from the Continuous Flow Hydrogenation and Deoxygenation of Furfuralacetone Green Chemistry 21(23), 6299-6306. 
  • Kaithal, A., Gracia, L.-L., Camp, C., Quadrelli, E.A., Leitner, W. (2019). Direct Synthesis of Cycloalkanes from Diols and Secondary Alcohols or Ketones Using a Homogeneous Manganese Catalyst Journal of the American Chemical Society 141(44), 17487-17492.
  • Martínez-Ferraté, O., Chatterjee, B., Werlé, C., Leitner, W. (2019). Hydrosilylation of carbonyl and carboxyl groups catalysed by Mn(I) complexes bearing triazole ligands Catalysis Science & Technology 9(22), 6370-6379.
  • Grande, P.M., Weidener, D., Dietrich, S., Dama, M., Bellof, M., Maas, R., Pauly, M., Leitner, W., Klose, H., Domínguez de María, P. (2019). OrganoCat Fractionation of Empty Fruit Bunches from Palm Trees into Lignin, Sugars, and Cellulose-Enriched Pulp ACS Omega 4(11), 14451-14457.
  • Rohner, S.S., Kinzel, N., Werlé, C., Leitner, W. (2019). Systematic ligand variation to modulate the electrochemical properties of iron and manganese complexes Dalton Transactions 48, 13205-13211.
  • Liu, H., Zhu, L., Wallraf, A.M., Räuber, C., Grande, P.M., Anders, N., Gertler, C., Werner, B., Klankermayer, J., Leitner, W., Schwaneberg, U. (2019). Depolymerization of laccase-oxidized lignin in aqueous alkaline solution at 37°C ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7(13), 11150-11156.
  • Kaithal, A., Schmitz, M., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W. (2019). Ruthenium(II)-Catalyzed ß-Methylation of Alcohols using Methanol as C1 Source 11(21), 5287-5291. ChemCatChem.
  • Schrimpf, M., Esteban, J., Rösler, T., Vorholt, A.J., Leitner, W. (2019). Intensified Reactors for Gas-Liquid-Liquid Multiphase Catalysis: from Chemistry to Engineering Chemical Engineering Journal 372, 917-939.
  • Rengshausen, S., Etscheidt, F., Großkurth, J., Luska, K.L., Bordet, A., Leitner, W. (2019). Catalytic Hydrogenolysis of Substituted Diaryl Ethers by Using Ruthenium Nanoparticles on an Acidic Supported Ionic Liquid Phase (Ru@SILP-SO3H) Synlett 30(04), 405-412.  
  • Jens, C.M., Scott, M., Liebergesell, B., Westhaus, C.G., Schäfer, P., Franciò, G., Leonhard, K., Leitner, W., Bardow, A. (2019). Rh-Catalyzed Hydrogenation of CO2 to Formic Acid in DMSO-based Reaction Media: Solved and Unsolved Challenges for Process Development Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis 361(2), 307-316.
  • Faßbach, T.A., Vorholt, A.J., Leitner, W. (2019). The Telomerization of 1,3 Dienes – A Reaction Grows Up ChemCatChem 11(4), 1153-1166.
  • Rösler, T., Faβbach, T.A., Schrimpf, M., Vorholt, A.J., Leitner, W. (2019). Towards water-based recycling techniques: Methodologies for homogeneous catalyst recycling in liquid/liquid multiphase media and their implementation in continuous processes Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 58(7), 2421-2436.
  • Solmi, M.V., Schmitz, M., Leitner, W. (2019). CO2 as a Building Block for the Catalytic Synthesis of Carboxylic Acids Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis: Horizons in Sustainable Industrial Chemistry and Catalysis 178, Chapter 6, 105-124.
  • Cantat, T., Leitner, W. (2019). Section 6: Homogeneous catalysis for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals Research needs: Towards sustainable production of fuels and chemicals, EnergyX Report 60-68.
  • Erken, C., Kaithal, A., Sen, S., Weyhermüller, T., Hölscher, M., Werlé, C., Leitner, W. (2018). Manganese-catalyzed hydroboration of carbon dioxide and other challenging carbonyl groups Nature Communications 9, 4521.
  • Regenstein, L., Klement, T., Grande, P., Kryenschulte, D., Heyman, B., Maßmann, T., Eggert, A., Sengspiel, R., Wang, Y., Wierckx, N., Blanck, L.M., Spiess, A., Leitner, W., Bolm, C., Wessling, M., Jupke, A., Rosenbaum, M., Büchs, J. (2018). From beech wood to itaconic acid: case study on biorefinery process integration Biotechnology for Biofuels 11, 279-289.
  • Schmitz, M., Erken, C., Ohligschläger, A., Schnoor, J.-K., Westhues, N.F., Klankermayer, J., Leitner, W., Liauw, M.A. (2018). Homogeneously Catalyzed Synthesis of (Higher) Alcohols (C1–C4) from the Combination of CO2/CO/H2Chemie Ingenieur Technik 90(10), 1476-1488.
  • Martínez-Ferraté, O., Werlé, C., Franciò, G., Leitner, W. (2018). Aminotriazole Mn(I) Complexes as Effective Catalysts for Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones ChemCatChem 23, 4514-4518.
  • Offner-Marko, L., Bordet, A., Moos, G., Tricard, S., Rengshausen, S., Chaudret, B., Luska, K.L., Leitner, W. (2018). Bimetallic Nanoparticles in Supported Ionic Liquid Phases as Multifunctional Catalysts for the Selective Hydrodeoxygenation of Aromatic Substrates Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57(39), 12721-12726.
  • Kaithal, A., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W. (2018). Catalytic Hydrogenation of Cyclic Carbonates using Manganese Complexes Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57(41), 13449-13453.
  • Leitner, W., Franciò, G., Scott, M., Westhues, C., Langanke, J., Lansing, M., Hussong, C., Erdkamp, E. (2018). Carbon2Polymer – Chemical Utilization of CO2 in the Production of Isocyanates Chemie Ingenieur Technik 90(10), 1504-1512.
  • Dutta, I., Yadav, S., Sarbajna, A., De, S., Hölscher, M., Leitner, W., Bera, J.K. (2018). Double Dehydrogenation of Primary Amines to Nitriles by a Ruthenium Complex Featuring Pyrazole Functionality Journal of the American Chemical Society 140(28), 8662-8666.
  • Pienkoß, F., Ochoa-Hernández, Theyssen, N., Leitner, W. (2018). Kaolin: A Natural Low-Cost Material as Catalyst for Isomerization of Glucose to Fructose ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 6(7), 8782-8789.
  • Weidener, D., Klose, H., Leitner, W., Schurr, U., Usadel, B., Domínguez de Maria, P., Grande, P.M. (2018). One-step lignocellulose fractionation using 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid as biogenic and recyclable catalyst ChemSusChem 11(13), 2051-2056.
  • Deutz, S., Bongartz, D., Heuser, B., Katelhon, A., Langenhorst, L. S., Omari, A., Walters, M., Diaeresis, S., Leitner, W., Mitsos, A., Pischinger, S., Bardow, A. (2018). Cleaner production of cleaner fuels: wind-to-wheel - environmental assessment of CO2-based oxymethylene ether as a drop-in fuel Energy Environmental Science 11, 331-343.
  • Artz, J., Müller, T.E., Thenert, K., Kleinekorte, J., Meys, R., Sternberg, A., Bardow, A., Leitner, W. (2018). Sustainable conversion of carbon dioxide: an integrated review of catalysis and life cycle assessment Chemical Reviews 118 (2), 434-504.
  • Geier, D.I., Schmitz, P., Walkowiak, J., Leitner, W., Franciò, G. (2018). Continuous Flow Asymmetric Hydrogenation with Supported Ionic Liquid Phase Catalysts Using Modified CO2 as the Mobile Phase: from Model Substrate to an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient ACS Catalysis 8, 3297-3303.
  • Schmitz, M., Solmi, M.V., Leitner, W. (2018). Catalytic Processes Combining CO2 and Alkenes into Value-Added Chemicals: Synthesis of Cyclic Carbonates, Lactones, Carboxylic Acids, Esters, Aldehydes, Alcohols, and Amines Organometallics for Green Catalysis, Topics in Organometallic Chemistry 63, 17-38.

Chair for Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry at RWTH Aachen

Since 2002 Prof. Leitner is Chair of 'Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry' at RWTH Aachen.

Website: RWTH Aachen - Chair of "Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry"


  • 1982-1987 Hundhammer-Stipendium of the Government of Bavaria
  • 1987-1989 Promotions-Stipendium of the Government of Bavaria
  • 1990 Studienabschluss-Stipendium of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI)
  • 1990 Award for Best PhD Thesis in Sciences of the Energieversorgung Ostbayern AG
  • 1990 Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Stiftung Volkswagenwerk
  • 1991-1992 Liebig-Fellowship of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI)
  • 1997 Gerhard-Hess-Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • 1997 Angewandte-Chemie-Award for best lecture at the Chemiedozententagung
  • 1998 Bennigsen-Foerder-Preis of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW)
  • 1998 Carl-Zerbe-Award of the Deutsche Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Erdöl, Erdgas und Kohle (DMGK)
  • 01/1999 Visiting Scientist at the National Institute for Chemicals and Materials Research in Tsukuba, Japan
  • 11/1999 Nozaki Lecture, Univ. Osaka, Japan
  • 2000 2nd International Messer Innovation-Award
  • 2001 Otto-Roelen-Medal of DECHEMA
  • 2003 Griess Lectureship of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • 2005 Guest Professorship at the Universitè de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
  • 2008 CATSA Eminent Visitor Award of the South African Catalysis Society
  • 2009 Wöhler Award of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh)
  • 2010 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • 2011 Honorary Member of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia
  • 2013 Visiting Lecturer for Promotion of Chemistry, National Science Foundation Taiwan
  • 2014 European Sustainable Chemistry Award of the European Science Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS), jointly with Prof. Jürgen Klankermayer (RWTH Aachen)
  • 2015 Nankai University Lectureship in Organic Chemistry, Nankai University, China
  • 2015 Molecular Science Forum Lecture of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Chemical Society
  • 2018 Casey Lecture of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA



  • 2004 - 2010 / 2010-2016 Scientific Editor / Chairman of the Editorial Board of “Green Chemistry” (Royal Society of Chemistry)
  • Since 2005 Member of the International Advisory Board of “Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis” (Wiley)
  • 2018 - 2021 Member of the Kuratorium/Editorial Board of Angewandte Chemie (GDCh, Wiley-VCH)
  • Since 2021 Advisory Editor of Angewandte Chemie (GDCh, Wiley-VCH)


  • 2002 - 2016 Chairman of the Conference Series “Green Solvents”
  • 2013 Member of the Organizing Committee of the 15th International Congress on Catalysis (ICC), Munich, Germany
  • 2019 Chairman of the 14th European Congress on Catalysis (EuropaCat), Aachen, Germany
  • 2019 Chairman of the 17th International Conference in Carbon Dioxide Utilization (ICCDU XVII), Aachen, Germany
  • 2022 Chairman of Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry, Castelldefels, Spain

 Coordinated Research Programs

  • 2002 - 2006 Coordinator of the BMBF funded ConNeCat lighthouse project “Regulated Systems for Multiphase Catalysis”
  • 2010 - 2014 Coordinator of the large-scale collaborative research project “SYNFLOW” within the 7th Framework Program of the EU
  • Since 2007 Co-Spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels form Biomass / The Fuel Science Center” at RWTH Aachen University and MPI CEC
  • Since 2007 Scientific Director of CAT, the joint Catalytic Center of RWTH Aachen and Covestro
  • Since 2016 Chairman of the Coordination Group of the BMBF funded Kopernikus Project “P2X: Exploration, Validation, and Implementation of „Power-to-X“ Concepts”

Scientific Societies and Advisory Boards

  • 2009 - 2016 Strategy Council of RWTH Aachen University
  • 2014 - 2018 Scientific Advisory Board of the Renewable Energy Program of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT
  • Since 2013 External Advisory Board of the UK Catalysis Hub
  • Since 2009 Scientific Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable and Circular Technologies at the University of Bath
  • 2018 - 2020 Advisory Board of the International Green Technology Association, Beijing, China
  • 2006 - 2014 Board of the Section “Sustainable Chemistry” of GDCh
  • 2005 - 2011 Board of the Petrochemical Division of DGMK
  • Since 2015 Scientific Council of DGMK
  • 2006 - 2008 Chairman of the Catalysis Section of DECHEMA
  • 2011 - 2014 Chairman of the German Catalysis Society GeCatS
  • 2011 - 2016 / since 2018 Member of the Board of DECHEMA, from 2020 as Deputy Chairman 

Group members


Dr. Chenhui Han
Dr. Jing Jin
Dr. Deepti Kalsi
Dr. Mi-Young Lee
Dr. Natalia Levin Rojas
Dr. Jacquin October
Dr. Yunxiang Qiao
Dr. Ajeet Singh
Dr. Alexandre Sodreau

PhD students

Emanuele Antico
Maurice Belleflamme
Kira Ruth Ehmann (Guest)
Lisa Goclik
Souha Kacem
Niklas Kinzel
Simon Kleine
Katrin Köhnke
Paul Peter Kossmann
David Kuß (IMPRS)
Sheng-Hsiang Lin
Savarithai Jenani Louis Anandaraj
Nataliia Marchenko (Guest)
Sebastian Püschel
Thorsten Rösler
Peter Schlichter
Alexander Schmitz
Marco Schrimpf
Marc Strohmann
Nico Thanheuser
Jeroen Thomas Vossen (Guest)
Niklas Wessel
Johannes Zenner (Guest)

Lab staff

Nina Bäumer
Maximilian Conradt
Norbert Dickmann
Annika Gurowski
Bastian Hesselmann
Petra Höfer
Alina Jakubowski
Christian Kahl
Bernd Mienert
Tabea Mußfeldt
Phillip Reck
Vanessa Richter
Henrik Walschus
Julia Zerbe

Research Assistant

Jung Won Hwang
Sebastian Obst
Charlotte Teresa Ribeiro Maier
Jan Sadowski
Simon Maximilian Walter

Research in 'Molecular Catalysis'


The fundamental science in the Division of Molecular Catalysis contributes to the development of technologies for the conversion of renewable energy and feedstocks to sustainable fuels and chemical products.

The scientific concept focusses on the understanding of the molecular principles of catalysis as basis for mastering across all scales catalytic processes at the interface of energy and chemistry.


The Division of Molecular Catalysis addresses scientific challenges in the area of organometallic chemistry ranging from the molecular fundamentals to the development of novel reaction-engineering concepts. The research topics are aligned with the principles of „Green Chemistry“ and comprise in particular the use of CO2 as chemical building block and the selective transformation of bio-based feedstocks, as well as the utilization of advanved reaction media such as ionic liquids or supercritical fluids. The actual project plans are based on a rational mechanistic understanding, whereby computational chemistry plays a major role in the analysis and for predicitive catalyst design.

Possible applications of the scientific knowledge and research results range from the production of tailor-made fuels, through the manufacturing of base chemicals, to the synthesis of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The research activities are often embedded in interdisicplinary and international collaborations, including knowledge-oriented scientific networks as well as application-oriented technology consortia.