Regina Palkovits

Solid catalyst design for closed CO2 cycles


Renewable carbon feedstocks such as biomass and CO2 present an important element of future circular economy. Especially biomass as highly functionalized feedstock provides manifold opportunities for the transformation into attractive platform chemicals. However, these resources require novel paradigms in process design. Fossil feedstocks are processed in stationary gas-phase processes at elevated temperature. On the contrary, biorefineries are based on processes in polar solvents at moderate conditions to selectively deoxygenate the polar, often thermally instable and high-boiling molecules. Considering “green electrons” provided by renewable energy technologies, also dynamic (electro)catalytic processes become attractive as key technology of a throughout circular economy.

Herein, novel concepts in catalyst design will be discussed focusing on solid molecular catalysts for CO2 activation, novel biomass transformations as well as the future role of a potentially electrified biorefinery.



Diploma of Chemical Engineering Technical University Dortmund/ Germany (1998-2003)
PhD Student Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim a.d. Ruhr/ Germany (2003-2006)
PostDoc Utrecht University/ The Netherlands (2007)
Group Leader Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim/ Germany (2008-2010)
Associate Professor Nanostructured Catalysts, ITMC, RWTH Aachen University/ Germany (2010-2013)
Full Professor Heterogeneous Catalysis & Chemical Technology, ITMC, RWTH Aachen University/ Germany (since 2013)
Acting Director Institute of Chemical Technology & Makromoleculare Chemistry (ITMC), RWTH Aachen University/ Germany (since 2015)
Max Planck Fellow MPI CEC (since 2019)


University of Aachen

Full professor Heterogeneous Catalysis & Chemical Technology

Acting director Institute of Chemical Technology & Makromoleculare Chemistry