Catalysis is the key technology for future energy supply, biomass conversion, efficient energy conversion, and sustainable routes for the production of chemicals, materials as well as of heating and transportation fuels. Catalysis research is highly interdisciplinary as it is based on chemical, physical, and biological fundamentals and uses a wide range of new technological developments such as nanotechnology, information technology, in-situ-examination techniques, and high throughput methods. Therefore, an urgent need exists for fundamental research of model systems and real catalysts as well as for design and optimization of reactors and process technologies. Our approach lies in a strong combination of science and engineering education for a timely economical application of new catalytic methods in the energy sector.
The Helmholtz Research School Energy-Related Catalysis will educate PhD students during a three year curriculum with diverse educational backgrounds such as chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, energy technology and materials sciences. The curriculum of the School includes lectures, practical laboratory courses, summer schools, colloquia, workshops as well as research in industry and abroad. The educational concept of the School is set up to have the students directly involved in the organization and conduction of the educational program, which strengthens the education and academic skills of the participants and supports integration into the academic system of the partners.
Key educational topics are conversion of alternate raw materials into chemical products and chemical energy carriers, photo catalysis, photolysis, water splitting, activation and immobilization of CO2, electro catalysis, fuel cells, batteries, energy-related materials, atom efficient reactions. The methodological training focuses on preparation of catalytic materials, in-situ characterization of catalysts (including synchrotron radiation techniques), mechanistic studies, catalytic process engineering and process intensification, mathematical modeling and numerical simulation. The PhD thesis is accompanied by a PhD committee; the research results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented on international conferences by the students.
The Helmholtz Research School Energy-Related Catalysis has been inaugurated on October 1, 2010.