Research Group Grunwaldt

Research Group Grunwaldt

Welcome to the Chair in Chemical Technology and Catalysis!

The group's research areas range from preparation, testing to in-depth characterization of catalysts. Applications embrace exhaust gas catalysis, fine chemistry using innovative solvents and the use of renewable resources. Rational design using especially in situ characterization and high-output testing will be combined. Our exhaust gas catalysis activities are part of the exhaust gas centre Karlsruhe.

Openings CRC1441

You are looking for a doctoral research topic between physical chemistry, materials science, spectroscopy, theory and engineering? Catalysis is a highly interdisciplinary field with many challenges!



Then do not hesitate to contact us or pass by our group!

The new semester start on April 20, 2020 with courses - this time in a digital way.

Do not forget to register early enough in ILIAS, look though the courses of our institute (Link) or write us an Email.




Collaborative Research Centre TrackAct started at KIT

Just now the Collaborative Research Centre 1441 TrackAct (Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis for Emission Control) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has started. Catalysis is at the core of the initiative that is conducted together with partners in Munich and the synchrotron radiation source in Hamburg. Within this program, we thus seek for PhD candidates in various fields from Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Sciences to Physics, for more information see here:

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Johannes BecherJohannes Becher
Article in Nature Catalysis

Chemical gradients in automotive Cu-SSZ-13 catalysts for NOx removal revealed by operando X-ray spectrotomography

Gradients in the copper oxidation state and coordination environment of Cu-SSZ-13 catalyst were observed using XANES tomography. For this purpose, a newly developed setup was used that allows XANES tomography to be performed under realistic (operando) conditions. The interplay of adsorption-desorption processes and mass transfer effects was analysed with micrometre resolution in 3D.

Florian MaurerFlorian Maurer
Article in Nature Catalysis

Tracking the formation, fate and consequence for catalytic activity of Pt single sites on ceria

The location of platinum single sites on ceria and the variation of the active state were investigated in an operando approach while combining different methods like in situ infrared spectroscopy, operando high-energy-resolution fluorescence detected X-ray absorption spectroscopy, catalytic CO oxidation and density functional theory calculations.

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Virutal Workshop with Prof. Dr. Soldatov (SFedU, Rostov-on-Don, RU)

On October 7th, the groups of Prof. Dr. Grunwaldt (KIT, Karlsruhe, DE) and Prof. Dr. Soldatov (SFedU, Rostov-on-Don, RU) held a joint virtual workshop on Hard X-ray Spectroscopy and Advanced Data Analysis for Catalysis. The workshop brought together over 50 scholars from Germany – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Russia – The Smart Materials Research Institute at the Southern Federal University. The talks were devoted to the infrastructure and experimental research highlights from KIT as well as the advances of SFedU in the areas of machine learning, big data analysis and prediction of X-ray absorption spectra for catalytically active materials.

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10 years at KIT now

The AK Grunwaldt has started on February 1, 2010, in Karlsruhe!

10 years Karlsruhe in 2020! Unfortunately, an "on-site" celebration is currently not possible, but an online meeting is planned.




 Daria Gashnikova
Kékulé Scholarship

Daria Gashnikova has received a scholarship for her PhD work. Congratulations! She will work in the currently highly relevant field of emission control of stoichiometrically operated natural gas engines with a focus on the removal of NOx. Good luck!

Summer Semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21

The lectures could be performed succesfully online during the summer semester 2020. The courses in the upcomming winter semester will probably be also online. The following courses will take place in the next semester: Chemische Technik: Katalyse, Aktuelle Konzepte in der Heterogenen Katalyse as well as lectures to synchrotron methods, emission control as well as chemical energy storage/energy transition. More information on the homepage of the institute.

BackCover_React.Chem.&Eng.E.Saraci, M. Serrer, J.-D. Grunwaldt
Cover Article in Reaction Chemistry & Engineering

Showcasing research from Professor Grunwaldt and colleagues at the ITCP, IKFT and IMVT at KIT:

Bridging the gap between industry and synchrotron: an operando study at 30 bar over 300 h during Fischer–Tropsch synthesis.

We design new infrastructure for operando high-pressure synchrotron experiments. High structural stability of a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst was found during a long-term study under industrial conditions while producing synthetic fuels.

Dr. Thomas Sheppard_KIT-YIN
New KIT Young Investigator Group

Dr. Thomas Sheppard from ITCP was officially recognised as leader of a new KIT Young Investigator GroupX-ray Microscopy in Catalysis (2020-2022).

Graphical AbstractJ. Synchrotron Radiation
Cover Article in Journal of Synchrotron Radiation

On the cover of Journal of Synchrotron Radiation - scientists from DESY (Hamburg) and ITCP-KIT demonstrate a deep learning algorithm for X-ray tomography reconstruction, which is particularly useful for in situ and operando sample environments.

Xiaogang Yang, Maik Kahnt, Dennis Brückner, Andreas Schropp, Yakub Fam, Johannes Becher, Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, Thomas L. Sheppard, Christian G. Schroer, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 2020.

SPP2080 LogoSPP2080
SPP2080 Kick-Off-Meeting

The Kick-Off-Meeting of the DFG priority program SPP2080 "Catlysts and reactors under dynamic conditions for energy storage and conversion" was held at KIT. Here you can find KIT's official press information.

XRM model catalyst highlightXRM of model catalyst highlight
Highlighted publication on X-ray tomography

A recent publication on X-ray nanotomography of a model catalyst material was announced as a research highlight by the ‘Paul Scherrer Institut’ (Switzerland), where the work was carried out. For further info check out the link.

Y. Fam, T. L. Sheppard, A. Diaz, T. Scherer, M. Holler, W. Wang, D. Wang, P. Brenner, A. Wittstock, J.-D. Grunwaldt, ChemCatChem 2018, 10, 2858 –2867

Oxidation of HMF
Noble metal catalysts for the synthesis of bio-monomers

Novel gold- and silver-based catalysts have been used for the synthesis of potential monomers for sustainable plastics via oxidation of 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural, an important platform molecule produced from biomass. The catalysts showed distinct selectivities in the oxidation of different functional groups, which made the targeted synthesis of interesting monomers possible.

O. R. Schade, K. F. Kalz, D. Neukum, W. Kleist, J.-D. Grunwaldt, Green Chem., 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8GC01340C

Graphical Abstract H2O2 Synthesis
Palladium catalyst for hydrogen peroxide synthesis

Research work from ITCP, IKFT, and IMVT was highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News. By looking at a palladium catalyst while it converts hydrogen and oxygen to hydrogen peroxide, researchers have uncovered that α-palladium hydride nanoparticles were responsible for the selective hydrogenation of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. “This is a very interesting study as it probes the nature of a palladium catalyst under operating conditions and clearly shows the potential role of various palladium hydrides in this challenging reaction,” says Graham J. Hutchings from Cardiff University.

Selinsek, M.; Deschner, B. J.; Doronkin, D. E.; Sheppard, T. L.; Grunwaldt, J.-D.; Dittmeyer, R. ACS Catal. 2018, 8, 2546-2557

Appointments and Awards

PD Dr. Wolfgang Kleist has been appointed Professor for Technical Chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum. Congratulations!

Johannes Bitzer, Deniz Zengel and Florian Maurer have received scholarships for their PhD works. Congratulations!

Open PhD and Postdoc-Positions

Do not hesitate to write us if you are interested in catalysis, biomass conversion, spectroscopy, or solid state chemistry.