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Research Group Grunwaldt

Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry
Engesserstr. 20
Campus South
Bldg. 11.21
76131 Karlsruhe
Phone  +49 721 608 42120
Secretary +49 721 608 42121

Fax +49 721 608 44820

Email: grunwaldtBsa5∂kit edu

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.




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




Open PhD and Postdoc-Positions

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

SPP2080 Logo
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 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

CO Oxidation auf Platin
Dynamic structural behavior of particles in exhaust gas catalysts

A dynamic structural behavior of Pt nanoparticles on the ceria surface under reducing/oxidizing conditions was found at moderate temperatures and exploited to enhance the catalytic activity of Pt/CeO2-based exhaust gas catalysts.

Gänzler, A.M.; Casapu, M.; Vernoux, P.; Loridant, S.; Cadete Santos Aires, F.J., Epicier, T.; Betz, B.; Hoyer, R.; Grunwaldt, J.-D. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 13078-13082.

KIT press information

Benzi et al. cover article
Catalysis Science & Technology - Cover Article

Pt-based diesel oxidation catalysts were exposed to rapid transient temperature conditions based on a realistic driving cycle. A microreactor setup was used for rapid heating/cooling coupled to operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy and on-line mass spectrometry. Major differences in catalyst structure and performance were observed under transient conditions compared to model studies.

Benzi, F.; Sheppard, T.L.; Doronkin, D.E.; Meira, D.M.; Gänzler, A.M.; Baier, S.; Grunwaldt, J.-D. Catal. Sci. Technol. 2017, 7, 3999-4006.

CAT-ACT opening workshop

On 20. and 21. September 2017 a two day workshop dedicated to the inauguration of KIT´s new beamline for catalysis and actinide research (CAT-ACT) will take place in the ANKA

seminar room (KIT Campus North, building 348, 1st floor, west entrance). CAT-ACT is jointly operated by the KIT institutes INE (for radionuclide science) and IKFT/ITCP (for catalysis research).

The workshop will highlight research activities and access possibilities at CAT-ACT and particularly cover the following topics: Introduction to CAT-ACT and lab infrastructure, overview and highlight talks on XAS in Catalysis and Actinide research, involved KIT/HGF research programs, KIT in-house research activities and projects with cooperation partners, and future research perspectives.

Preceding the workshop a two days training course providing an overview on XAFS methods, theory and data analysis will be offered. Registration deadline is 1 September 2017. Further information: here

Graphical Abstract J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139 (23), 7855-7863
3D X-ray tomography

Cutting-edge synchrotron X-ray tomography was applied to image catalysts at work. The structure of a core@shell catalyst for direct synthesis of dimethyl ether (DME) was detailed in 3D, in situ and simultaneously by X-ray diffraction, fluorescence and absorption tomography; revealing important information about catalyst structure and function which is unavailable using conventional methods.

Sheppard, T.L.; Price, S.W.T.; Benzi, F.; Baier, S.; Klumpp, M.; Dittmeyer, R.; Schwieger, W.; Grunwaldt, J.-D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 7855-7863.

Priority Program SPP2080

The DFG establishes the priority program “Catalysts and Reactors under Dynamic Operation Conditions for Energy Storage and Conversion” (SPP 2080). Coordinator of the SPP 2080 is Prof. Dr. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt. Project outlines can still be submitted until the 10th of September 2017, the deadline for full proposals is the 8th of January 2018. Links: call for proposals, homepage SPP2080

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!

The Summer Semester 2017 starts with a number of courses

Bachelor course "Angewandte Chemie" (Tue 8.00 - 9.30 h)

Master course "Chemische Technik III" (Grundoperationen, Tue 9.45 - 11:15 h), "Catalysis for sustainable chemicals and fuels" (Wed. 8.00 - 9.30 h)

More information: Click here



6 years at KIT now

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

Autumn 2015: The optics of "CAT-ACT" at ANKA is successully taken into operation. At the same time the first in situ XAS spectra are collected at the PETRA III extension in Hamburg on catalysts!

March 2014: Prof. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt is member of the "Kommission der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Katalyse (GeCatS)" and elected for the "Kommittee für Synchrotronstrahlung" in Germany.

Februar 2014: Dr. Ying Zhou is granted a "Humboldt-Stipendium".

December 2013: The Wiggler for CAT-ACT at ANKA arrives. FMB-Oxford presents the beamline design for CAT-ACT and green light is given for the optical design.

June 2013: The BMBF supports the proposals "ZeitKatMat" (Collaboration with Prof. Ronald Frahm and Prof. Andreas Jentys) and "Nanoskop" (Collaboration with Prof. C.G. Schroer, TU Dresden) for exploiting the newest experimental methods at the synchrotron in catalysis.




Spektren an einem Abgaskatalysator an der Pt L3-Kante
First EXAFS spectra at Cat-ACT and in situ XAS spectra at PETRA III extension

The first in situ XAS spectra were recorded in October 2015 at the PETRA III extension / Hamburg on two catalysts and  the first EXAFS spectra on exhaust gas catalysts at the Pt L3-Kante in december 2015 at CAT-ACT!

Link to CAT-ACT beam line

Link to P65 at PETRA III Extension.


Successful X-ray absorption spectroscopy conference in Karlsruhe with more than 550 participants.

Sino-German Workshop

Sino-German Workshop on "In situ Spectroscopy on Catalysts and Membranes"

28 - 29 August 2015

Catalysis meets Sensing

Workshop "Catalysis meets Sensing"


Einblicke in Abgaskatalysatoren

Zu unserer gemeinsamen Veröffentlichung in Chem Commun gibt es jetzt eine Presseinformation, die den Nutzen und unsere Ergebnisse zur Forschung mit XAS/XES für ein breites Publikum leicht verständlich darstellt: