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In 2011 the Cluster of Excellence “Unifying
Concepts in Catalysis” (UniCat) and the chemical company BASF SE
founded the new joint lab BasCat, an academic institution including
about 20 scientists (Postdocs, PhDs, undergrad students) at the
Technische Universität Berlin.
Heterogeneous catalysis is crucial for meeting the challenges of
our future. The partners of BasCat are dedicated to improve our
fundamental understanding of heterogeneous catalysis, to transfer this
understanding to a new rational design concept for industrially
relevant catalysts, and to bring these catalysts to application in
BasCat pursues multidisciplinary approaches to generate the
fundamental knowledge needed for developing alternative processes to
activate less reactive molecules. The current research program focuses
on oxidation catalysis, but also includes synthesis gas reactions. One
example is the oxidative coupling of methane which has been
investigated within UniCat since 2007.
Key for establishing novel processes are long term stable, highly
selective and sufficiently active catalysts. All previously proposed
empirical and solid state (bulk structure-function relationships)
concepts in oxidation catalysis have not had the predictive power to
generate new catalysts. Our vision is to develop a rational design
concept for catalysts and to accomplish a knowledge-based prediction
of catalyst performance through scaling from atomistic to industrial
level. This requires new development of methods for catalyst synthesis
and characterization, in situ spectroscopy and modeling.
The JointLab BasCat is located in the Eugene Paul Wigner building of TU Berlin using a total of approximately 1,000 m2 of space for laboratory, office and seminar rooms. Construction work for the new lab facilities has started in 2012 and was completed June 2014. BASF and TU Berlin put substantial resources into setting up BasCat. BASF invested up to €6.4 million during the first five years, and the total budget amounted to about €14 million. At the end of 2016 the cooperation contract between TU Berlin and BASF was prolonged for further five years till the end of 2021.
Sekretariat EW K 01