Catalysis for energy

Dr. Henrik Junge

The progressive usage of renewable energies such as wind and sunlight in Germany is accompanied by an increasing necessity to efficiently store these fluctuating energy sources. For these huge amounts of energy, between 4.5 and 40 TWh in 2020, the chemical (long term) storage as hydrogen, methane or liquid compounds would be suitable. In this respect, advancements in generation from suitable starting resources, its storage and back conversion to electrical energy are of particular interest. The activities of the group “Catalysis for Energy” focus on the development of catalysts for these technologies. See below for detailed descriptions of the topics:

The storage of hydrogen is essential to establishing a hydrogen-based society. Methods including the application of carbon dioxide possess a huge potential. Based on the catalytic processes of formation and decomposition of formic acid, a CO2-neutral hydrogen generation cycle will be possible. For example such a cycle based on generation and decomposition of formic acid has been achieved in our group. An analogous cycle can be envisioned in the case of methanol. For both, MeOH and formic acid, the comparably high volumetric energy density constitutes a significant advantage.