Renewable Resources
Dr. habil. Eszter Baráth
Dr. Sergey Tin

Topic 04 bundles expertise in the field of renewable raw materials. The focus is on research into the catalytic conversion of renewable raw materials into basic chemicals for products used in our daily lives. 

For example, lignocellulose obtained from wood waste and its components or fatty acids and terpenes can be used to produce various polymers, agrochemicals, solvents or fl avorings.
The fi rst step is to convert the biomass into so-called platform chemicals. These can usually be produced in large quantities in simple and high-yield reactions and are suitable as synthesis building blocks for numerous other compounds. Subsequently, these platform chemicals, such as glycerol, levulinic or lactic acid, HMF or furfural, are converted in further catalyzed steps into the desired existing or new chemicals with the desired properties.
Carbon dioxide is also used as a raw material. The challenge lies in activating the thermodynamically extremely stable compound.
Until now, mainly homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts have been used. Through our collaboration in new Leibniz Science Campus ComBioCat, biocatalysis (in cooperation with the
University of Greifswald) and low-temperature plasma technologies (with INP Greifswald) can now also be used.
Topic 04 facilitates excellent cooperation with industry in many projects: Renewable monomers for use in adhesives are being developed together with the Henkel company. Long-standing cooperations with Symrise AG are dedicated to the production of fragrances and fl avors based on biomass. Chitin, waste from shellfi sh, or residues from rice husks are also used as catalyst bases or carriers for heterogeneous catalysts.