On the 1st of April 2015, Professor Matthias Beller of the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (Germany) will receive an honorary degree from the Faculty of Science. A leading authority in the field of catalysis – the acceleration and control of the rate of chemical reactions – as a key area in sustainable chemistry, Professor Beller combines smart design and learning from nature to build so-called ‘bio-inspired’ catalysts.
Prof Beller was nominated by Prof Bert Maes, professor in our Department of Chemistry and leader of the research group Organic Synthesis (ORSY). The award ceremony is preceded by a masterclass of Prof. Beller on the development of sustainable energy technologies and the role of catalytic hydrogen generation and storage.
'On the Way to a Sustainable Society in 2050: What are the contributions from Chemistry & Catalysis'
The sufficient and sustainable supply of energy remains one of the important - if not the most important - challenges for our future. An abundant source of energy is sunlight. In the coming years it will be vital to develop efficient artificial processes to interconvert the energy of light with chemical energy. In the Master Class, possibilities to achieve this goal with the help of molecular-defined catalysts will be discussed. Special emphasis will be placed on the use of hydrogen as chemical energy vector and its use for the reduction of carbon dioxide. In this respect, our concept to use carbon dioxide as storage material for hydrogen and the controlled decomposition of formic acid to hydrogen will be discussed in detail. Furthermore, the use of methanol as energy storage material will be discussed.