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Research Priorities: heterogeneous catalysis, nanochemically optimized materials for energy storage concepts, chemical energy conversion, energy conversion processes in nature
Robert Schlögl is a chemist and catalysis researcher. His research focuses on heterogeneous catalysis and materials for energy storage concepts. With his work, he has contributed to a new understanding of catalytically active materials. More recently, he has been working on energy systems of the future and the complex challenges of the energy revolution.
Robert Schlögl and his team are researching energy conversion processes in nature and the significance of catalysts within these processes. This concerns questions of the production, storage, and transport of energy. In nature, energy is stored through photosynthesis. During this process, carbon dioxide and water are converted into organic molecules such as sugar and oxygen. However, photosynthesis cannot be replicated using synthetic chemistry; the molecules involved are too sensitive.
Therefore, the scientists, led by Robert Schlögl, seek to understand the basic chemical reactions of these processes in order to use them for new energy systems. In individual research projects, they are working, for example, on the conversion of light into electrical energy, storage materials for hydrogen, the catalytic splitting of water, and further development of fuel cells.
Catalysts play a significant role in all these processes. Without catalysts, for example, the storage of solar energy is not possible. His research aims to develop new, powerful catalysts while emphasizing the sustainability of the processes. Substances used as catalysts must be available and accessible on earth in sufficient quantities. He has also developed a process that could significantly reduce the chemical industry's energy consumption by using carbon nanomaterials. The chemical base material styrene can thus be produced in a more energy-efficient way than before.
In his research, Schlögl works on an interdisciplinary basis and combines scientific model studies with the high-performance systems of technical catalysis. He has developed new methods for observing dynamic phenomena at interfaces. This enables catalysts to be developed more effectively for industry.