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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 industry.

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.


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BasCat - UniCat BASF Joint Lab
Sekretariat EW K 01
Hardenbergstraße 36
10623 Berlin