Our approach

The NCCR Catalysis approach is to span across the whole chemical value chain of all branches of catalysis (i.e., homogeneous, heterogeneous, electro, bio and photo, and combinations thereof), and to gain understanding of relevant phenomena at length and time scales spanning ten orders of magnitude - from the atom to the full-scale process. We therefore combine multidimensional and cross-disciplinary modes, including catalysis, chemistry, materials science, chemical and process engineering, and computer sciences, and perform collaborative research across communities and organizations. We will use a standardized, digital, accelerated approach to boost reproducibility, data sharing and benchmarking. Our research is structured in five work packages (WP).

WP1 Small molecule activation

WP1 addresses catalyst discovery for conversion of small renewable molecules (e.g., carbon dioxide, natural gas, water, or nitrogen) to energy carriers and platform chemicals.
Coordinators: (UniBe) and Prof. (EPFL)

WP2 Fine chemicals from renewable platforms

WP2 focusses on the transformation of these building blocks into societally relevant compounds such as fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and functional materials.
Coordinators: (ZHAW) and (ETHZ)

WP3 Advanced tools

WP3 explores advanced tools such as novel synthetic routes, high throughput experimentation, and time and space‐resolved operando techniques to prepare and characterize catalysts and their performance in depth to guide chemical discovery.
Coordinators: (EPFL) and (ETHZ)

WP4 Digitalization

WP4 uses digitalisation to accelerate experimental and computational approaches in order to derive synthesis‐property‐performance relationships and molecular‐level understanding at the catalyst, reactor, and process scales enabling the transition from data to information.
Coordinators: (EPFL) and (IBM Research)

WP5 Implementation

WP5 tackles life cycle analysis, catalyst scale‐up, reactor and process design, and pilot tests to secure the translation of discoveries into competitive plant-ready technologies with tangible benefits to society.
Coordinators: (ETHZ) and (HES-SO)