Catalyst Development


© Fraunhofer IKTS
Liquid product phases of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Fischer-Tropsch catalysts for the synthesis of higher alcohols.

The development of novel high-performance catalyst systems for various applications represents a key objective of the Process Systems Engineering group including catalyst synthesis, structural and chemical analysis and catalytic testing using fully-automatized laboratory-scale plants.


One focus of our work on catalyst development is the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis based on the transition metals iron and cobalt. The catalytic performance regarding selectivity and activity is optimized by applying various promoting elements as well as structured ceramic supports. Besides Fischer-Tropsch synthesis also catalytic systems for hydrogenation and oxidation reactions as well as for reforming are developed and tested.


Extensive characterization of the catalysts is conducted via temperature and concentration profiles, online analysis of gaseous product phases as well as offline analysis of liquid and solid product fractions. The application-oriented reactor operation and a consistent quality management result in a high reproducibility of the conducted experiments, forming the basis for the screening of promising influencing factors as well as for targeted catalyst optimization.


Services offered


  • Preparation of catalyst samples
  • Development of novel catalyst support structures
  • Screening of catalysts
  • Characterization of reaction products and catalysts




  • Development of iron-based Fischer-Tropsch catalysts for the synthesis of higher alcohols
  • Determination of the mass transfer properties of fiber-based catalyst supports
  • Investigation of the degradation and regeneration of reforming catalysts
  • Screening of catalysts for the hydrogenation and oxidation of various hydrocarbons