Renewable Feedstocks

Efficient utilization of renewable carbon feedstocks as replacement for fossil ressources

The negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming is widely recognized as a major and complex challenge for this decade and the decades to come. Although fossil feedstock was and is the predominant feedstock for the chemical industry, renewable feedstocks are alternatives to fossil resources. The aim is to reduce the carbon footprint and open up new routes to platform chemicals.

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Conversion of Renewables to Value Added Materials

Renewable carbon raw materials such as biomass and CO2 represent an important element of the future circular economy. In particular, biomass as a highly functionalized feedstock, like sugarcane, harvest- or wood residues offers multiple opportunities for conversion into attractive platform chemicals. These biobased chemicals show a more attractive carbon footprint compared to their petrochemical analogues.

Heraeus offers catalysts for the conversion of renewable feedstocks

The paradigm shift and market need towards renewable feedstocks in the chemical industry has been recognized by Heraeus several years ago. Heraeus initiated a development program for precious metal-based catalysts targeting the conversion of various renewable feedstocks such as biomass, CO2 or waste plastics into value added, sustainable chemicals.

Heraeus as a global player in the precious metal industry offers a great variety of inorganic and organic precious metal salts and solutions. From these compounds Heraeus produces sophisticated heterogenous catalysts that help in the conversion of biomass into chemical intermediates and their further derivatization. At the end of the catalyst’s lifecycle, Heraeus also offers recycling services so that the use of precious metals is economically und ecologically sustainable.

Heraeus is actively looking for partners to build joint ecosystems and to join us on our mission towards a more sustainable future.

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Our Latest News

Green chemistry from cellulose: Furniture without petroleum

Green chemistry from cellulose: Furniture without petroleum

Thanks to a new catalyst developed by Heraeus Precious Metals, biomass-based chemicals made from cellulose can replace the fossil raw material, e.g. adhesives used to make chipboards.

Read here how cellulose becomes sustainable chemicals

New Precious Metal Catalyst from Heraeus Successful in Lignin Conversion

New Precious Metal Catalyst from Heraeus Successful in Lignin Conversion

31.03.2022: Heraeus Precious Metals has developed an industrial precious metal catalyst for efficient lignin conversion in collaboration with Johannes Kepler University Linz. The catalyst is highly suitable for the conversion of the natural substance lignin to phenolic components on an industrial scale and has already been registered for patent.

Read more about this catalyst in our press release.

The Catalyst Review - Black Powder for Green Chemicals: Heraeus Precious Metal-based Catalysts for the Efficient Conversion of Lignin into Phenolic Resins

The Catalyst Review - Industry Perspective

February 2022: Black Powder for Green Chemicals: Heraeus Precious Metal-based Catalysts for the Efficient Conversion of Lignin into Phenolic Resins
By Gisa Meissner, PhD

Find out more about our Catalysts in the article.

Success Stories for Catalysis of Biorenewables

Heraeus is working together with leading centres of academic excellence on the challenges, opportunities and issues of this innovative transition. With the help of our catalysts you are able to convert your feedstocks into bio-based products.

In collaboration with Johannes Kepler University Linz our experts have developed an industrial precious metal catalyst for efficient lignin conversion. The catalyst is highly suitable for the conversion of the natural substance lignin to phenolic components on an industrial scale and has already been registered for patent.

Project partner:

  • Johannes Kepler University, Linz
  • Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Read more:

Press Release - 31.03.2022: New Precious Metal Catalyst from Heraeus Successful in Lignin Conversion

Innovations at Heraeus - From Biomass to green chemistry

Industry Perspective published in "The Catalyst Review": Black Powder for Green Chemicals: Heraeus Precious Metal-based Catalysts for the Efficient Conversion of Lignin into Phenolic Resins

In collaboration with Johannes Kepler University Linz experts of Heraeus developed a new ruthenium-based catalyst for the efficient formation of DFF from 5-HMF as an important bio-based platform chemical.

Project partner:

  • Johannes Kepler University, Linz
  • Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Read more:

Innovations at Heraeus - Green chemistry from cellulose: Furniture without petroleum

Until now, ethene has only been produced from fossil resources. For sustainable, industrial production of ethene, new technology paths must be developed starting from industrial and biogenic carbon sources, i.e. from residues or biological origin. The Syngas2Ethene project aims to transfer such a technology pathway from the laboratory to industrial application, evaluating both the ecological and economic framework conditions.

In a new approach, ethene is to be obtained directly from synthesis gas. Synthesis gas is a mixture consisting of carbon monoxide and hydrogen along with varying amounts of other gases. To this end, catalyst concepts are being further developed and a new process window for the production process refined as part of Syngas2Ethene.

Project partner:

  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum (Projektleitung)
  • RWE Power Aktiengesellschaft, Essen
  • Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, Hanau
  • Rubokat GmbH, Bochum

Read more:

Ruhr-Univeristät Bochum: SynGas2Ethene

Individualized Catalyst Optimization

Many chemical and physical parameters can affect a catalyst. For this reason, Heraeus offers its customers expert advice to identify the best catalyst for a specific process. Depending on your individual needs, we support a variety of development arrangements for the formulation, scale-up and manufacture of catalysts. Through our unique stage-gate process we guarantee scalability from lab, to pilot and industrialization.​

  • Customized Solutions
    In many cases, very good results can be obtained with a standard catalyst product. Customer-specific solutions that go beyond a standard product require individualized catalyst optimization. Targeted selection of the best catalyst with the highest efficiency – that’s what we do.
  • Joint Development Formulations
    Synchronize your core competencies with Heraeus' catalyst know-how. We guarantee full confidentiality and protection of your intellectual property (IP) with the option of exclusive cooperation.
  • Toll Processing
    In addition to customized catalysts, Heraeus also offers contract manufacturing of precious metal catalysts to match customer formulations under toll contracts.

Work with our experts to find the best catalyst for each feedstock and to speed up your processes.

Visit our Presentations at Upcoming Events!

Past Presentations

Webinar: Precious Metal Catalysts for the Conversion of Sustainable Feedstocks

In this webinar, we want to show how precious metal catalyst help to integrate innovative biomass-based intermediates in the chemical industry. You will learn:

  • How new emerging metals like ruthenium help to efficiently convert feedstock into valuable chemicals.
  • Strategies to obtain organic building blocks from biomass using precious metal
  • Show the cost attractiveness of precious metal-based catalysts when utilizing recycling loop strategies, which allow an efficient use of the scarce precious metals.

Presenter: Dominik Sperzel and Dr. Detlef Gaiser

Download here the presentation

Platinum Catalysts for the Lignin Conversion into Phenolics As Bio‑Based Resource for Phenolic Resins

Using Platinum-based catalysts ensures the access to important organic building blocks as sustainable products made from biomass to realize its total utilization. The full avoidance of any coke formation allows the application of the obtained phenolics as starting material for phenolic resins.

Presenting Author:
Dr. Gisa Meissner (Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG)

Download here our presentation

Get in Touch with Us!

Would you like to know more about our services and products for the converison of renewable feedstocks? Contact us - we look forward to hearing from you!

Dominik Sperzel

Global Head of Sales – Heterogeneous Catalysis, VP
Dr. Gisa Meissner

Dr. Gisa Meissner

Project Manager R&D for Heterogeneous Catalysts

Konrad Krois

Business Development Manager

Chemical Process Catalysts