Renewable Feedstocks - Green Chemistry

Efficient utilization of renewable carbon feedstocks as replacement for fossil resources

Table of Contents

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 currently dominate the chemical industry, renewable feedstocks represent promising alternatives to fossil resources. The aim is to reduce the carbon footprint and open up new routes to platform chemicals.

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

Precious metals and their diverse potential

Precious Metal and their diverse Potential

Specialty Chemicals Magazine

 Read more in Joomag - Jan/Feb 2023 (online available)

Heraeus innovations expert: green chemistry

Heraeus Innovations Expert: Green Chemistry

From fossil-based to green chemistry: An entire industrial sector is undergoing a transformation. Away from petroleum and towards biobased chemicals. However, this requires completely new processes - and heterogeneous catalysts for a more sustainable production. As part of our Heraeus innovation experts series, Dr. Hendrik Spod, Head of Innovation - Business Line Chemicals at Heraeus Precious Metals discusses green chemistry and solutions from Heraeus in more detail.

SynGas2Ethene Cycle

Joint Research Project for the Sustainable Production of Ethene

As part of the SynGas2Ethene project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Heraeus Precious Metals is working with project partners to develop a technology pathway for the sustainable production of ethene.  Read the Press Release

Precious Metals for Green Chemistry

Precious Metals for Green Chemistry

Precious metal-based catalysts for the efficient conversion of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (5-HMF) into 2,5-diformylfuran (DFF) to produce phenolic resins

 Read more in Hydrocarbon Engineering

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:

 Green Chemistry from Cellulose: Furniture without Petroleum

 Joint Research Project for the Sustainable Production of Ethene

 Precious Metals for Green Chemistry

 Green Chemistry: Ethene from SynGas

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

 Joint Research Project for the Sustainable Production of Ethene

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 the lab, to the pilot plant and, finally, to full 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.

Get in Touch with Us!

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

Hendrik Spod

Dr. Hendrik Spod

Global Head of Sales – Heterogeneous Catalysis, VP

Chemical Process Catalysts