Alwin Mittasch Prize 2021 goes to Johannes A. Lercher

[09.02.2021] The Alwin Mittasch Prize 2021 is awarded to Prof. Dr. Johannes A. Lercher. With this renowned international catalysis award, the German Catalysis Society (GeCatS) honors his contributions for the development and understanding of solid catalysts in order to exploit new sources of raw materials. The expert committee particularly highlighted his impressive overall scientific work and the high industrial relevance of his research.

Johannes A. Lercher's research focuses primarily on the fundamental understanding of catalysts and catalytic processes for the synthesis of energy carriers and chemical intermediates. Based on the characterization of catalysts and their active sites, using state-of-the-art physicochemical methods, he develops novel types of catalysts that enable a better exploitation of chemical potentials along the reaction pathway, resulting in chemical transformations at milder reaction conditions and with higher selectivity.

Studies on changes to the catalyst over its life cycle also allow the identification of the ideal operating state and its limits for industrial processes. The considered parameters include, primarily, interactions between solvents and surfaces and pores, for porous materials such as zeolites, as well as on metal particles.

The range of examined processes includes acid-catalyzed reactions such as hydrocarbon cracking and hydrocarbon alkylation as well as metal (sulfide)-catalyzed reactions involving hydrogen, such as the removal of sulfur and nitrogen from energy carriers.

The Alwin Mittasch Prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding research that has led to a deeper understanding or widening of fundamentals in catalysis and its industrial application. The Prize is endowed with 10,000 Euro and supported by BASF.