The ‚award for excellence in energy’ honors Schlögls multifaceted and innovative approach to catalysis study and is dedicated to his innovation in the use of hydrocarbons as a bridge to the future of energy and decarbonisation:
„When we replace fossil by renewable energy carriers we still need fuels for many applications including mobility. These fuels come from splitting water with renewable energy to obtain hydrogen and combine it with CO2. The science and technology behind is catalysis. Robert Schlögl and his team found ways how to watch catalysts at work in the research “Multifaceted Approach to enable the Transformation of Energy Systems”. This is important as they function best when catalyst material and reactant molecules “marry” and form unprecedented new structures. Minimizing the disturbance of catalyst and molecules during observation was the challenge. A suite of tools “seeing” working structures helped optimizing them to split oxygen from water and to combine hydrogen with CO2. The product methanol is converted to fuels replacing Diesel bringing clean driving and renewable energy to mobility without novel infrastructures.“
The ENI Award is a prize awarded with the aim of encouraging better use of energy sources and increased environmental research. Launched in 2007 by the Italian oil and gas company Eni to recognize the best studies on efficiency, sustainability and environmental protection, the annual Eni Award is an international prize for applied research in the field of energy. With 200,000 euros in prize money it is one of the most important industrial science awards worldwide.