The MPI CEC is involved in numerous research projects and cooperations in order to further advance the energy revolution, and to promote the exchange with science, industry and politics. Our institute is also part of two of the climate protection projects of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research - the Kopernikus- and the Carbon2Chem® project. An overview of the BMBF's innovation projects for climate protection can be found here.

Below you will find an overview of most of our projects, cooperations and participation in clusters of excellence (in alphabetic order).

Carbon2Chem ®

The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion is involved in the joint project Carbon2Chem ®, a large-scale initiative on climate protection with 17 partners from industry and science. The project aims at turning CO2 and other gases (Hüttengase) from steel mills into chemicals.

For more information, please visit our Carbon2Chem ® website.

EMIL - Energy Materials In-Situ Laboratory Berlin

In a concerted effort, the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Society (MPG) are in the process to develop, install, and operate EMIL (Energy Materials In-Situ Laboratory Berlin), a world-wide unique facility at the BESSY II synchrotron light source. EMIL is dedicated to the state-of-the-art synthesis and in-situ and in-operando X-ray analysis of materials and devices for energy conversion, energy storage, and energy efficiency. Work at EMIL will cover the range from basic and applied material science over technology and prototype development to industrial research.
Prof. Serena DeBeer is responsible for the PINK beamline at EMIL, Prof. Schlögl for the CAT beamline.

Clusters of Excellence

E-conversion - Cluster of Excellence

e-conversion is a new Cluster of Excellence funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) with a focus on investigating fundamental mechanisms of energy conversion processes.
Besides the MPI CEC (Prof. Schlögl), scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, the MPI for Solid State Research, the FHI Berlin as well as TU and LMU Munich are involved in this project.

The Fuel Science Center - Cluster of Excellence

In the Cluster of Excellence “The Fuel Science Center - Adaptive Conversion Systems for Renewable Energy and Carbon Sources”, scientists from RWTH Aachen University, Forschungszentrum Jülich and the two Max Planck Institutes in Mülheim work together to conduct fundamental research aiming at the conversion of renewable electricity into liquid energy sources with a high energy density (bio-hybrid fuels). The energy is converted with the help of bio-based carbon feedstock and CO2. These fuels enable new engine concepts for efficient and clean combustion.

The research conducted in the FSC goes far beyond previous approaches by defining the scientific basis for the development of bio-hybrid fuels through integrated design of production and propulsion systems.

Prof. Walter Leitner and Prof. Robert Schlögl are both involved in this Cluster of Excellence. 



RESOLV - Cluster of Excellence

Cluster of Excellence 1069 - RESOLV (Ruhr Explores Solvation) - Understanding and Design of Solvent Controlled Processes

The Excellence Initiative aims to promote top-level research and to improve the quality of German universities and research institutions in general, thus making Germany a more attractive research location, making it more internationally competitive and focusing attention on the outstanding achievements of Germany universities and the German scientific community. There are three funding lines of the Excellence Initiative (1) Graduate Schools (2) Clusters of Excellence (3) Institutional Strategies.

Especially Clusters of Excellence will enable German university locations to establish internationally visible, competitive research and training facilities, thereby enhancing scientific networking and cooperation among the participating institutions.

One of those Clusters of Excellence is RESOLV (Ruhr Explores Solvation).

RESOLV is hosted by the Ruhr-University Bochum and at its very heart lies the quest to significantly deepen the understanding of the complex interplay between solutes and solvents at the molecular level. Therefore, its goal is to launch Solvation Science as a new interdisciplinary research field, thus providing a unifying framework in which solvent processes can be investigated. 

Detailed information about the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV can be found on the website of the RUB.

CRC/TRR 247: Heterogeneous Oxidation Catalysis in the Liquid Phase

The Collaborative Research Centre (CRC/Transregio 247) is located at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Ruhr-University Bochum. The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, and the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society are involved in this DFG-funded cooperation.
The CRC/TRR 247 aims at bringing heterogeneous oxidation catalysis in the liquid phase to a level of fundamental understanding that is comparable to metal catalysis in the gas phase, i.e. to unravel the nature of the catalytically active sites and the reaction mechanisms. The CRC is divided into different sub-areas and projects. Prof. Schlögl coordinates the subdivision B „Analysis and Model Materials“, Prof. DeBeer is responsible for the project B6 „Advanced X-Ray Spectroscopic Studies of Heterogeneous Oxidation Catalysts“ 

Energiesysteme der Zukunft (ESYS)

To successfully implement the energy revolution, scientific supervision is necessary. The interdisciplinary initiative ESYS – which was founded by acatech, the „Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina“ and the „Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften“ – contains the expertise of more than 100 experts of various scientific areas. 
In dialogue with stakeholders of politics, science, economics and the public, the experts develop strategies for a secure, affordable and sustainable energy revolution. Prof. Schlögl is chairman of the board of directors.

(Source and further information (in German only): acatech)


The EU-funded Energy-X project aims to develop a strategic "roadmap" for a major research initiative addressing the efficient conversion of solar and wind energy into chemical forms.

13 scientific partners from all over Europe, including the MPI CEC, are involved in this project, which is also supported by numerous industrial companies.



Kopernikus-Projects for the Energy Revolution

The Kopernikus-Projects form one of the largest German research initiatives in the field of energy system transformation. The initiative aims at a climate-neutral Federal Republic until 2050.

The projects focus on the fields:

  • New net structures
  • Power-to-X
  • Industry processes
  • System integration

Prof. Robert Schlögl is chairman of the advisory board of this research initiative. Prof. Walter Leitner heads the catalysis research in the Power-to-X project. Further information (in German only) can be found on the official Kopernikus-Website


MAXNET Energy is a research cooperation that aims at obtaining a deeper understanding of basic processes in chemical energy conversion and the rational design of novel catalysts, materials and techniques. 7 Max Planck Institutes, the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin as well as the Cardiff Catalysis Institute and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville are partners of MAXNET Energy.

MAXNET Energy originated from the ENERCHEM initiative of the Max Planck society that has successfully brought together scientists within the MPG from different fields of chemistry, physics and engineering. The focus of the joined work is key reactions in energy conversion for which a deeper understanding of existing systems and intensive research for novel solutions are conducted. The span of the projects within MAXNET Energy ranges from atomistic insight of catalytic reactions to details of engineering solutions for technical systems, from quantum simulation to synchrotron measurements and from synthetic chemistry to materials science.

Further information can be found on the MAXNET Energy Website

REDIFUEL – Robust and Efficient processes and technologies for Drop In renewable FUELs for road transport

The road transport sector plays a key role in achieving the EU's targets for reducing fuel emissions. In order to achieve these targets, pollutant emissions in the road transport sector must be reduced by at least 60%. It is now becoming increasingly clear that these targets can only be achieved with the help of new "drop in" biofuels. REDIFUEL is a research project dedicated to the development of an EN590 compatible biodiesel fuel. Through the combination of innovative research in the field of transition-metal-catalyzed reactions and specialized engineering skills, a competitively priced diesel-fuel with greatly reduced pollutant emissions is to be developed based on biomass.

The REDIFUEL European research project is carried out based on an international collaboration of 12 partners. This consortium consists of universities, research institutes as well as small and medium-size enterprises, from six different countries.

The Group of Multiphase Catalysis (Department of Molecular Catalysis) at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion is one of the partners of REDIFUEL with a primary focus on the development of new homogenous catalysts and recycling concepts within the project. This research project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Action (Grant Agreement no. 817612) within the “Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources” program under the topic “Development of next generation biofuels and alternative renewable fuel technologies for road transport”. REDIFUEL started with a Kick-Off meeting in October 2018 and will continue to be realized for the next three years.



Experimental photovoltaic system

The experimental photovoltaic system was installed as a part of the research activities in the field of energy storage at the MPI CEC.
The special features of this system are the various photovoltaic-modules, differing in type technology, area and power.

More information on our Solar-Website