Short CV/Education and training

  • 1998 – 2003
    Studied chemical technology at Dortmund University of Technology, Germany (Diplom engineer's degree)

  • 2003 – 2006
    Doctorate from the Max Planck Institute of Coal Research

  • 2007
    Postdoc at Utrecht University, Netherlands

  • 2008
    Habilitand at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

  • 2009
    Research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Coal Research

  • Since 2010
    Professor at RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Selected publications

  • Palkovits, R.: Pentenoic acid pathways for cellulosic biofuels. In: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49 (2010) 26. pp. 4336-4338.

  • Palkovits, R. et al: Solid Catalysts for the Direct Oxidation of Methane to Methanol. In: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 48 (2009) 37. pp. 6909-6912.

  • Rinaldi, R., Palkovits, R., Schüth, F.: Depolymerization of cellulose by solid catalysts in ionic liquids. In: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 47 (2008). pp. 8047-8050; Angew. Chem. 120 (2008). pp. 8167-8170.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Catalysts of hydrolytic hydrogenation of cellulose in mono- and polyols

  • Reaction and catalyst systems for deriving sugar-based monomers for producing biopolymers

  • Molecular-inspired solid catalysts for oxidising methane to methanol

  • Developing catalysts that are active at low temperatures for breaking down ammonia

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the German Chemical Society (GDCh), Dechema (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology), ProcessNet and the German Society for Catalysis

  • Member of the scientific advisory board for the exhibition "Entdeckungen 2010: Energie" (Discoveries of 2010: Energy) on the Isle of Mainau, Germany, 2010

  • Jury member for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) student competition "Mehr Energie für Ideen" (More Energy for Ideas), 2010

  • Thematic ambassador for the Year of Energy 2010, an initiative of the BMBF

  • External member of the "Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass" excellence cluster at RWTH Aachen University, 2008

Additional qualifications

  • Certified project manager for industrial chemistry, German Chemical Society (GDCh)

  • Referee for various professional journals, including Angewandte Chemie (Applied Chemistry), Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Catalysis and Chemistry & Sustainable Chemistry


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