July 9, 2014

New BasCat Laboratory opens at TU Berlin

  • UniCat and BASF joint laboratory investigates catalytic processes for raw material change
  • Cooperation with excellent partners on 1,000 square meters research area

Berlin, Germany – July 9, 2014 – On the South Campus of Technical University (TU) Berlin, BASF together with the Cluster of Excellence “Unifying Concepts in Catalysis” (UniCat) today opened the new BasCat Laboratory building. On about 1,000 square meters of laboratory and office area, 17 scientists will in future be researching the principles of heterogeneous catalysis for raw material change. BASF and TU Berlin are devoting considerable resources to establishing the BasCat Laboratory: BASF is investing up to €6.4 million during the first five years. The total volume is around €13 million.

“Heterogeneous catalysts make many chemical reactions more cost effective and environmentally compatible or even possible in the first place. Especially in this time of increasingly scarce resources, energy and raw material efficiency are playing an ever more important role,” says Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President Process Research and Chemical Engineering at BASF. “Together with our internationally prestigious partners, we want to generate fundamental scientific knowledge of the activation of less reactive molecules to accelerate the development of industrially relevant catalysts over the long term.” The research partners include working groups from the natural and engineering sciences, e.g. at the Institutes of Chemistry, Process Technology and Material Sciences at TU Berlin, and in the Inorganic Chemistry Department of the Fritz Haber Institute.

“The spirit of research and discovery at UniCat is becoming the center of gravity of catalysis research in Germany, not least due to the BasCat Laboratory, which is developing new experimental and theoretical solutions for raw material change,” says Professor Dr. Matthias Drieß, spokesperson of the UniCat Cluster of Excellence. “In the UniCat Cluster of Excellence, synergies between chemical and biological catalysis are being researched to make innovative contributions to the energy transition and in active substance research.” The research partners have already launched numerous projects since the cooperation agreement was signed in 2012. With the new facilities, the BasCat now has a joint research center for heterogeneous catalysis under one roof.

Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen, President of TU Berlin, said on the occasion of the BasCat inauguration: “The cooperation of the UniCat Cluster of Excellence with BASF has given catalysis research a new home at TU Berlin. In the BasCat joint laboratory, cutting-edge, forward-looking research is pursued that benefits our society. The scientists make important contributions to securing our energy and raw material supplies. We are pleased that in this project we have joined strong partners who help enable top-ranking research and provide excellent doctoral candidate training in the new laboratory.”

Links to UniCat and BasCat:

About BASF

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


Last Update July 9, 2014