Malte Behrens

Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany,
and Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CENIDE), University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Tentative title 
Malte Behrens studied Chemistry at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at Kiel University (Dipl.-Chem. 2002) and obtained his PhD from the same university in 2006. He became postdoctoral researcher and later group leader at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry in Berlin (Director: R. Schlögl). In 2013, he obtained his Habilitation from the Technical University Berlin and was appointed Professor for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2014. In 2019, he became Professor of the University Alliance Ruhr for Materials Chemistry of Catalysts with a co-affiliation at the neighbouring Ruhr University Bochum. In 2020, he returned to Kiel University to the Chair for Solid State Chemistry, and remains affiliated with the Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CENIDE) and the UA Ruhr. 
The research in the Behrens group focuses on structure-activity relationships in heterogeneous catalysis with emphasis on the controlled synthesis of nanostructured catalysts for small molecule activation, such as the hydrogenation of CO2. In particular, the mechanisms and active sites of Cu-based methanol synthesis catalysts and the role of the Zn promoter have been studied in detail. In addition to the syngas chemistry, the group also works on the synthesis and decomposition of ammonia, and the electrocatalytic water splitting reaction. A recent focus is on selective oxidation in liquid-phase reactions over mixed oxide catalysts. 
He was awarded the Jochen-Block-Prize of the German Catalysis Society in 2013 and is speaker of the Collaborative Research Center / Transregio 247 “Heterogenenous Oxidation Catalysis in the Liquid Phase” since 2018. He is author of more than 100 scientific publications. 

Selected publications:
  • The active site of methanol synthesis over Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 industrial catalysts. M. Behrens, F. Studt, I. Kasatkin, S. Kühl, M. Hävecker, F. Abild-Pedersen, S. Zander, F. Girgsdies, P. Kurr, B.-L Kniep, M. Tovar, R.W. Fischer, J.K. Nørskov, R. Schlögl, Science 2012, 336, 893–897.  
  • Coprecipitation: An excellent tool for the synthesis of supported metal catalysts - From the understanding of the well known recipes to new materials, M. Behrens, Catalysis Today 2015, 246, 46–54. 
  • Topotactic Synthesis of Porous Cobalt Ferrite Platelets from a Layered Double Hydroxide Precursor and Their Application in Oxidation Catalysis, K. Friedel Ortega, S. Anke, S. Salamon, F. Özcan, J. Heese, C. Andronescu, J. Landers, H. Wende, W. Schuhmann, M. Muhler, T. Lunkenbein, M. Behrens, Chemistry - A European Journal 2017, 23, 12443–12449.  
  • The roles of Co-precipitation pH, phase-purity and alloy formation for the ammonia decomposition activity of Ga-promoted Fe/MgO catalysts, D. Rein, K. Friedel Ortega, C. Weidenthaler, E. Bill, M. Behrens, Applied Catalysis A: General 2017, 548, 52-61. 

Photo: UDE/Frank Preuss