French-German Research Prize for RWTH Professor Walter Leitner


Using carbon dioxide as a raw material


Professor Walter Leitner, Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry at RWTH Aachen University, is awarded the Georg Wittig-Victor Grignard Prize. This binational prize is awarded annually to excellent chemists who promote research collaboration and scientific networking between Germany and France. The Société Chimique de France and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker alternately select the prizewinner. The Société Chimique de France nominated the chemical engineer from Aachen. A lecture tour in the partner country is an essential part of the award and Leitner is planning to speak to students in France in 2021.

The award recognizes Leitner's research on homogeneous catalysis in supercritical carbon dioxide and on the chemical conversion and use of biomass. Leitner has held the RWTH Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry since 2002, and since October 2017 he has also been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Together with his team, he researches catalytic processes from the molecular fundamentals to reaction-engineering concepts. For his contributions in this field, he and his industry colleagues from Covestro were also among the finalists for the 2019 Deutscher Zukunftspreis, which is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards that is conferred for science and innovation within Germany.