Key Info

Basic Information

Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner
Faculty / Institution:
Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences
Project duration:
01.10.2013 to 30.09.2017
EU contribution:
3.943.849,69 euros
  EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 607044.  


Sustainable Biomass Conversions by Highly Efficient Catalytic Processes


The goal of a sustainable society requires the efficient use of renewable or sustainable materials and demands the development of selective new methodologies for the preparation of desirable products. In this context we require:

(i) a change from traditional stoichiometric, high energy methods that produce huge amounts of chemical waste to mild and clean catalytic processes and (ii) a major step change in chemicals production with fossil fuels being replaced by renewable resources as chemical starter units.

In this proposal we have identified a series of collaborative projects that would benefit from the mutual exchange of scientific expertise between several European academic and industrial partners. This collaboration will provide new links within the EU to be established in order to train a new generation of scientists to deliver research excellence in the challenging change from fossil to renewable resources. The challenge to change our societies reliance for chemical production from fossil-fuel based to all-renewable resources is a challenge of enormous scale.This change must be broken down into smaller, manageable components capable of demonstrating the effectiveness of this strategy in order to showcase the transition necessary. In this proposal we will establish links with world leading experts to develop leading examples of this approach and have identified several areas where we believe collaboration can impact. Using the complementary multidisciplinary expertise from the network partners we will: Develop optimal catalysts for ether cleavage in 'real life samples' of lignin for maximising the potential of lignocellulose as a source of fuels and fine chemicals. The most successful catalyst systems developed will be immobilized using advanced fluids and these systems will be fully explored and optimised through collaboration within this ITN consortium.


  • The University Court of the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (Coordinator)
  • Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen – KNAW, Netherlands
  • Helsingin Yliopisto, Finland
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands
  • Hybrid Catalysis B.V., Netherlands