Munich Catalysis – Strategic Alliance of Clariant and TUM (MuniCat)


Innovative Catalyst Research

Munich Catalysis (MuniCat) in a nutshell:

- Industry on Campus: TUM scientists and Clariant researchers resolve questions of fundamental and applied research in various and diverse fields of catalysis for industrial processes.

- Applying the expertise of TUM’s Catalysis Research Center (CRC), MuniCat creates vanguard concepts in catalysis research.

- MuniCat supports Bachelor, Master and PhD theses, PostDoc assignments, as well as industrial internships.


General MuniCat research fields:

  • Hydrogen (generation and usage)
  • CO2- and syngas-chemistry
  • Novel catalysts, new technologies and concepts
  • New catalytic routes to base, specialty & fine chemicals
  • New preparation and process technologies
  • Simulation of catalytic processes
  • In silico screening and machine learning
  • Applied and fundamental research


Catalysis: Key Technology of the 21st Century

As a cross-sectional key technology, catalysis plays a major role in the efficient transformation of feedstock into upgraded, valuable chemical products. Catalysts are employed in the production of almost any chemical compound.

Thereby catalysts assist to increase production capacity, to lower energy consumption and to minimize emissions. Catalysts enable the usage of alternative feedstock as basis for chemicals and fuels.


MuniCat: Trustful Research Partnership of Industry and University

MuniCat is a strategic partnership, based on a long-term successful and trustful cooperation history, for the investigation and technically application of innovative catalyst systems. Involved are the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the specialty chemicals company Clariant. Its Business Unit Catalysts is worldwide leading at the development and the supply of catalysts applied in industrial processes. The partnership is rooted in a long tradition of joint research projects between TUM and Clariant (as well as Süd-Chemie AG which became part of Clariant in 2011). Since its founding in November 2010 MuniCat has brought together experts from both sides for ambitioned fundamental research and development projects on industrial catalysis applications, successfully forming a highly productive and unique cluster in this field. MuniCat serves excellent and fast answers to a broad variety of technical and academic challenges of modern catalysis technology: improvements in established processes as well as groundbreaking research into completely new catalytic solutions like a market ready, highly robust catalyst for the transformation of CO2 from industrial emissions to SNG (synthetic natural gas) at grid grade level. MuniCat offers innovative technologies to utilize new feedstock sources to produce major bulk chemicals like the efficient transformation of ethane to ethene. Such developments are exemplarily escorted by the parallel development of new methods for highly specialized catalyst shaping applying state of the art additive manufacturing technologies supported by various modelling and simulation tools. In 2019, MuniCat will start an elaborated program in the field of machine learning and in silico catalyst screening to establish vanguard methods for catalyst improvement and novel developments on the next evolutionary level.

MuniCat has close ties to two of Clariant’s catalyst research sites, one in Heufeld, about one hour southeast of the CRC, and one in Louisville, Kentucky. Clariant contributes up to two million Euro annually to the funding of the MuniCat activities. It is expected to extend the fruitful cooperation beyond its expiration date in 2022.

The strategic partnership with Clariant is an important and essential building block of TUM’s strategy to bundle its academic catalysis research in the catalysis research center in a clustered and highly focused approach including and living TUM’s entrepreneurial, application orientated spirit.