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Prize-worthy research on efficient energy conversion

Posted 31 October 2013 by Beatrix Dumsky

The international Science Award Electrochemistry from BASF and Volkswagen goes in 2013 to Dr. Karl Mayrhofer, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Düsseldorf. Mayrhofer, born 1977 in Villach, Austria, received the prize connected with €50.000 for the outstanding results of his research on electrocatalysts, which are crucial for the life expectancy of fuel cells. Mayrhofer who also leads the Electrocatalysis Group at the MPI in Düsseldorf gave us insight into the world of electrocatalysis and what part it plays in energy conversion. Dr. Mayrhofer congratulations to the... Read more

Why Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 goes to computational modelers

Posted 18 October 2013 by Beatrix Dumsky

The natural sciences discovered the power of intelligent machinery, when personal computers were still in their infancy: In the 70s, Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel broke ground for programs that are used to understand and predict chemical processes and received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As quantum chemical methods provide almost chemical accuracy, computational methods are developed to reproduce and rationalize effects and to compare with experimental data. Ansgar Schäfer is responsible for Quantum Chemistry at BASF and explains why the... Read more

Asymmetric catalysis enables selective synthesis

Posted 28 June 2013 by Beatrix Dumsky

Professor Nicolai Cramer of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne received this year’s BASF Catalysis Award at the Heidelberg Forum of Molecular Catalysis today. Professor Cramer, who was born in Stuttgart in 1977, received the award for his work on catalytic processes used to synthesize biologically active molecules. Professor Cramer is the head of the laboratory for asymmetric catalysis and synthesis in Lausanne. The BASF Catalysis Award is worth € 10 000. The science journalist Klaus Jopp interviewed Professor Cramer and found... Read more

MOFs – getting inspired for chemical discoveries

Posted 10 January 2013 by Anja Feldmann

In 2012, BASF received the French Pierre Potier Award for its research on metal organic framework or MOFs: thanks to a new manufacturing process it is possible for the first time to produce MOFs on industrial scale - that is several tons - and without using solvents. Our own Manuela Gaab explained the workings of MOFs in an earlier blog entry. But who is behind these mysterious frameworks with their sponge-like surfaces? Manuela talked to the forefather of MOFs, Omar M. Yaghi... Read more

MOFs – New possibilities for storing gas

Posted 27 October 2012 by Judith Schrauf-Papadopoulos

BASF has been researching into metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and the processes that can be used to manufacture these highly efficient storage materials for gases on an industrial scale, for more than ten years. In September, BASF was awarded the Pierre Potier Prize in the field of process innovation for its successful research. This prize is awarded for outstanding examples of sustainable innovations in the field of chemistry by the two French chemical associations Fédération Française pour les sciences de la... Read more

A 2-Dimensional Crystal in a 3-D World. Graphene.

Posted 24 September 2012 by Anja Feldmann

The world is flat. Thomas Friedman and Konstantin Novoselov came to this stunning conclusion independently of each other. The former being a three time Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author on how advances in technology and communications accelerate globalization.[1] The latter -- a Russian physicist in Manchester who together with Andre Geim won the Nobel Prize in 2010 for the experimental study and isolation of a two-dimensional carbon crystal with a simple scotch-tape from ordinary graphite, a material used over... Read more

Freedom of Research in Plant Biotechnology?

Posted 15 August 2012 by Judith Schrauf-Papadopoulos

“What future does Germany have as a research location for impending technologies?” asked numerous scientists, in January when BASF announced they would relocate their plant biotechnology division abroad. One of the key technologies of the 21st century doesn’t meet with the necessary acceptance in Germany. What consequences will this have for university research? To learn more, we spoke to Hans-Jörg Jacobsen, Professor of Plant Biotechnology at Leibniz University in Hannover. Prof. Jacobsen, Industrial research into plant biotechnology has withdrawn almost... Read more

Electromobility: The Next Battery Generations (Part II)

Posted 9 November 2011 by Judith Schrauf-Papadopoulos

Being mobile is taken for granted these days. To secure the energy efficient and climate friendly mobility of the future, in October the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and BASF opened the joint laboratory BELLA (Battery and Electrochemistry) at which new battery materials for electric cars are to be developed. Dr. Andreas Fischer has put together a few basic facts about material research for us. Electric cars were already held in high regard by the automobile pioneers. Around 1900, there... Read more

Electromobility: Researching for New Battery Materials (Part I)

Posted 22 September 2011 by Judith Schrauf-Papadopoulos

Alternative drive systems, especially electromobility, rate highly when it comes to conserving energy and resources. The sticking point is and remains the battery, which is the main focus of research in electrochemistry. Over the last few decades, BASF has been one of the few chemical companies to continuously pursue electrochemical research and set up groups of recognized experts. One of them is BASF research scientist Dr. Andreas Fischer. Michael Lang talked to him about new battery materials for electromobility.  ... Read more

Onto the compost – bags for bio-waste

Posted 29 April 2011 by Judith Schrauf-Papadopoulos

The bio-waste bin is a worthy cause: composting lettuce leaves, coffee filters, tea bags and apple cores in the proper manner not only produces fertilizer but also contributes to a positive energy balance. But how do we transfer coffee grounds and potato peelings to the bin – without, for example, the newspaper we wrap them in tearing open and distributing the contents over the hallway? In Bad Dürkheim, a pilot project was launched in April to test how waste bags... Read more