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Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr is an independent foundation. It was founded in 1912 as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Kohlenforschung and became a Max-Planck-Institut in 1949. For nearly 40 years, the Institute was financially independent, due to patent income, and received only small contributions from industry and the Max-Planck-Society. Since 1994 the Max-Planck-Society provides substantial financial support.

The original objective of the Institute - scientific research on coal - became of less significance after 1943 and has played no role since 1993 see Institute History. The Institute now carries out basic chemical research in the areas of organic and organometallic chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and theoretical chemistry. The principal aim is to develop new methods for the selective and environmentally benign preparation of new compounds and materials. Each of the five departments is the responsibility of a Scientific Member and Director:

  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Prof. Dr. Manfred T. Reetz

  • Homogeneous Catalysis (currently vacant)

  • Heterogeneous Catalysis, Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth

  • Organometallic Chemistry, Prof. Dr. Alois Fürstner

  • Theory, Prof. Dr. Walter Thiel

The research areas overlap and frequently result in close cooperation. The research is supported by an infrastructure consisting of various service units which have a wide range of instruments and workshop facilities at their disposal.

The Institute has a permanent staff of 212 and of these 50 are scientists. In addition, there are more than 100 graduate students, post-docs and visiting scientists as well as 35 trainees.


Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

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