Syngas and methane chemistry

To understand and use the chemistry of syngas and methane catalysis from the atomic level up to the level of a reactor to develop new or improved conversion routes for the efficient and sustainable production of transportation fuels and targeted chemicals.


Biomass conversion


To target the design of heterogeneous catalysts and reactor systems for the conversion of lignine and (hemi-)cellulose to transportation fuels and base chemicals, including aromatics.



Solar Fuels



To develop high precision design and assembly approaches to construct nanostructured multicomponent systems and integrate them into practical devices for the efficient and stable production of hydrogen and hydrocarbon solar fuels.

What do we do?

Mastering the future to make our living more sustainable!


A multiscale science approach to the fields of catalysis science and technology offers new prospects to tackle one of the most important questions of this century; i.e., how can we make our energy carriers and materials in a more sustainable manner? In order to contribute to this ambition MCEC has defined three Scientific Challenges; each challenge focuses on the fundamental questions of the nanoscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic worlds of a catalytic process. Together they cover all the length scales of importance.

  • Mastering catalytic events
  • Mastering complex multiscale structures
  • Mastering mass and heat flows

Six leading scientists combine their expertise in one interdisciplinary center

Prof. Albert van den Berg

“If we can improve an existing chemical process with a new catalyst or novel reactor design by 1%, it immediately has an enormous impact on society.”

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Prof. Detlef Lohse

“One of the greatest challenges is to produce our chemicals and materials from biomass and to design efficient converters to generate solar fuels. For both approaches catalysis is one of the key aspects.”

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Prof. Hans Kuipers

“The phenomena are very complex and we need the scientific background of people from the domains of catalysis, fluid mechanics and process engineering to make a big step ahead.”

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Prof. Rutger van Santen (Senior Consultant)

“To solve the major issues of society now, we need new techniques and new approaches and educate people who are able to invent them.”

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Prof. Alfons van Blaaderen

“Connecting multiple length scales is the next big challenge.”

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Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Scientific Director)

“Catalysis is an interdisciplinary science. Bringing scientists from different backgrounds together provides ample opportunities to make new scientific breakthroughs.”

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Prof. Emiel Hensen

“Developing novel chemical processes is pivotal to enable the transition to a society that does not depend on fossil resources: MCEC enables bottom-up design of such processes by bringing together the disciplines of catalysis and process engineering.”

Sharing knowledge

Three strong research partners