Wöhler Award for Sustainable Chemistry goes to Klaus Kümmerer

Wöhler Award for Sustainable Chemistry goes to Klaus Kümmerer

At the GDCh-Wissenschaftsforum (WiFo), Professor Dr Klaus Kümmerer (Leuphana University Lüneburg) receives the Wöhler Award for Sustainable Chemistry for his pioneering research achievements in the field of Sustainable Chemistry.

Prof Dr Kümmerer was honored for his exceptional work in various fields, including recyclable plastics, wastewater reuse, and end-of-life management of solar plants, among others, where he has made remarkable contributions to Sustainable Chemistry.

Men presenting

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Two sustainability researchers are being honoured by the German Chemical Society (GDCh) for their work. Professor Dr Klaus Kümmerer, Leuphana University Lüneburg, receives the Wöhler Prize for Sustainable Chemistry for his pioneering research achievements in the field of Sustainable Chemistry. Dr Philipp Demling, RWTH Aachen, is awarded the Prize for Bioconversion of Renewable Resources for his dissertation. Both award winners will receive their awards on 6 September during the GDCh Science Forum (WiFo) Chemistry.

Recyclable plastics, wastewater reuse and end-of-life management of solar plants - these are just a few examples of the research areas in which Professor Dr Klaus Kümmerer has made outstanding contributions to Sustainable Chemistry. In addition, the award winner was one of the first to establish the concept of "benign by design", in which environmental impacts are reduced through the targeted design of molecules. Kümmerer was able to successfully test the concept in practical examples, such as the development of ionic liquids that are less harmful to the environment and in biodegradable antibiotics. In addition, he is committed to integrating sustainable topics into the education of chemists and has designed and established corresponding courses of study. For his pioneering contributions to the development and implementation of Sustainable Chemistry, the GDCh will award Kümmerer the Wöhler Prize for Sustainable Chemistry, worth 7500 euros, at the WiFo.

Klaus Kümmerer studied chemistry at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, where he also received his doctorate in 1990. In 1999, he obtained the venia legendi for environmental chemistry and environmental hygiene at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. After his habilitation, Klaus Kümmerer first became an assistant professor and later head of the Section for Applied Environmental Research at the University Medical Centre Freiburg. In 2005, he became an associate professor at the University of Freiburg. From 2008 to 2010, he was both vice-chairman of the Commission for Environment and Sustainability and Environmental Officer at the University Medical Centre Freiburg. Kümmerer has been Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and Physical Resources at Leuphana University Lüneburg since 2010 and Director of the Research & Education Hub at the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Center (ISC3) since 2017. He is and has been a member of numerous national and international committees and regularly advises the EU and UNEP as well as national and international policy makers on sustainability issues.

Also at the WiFo, the Prize for Bioconversion of Renewable Resources, established at the GDCh in 2021 by GDCh member Prof. Dr em. Manfred Schneider, will be awarded. The award, which is endowed with 2000 euros, is given to young PhDs whose doctorate was awarded no more than two years ago. This year's award winner is Dr Philipp Demling. In his dissertation at RWTH Aachen University, he deals with process-engineering improvements in fermentative rhamnolipid production. In doing so, he has developed both new processes to avoid foam formation and new digestion and bioreactor concepts that would improve industrial application.

The GDCh Science Forum Chemistry (WiFo) - in a nutshellThe GDCh Science Forum Chemistry 2023 will take place under the motto "Rethinking Chemistry" from 4 to 6 September 2023 at the KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo in Leipzig. Participants can expect a varied programme of plenary lectures, main symposia, a poster exhibition and an industrial exhibition. In addition, numerous prestigious prizes will be awarded. Registration is possible at https://www.wifo2023.de.

With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical societies in the world. Every two years, it organises the GDCh Science Forum (WiFo) Chemistry at changing locations in Germany. To this most important German chemistry congress, the GDCh also invites international scientists of distinction to give lectures.