Institute of Inorganic Chemistry – Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry (IAC)


Presentation of the Institute

The Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry investigates biomimetic metal complexes as catalysts for many reactions, e.g. oxidations and polymerizations. With the help of these highly active, non-toxic catalysts, bioplastics can be produced more sustainably and be recycled later on, which in the long term will put society's demand for plastics on an ecologically sound basis.


"Bioplastics are too valuable to be used only once. Recycling must be realised in all areas of plastic use."

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Herres-Pawlis

  Life cycle of polylactide as an example of a bioplastic Copyright: © Alina Herrmann Life cycle of polylactide

It is hard to imagine our everyday life without plastics as versatile materials and they are almost irreplaceable in many areas of application - all the more important that they fit into a sustainable circular economy. In contrast to the currently established system of linear economy, this minimises the use of resources and maximises the recycling rate. To achieve this goal, especially for packaging materials, it is necessary to establish new recycling strategies that enable more efficient recycling of plastics without loss of quality, as is often the case with current methods. This also requires new types of plastics that are characterised by improved recyclability compared to conventional plastics. In addition, bio-based plastics help to make society independent of fossil raw materials. The Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry is addressing both points in order to develop better catalysts for the production of bioplastics, but also to create better catalysts for plastics recycling.


For the relevant projects of the institute please click on this link

Website of the Institute

  New non-toxic catalysts for lactide polymerisation Copyright: © Ruth Rittinghaus Finally faster catalysts than the industrial standard SnOct2: lactide polymerisation is now more sustainable!



Sonja Herres-Pawlis

Prof. Dr. rer.-nat.


+49 241 80 93903