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Keramik Innovation Berthold, founded in 2020 as a start-up, is a research and development company dealing with sustainability and innovative processes in the field of technical ceramics.


The business areas are: (1) Ceramic additive manufacturing using the FDM process; (2) the modification of ceramic materials and the development of ceramic composites; (3) consulting customers on technical ceramics in general and as a solution provider; (4) lectures at conferences and teaching at universities; (5) engineering office: conceptual design of projects for complete manufacturing plants in the field of technical ceramics. Detailed project planning and budgeting. As well as manufacturing automation and optimization. (6) Development of sustainable casting processes for the so-called strip casting.

Heinrich’s inventions in ceramic are the base for the new concepts of heating a chemical reactor for the ēQATOR project. Additionally, KIB is printing ceramic holders for the lab reactors and supports reactor design with ceramic know-how.

Learn more about Keramic Innovation Berthold's contribution to the ēQATOR project by reading the interview below, in which Heinrich Berthold explains the role of the organization within the project and the vision and goals that shape the development of ēQATOR reactor technologies.


Heinrich Berthold



Please introduce yourself and your role in the project!

My name is Henrik Berthold. I have 34 years of experience in advanced ceramics manufacturing and advanced ceramics R&D. I founded my own startup “Keramic Innovation Berthold” In 2020. My company supports its customers in all topics of development and production of technical ceramics, including, meanwhile, also sustainable processes in high energy-consuming industries. In 2012, I invented electrical conductive silicate ceramics. Without our invention, our project would not exist. So and my role in this project is easy: together with my team, we are the ceramic specialists in this project.

How did you learn about the project and become a partner?

A few years ago, I joined an initiative at the University of Stuttgart and here I'm one of the two ceramic experts in this initiative. The focus of that initiative is to have a CO2 reduction in the chemical industry. So, when the idea of this ēQATOR project came up, Professor Klemm (from the University of Stuttgart) asked me to participate in this Project. He thought that my invention of this electrical conductive ceramics will be a game changer in the way towards CO2 neutral chemical industry, and so I became a partner.

What is your organization's role in the project, and what expertise do you bring to the table?

My organization’s role in this project is as a supplier of ceramics. We are producing electric conductive ceramics. We are also starting with a new type of Electro microwave feedable ceramics and also since the last meeting insulating ceramics, so we are producing the test components together with MCI for the University of Stuttgart. For CNRS, at the moment, I'm producing a new microwave heatable ceramics, which is made of wood and cardboard residues, and for Walter Tosto, needs some insulating tubes for the microwave reactor. So, this is our role, and the expertise it's easy: we know how to produce technical ceramics and how to integrate technical ceramics in metal housings and other things.

How is your organisation collaborating with other partners in the project?

We are working with MCI and University Stuttgart regarding the test samples for the connected measurement, with CNRS, I'm only supplying now this new type of microwave feeding ceramics, since they will test it if it's OK. This is the sample stage. When we are going to the pilot production, together with Johnson Matthey and MCI, we will produce a large honey comes for the pilot reactor, which will then be delivered to Parco Scientifico in Italy. Additionally, always new challenges in ceramics come up: Walter Tosto was asking for some insulating ceramics and so we delivered to all partners who have suddenly a surprising need in ceramics in this project.

How do your project activities contribute to the goal of the project to achieve a cost-competitive renewable methanol production with near zero CO2 emissions?

I was thinking about this along time ago and I will do it with some pictures. About one thousand years ago or longer. People, mankind was also doing chemistry at this time. So this people were called witches or magicians. They wanted to have a rector doing some chemicals inside and have a fire, thousands of years ago. Look at a chemical reactor up to now. What do you see? You have a pot again and you don’t have a fire, but you have a steam, and all the things are heated up again. So, a lot of waste of energy. With our invention, we can do it like this: we have tubes which are made from, for example, electric conductive ceramics and then we can heat where the heat is needed only in this, so this will be a huge saving of energy, and so a huge saving of CO2. So this is the contribution we can do with ceramic mixtures.

Regarding your tasks, what do you expect are or will be the greatest challenges during the project?

In the beginning, I was thinking “With so many partners... Nobody knows each other…” but I was totally astonished since this is a really good working team! At this moment I see the state-of-the-art is that a chemical reactor is only made of metal. Now we have the challenge that we bring in ceramic elements as functional elements, not only as a support. So it has to work with the ceramic inside. So we have to make a choice between ceramics and metal. At this moment we have a lot of law regulations regarding securities, but these were all made for metal systems. And so, in my eyes, that's the challenge we have to overcome. That is, to find solutions that can combine ceramics with metal and see these regulations, but we have such a good team, so I think we will overcome this as if it is no problem for us.

 If you had one wish regarding the project, what would it be?

So that in two years we have a successful pilot project. So my wish is to go to the next step and to show Europe and the world that this is a successful technology and the next step should be to build an industrial-size reactor. This would be my wish.

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