Our research group is interested in development and characterization of functional materials for sustainable chemical processes. The role of non-noble metals as reactive components in sustainable processes represents the central topic in our workgroup. On the one hand new and effective materials were synthesized and tested on their catalytical activity. On the other hand catalytically active materials are investigated in detail to gain insights into the reasons for their high activities and to allow the design of improved catalysts based on these results. The applied methods (mainly at synchrotron radiation facilities) are continuously developed to fulfill the requirements of the systems.