Energy and resource efficient processes
With the development and application of advanced simulation tools and measurement techniques we contribute to an improved understanding of multi-scale transport phenomena in energy-intensive industrial processes. On these grounds we develop and assess modern concepts of process intensification.
Transport processes in bubble column reactors
Bubble columns are the working horses of the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry with large environmental footprints. A proper optimization of such reactors can contribute to gross savings in energy consumption and catalyst materials and to reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
Process intensification in multi-phase reactors
In the last few years, a growing interest of the chemical industry in concepts for process intensification in multi-phase reactors has been observed. Our research investigates various possibilities to intensify processes in multi-phase reactors.
Efficient thermal separation processes
Thermal separation processes such as rectification, distillation, absorption, desorption and extraction are central unit operations in chemical process industries. The vapor-liquid separation processes are very energy-intensive, since they involve multiple sequences of evaporation and condensation.
Efficient biological waste water treatment
Removal and treatment of municipal and industrial waste water is of great importance to reduce pollution and eutrophication of natural watercourses and is part of a sustainable use of water resources.
Hydrodynamics of flotation
In the froth flotation process the valuable hydrophobic particles attach to the fluidic interface of rising bubbles while the undesired hydrophilic particles settle down to eventually be discharged. A better understanding with the help of a three-phase flow model to simulate the particle capture and appropriate microscale experiments using the in-house optical process microscope could help to make the capture of hydrophobic mineral particles more efficient.
Energy System Analysis
A sustainable society needs an energy use that is adapted energy production. As a key consumer, the chemical industry must adapt to use increasing amounts of renewable electricity.
Chemical energy storage via methanol synthesis in a tubular steam electrolyser-reactor
A promising opportunity for the conversion of excess power into chemical energy carriers can be found in the decentralized production of methanol or longer-chain liquid hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide and electrolytic hydrogen, gained from intermittently regenerative energy sources.