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Institute of Process Engineering
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Fields of Research

Fields of Research

Process engineering deals with processes in which substances are processed in terms of

  • their nature,
  • their characteristics or
  • their composition

are changed according to natural scientific laws.

Special attention is paid to the technical and economic implementation of the processes.
To date, many of these processes have been based on simple correlations that cannot always meet modern requirements in terms of safety, product quality, energy demand, and fluctuating boundary conditions (energy transition, recycling of valuable materials).

The aim of the research is to clarify the complex interaction behind the apparatus design, material and energy transport in more detail experimentally (fluid dynamic measurement methods) and by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and at the same time to lay a foundation for the digitalization of process engineering plants. In addition, application-related fields such as the purification of rare earths from batteries (extraction, membrane processes), methanol synthesis and the purification of wastewater streams by membrane distillation play a significant role in current and future research.

Digitalization in the chemical industry will only be possible in the future with a better understanding of the local phenomena in chemical apparatus. If this is achieved, optimization of chemical processes is possible, and more efficient and sustainable processes can be planned or designed.

However, this requires an improvement of the current model design, especially for multiphase systems, away from one-dimensional models towards an isolated consideration of hydrodynamics, particle size as well as mass transport.

To achieve this, a complex integration of measurement techniques as well as simultaneous acquisition of the core parameters (particle size, concentration change, velocities) will be necessary, a corresponding modeling of the unknowns, as well as a mapping of single phenomena by isolated experiments. This can only be achieved by an interdisciplinary approach.