AREA 2 

Process Intensification

SCIENTIFIC LEAD

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Lendl, TU WIEN

Prof. Dr. Michael Harasek, TU WIEN

PARTNERS

Agrana Fruit, Agrana Research and Innovation Center, Borealis AG, SAPPI Papier Holding GmbH, OMV Refining and Marketing GmbH, Patheon part of Thermo Fisher Scientific Patheon Austria GmbH & Co KG, E+H Process Solutions (DE) GmbH, Teufelberger GmbH, Engel Austria GmbH, Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

PROJECTS INSIDE THE AREA

  1. ​Multi-firm: 2.1: Process Design and Optimization.

  2. Multi-firm: 2.2: Innovative Process Analytical Technologies.

  3. Multi-firm: 2.3: Fundamental Investigations on Foaming Process of Polypropylene (PP) and Polypropylene Compounds.

  4. Strategic Project 2.4: Innovative Photonic Sensing Strategies.

1/3

TOPICS

will be considered by combining laser based developments in Process Analytical Technologies with open source Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations for optimization of chemical production processes in various fields.

RESEARCH GOALS

  • Modelling and simulation of key process steps and in (bio)chemical, food and polymer processes steps and model validation using extended laboratory based analytics as well as dedicated PAT tools.

  • Development and implementation of generic tools for simulating multi-phase and multi-physics processes using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations based on the OpenFOAM® platform.

  • Validation of CFD, discrete element (DEM) and coupled models on larger scale processes through Design of Experiment planning.

  • Simulation guided process optimization through consideration of reaction models, process relevant thermodynamics, multi-phase and multi-physics processes along with adaptable CFD meshing and reactor geometries. 

  • Advancing based particle and chemical sensing technology by cross-sectional technology developments including vis- and mid-IR lasers, cavity based enhancement strategies, ultrasound particle manipulation and hyperspectral imaging systems. 

  • Isotope selective trace gas sensors based on mid-IR laser spectroscopy for differentiation of carbon sources.

  • Advancing indirect laser-based sensing schemes like photoacoustic or photothermal spectroscopies for novel in-line sensing applications.

  • Implementation of laser-based on-line sensors for detection monitoring and monitoring of pollutants in refinery process streams as well as polymer recycling.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Kinetic data for the polymerization of olefins considering various influences (temperature, catalyst system, pressure, hydrogen,…)

  • Generic automated workflows for CFD analysis of process intensification problems allowing to optimize and de-bottleneck geometric designs.

  • Homogeneous and heterogeneous reaction and mass transfer models implemented in the open-source CFD-code OpenFOAM® for the generic and specific use with process intensification problems.

  • OpenFOAM® generic model library – ready for customized simulation-supported process intensification applications (strategic project contribution)

  • Fully resolved multi-physics CFD models ready for its application in the food industry.

  • Plant process simulation model to predict preferential operating conditions for SO2 recovery supported by dedicated and novel on-line PAT tools.

  • Successful implementation of on-line mid-IR laser based gas sensors for single and multiple analytes (COS, CH3SH, H2S, oxygenates,…) in the low ppb concentration range.

  • Laser based humidity sensor realized and ready for product development.

  • Ultra-trace (sub ppb) gas sensing capabilities for isotope selective carbon dioxide considering isotopes of both carbon and oxygen. 

  • In-line PAT sensor for providing spatially resolved chemical and fluid flow information by combining Raman spectroscopy with Laser Doppler Velocimetry developed and tested.

  • Novel sensing schemes based on polarization sensitive measurement protocols for liquids realized and implemented.

  • Decentralized miniature NIR sensors for monitoring chemical reaction in narrow channels implemented.

  • Monitoring system based on LIBS for assuring purity requirements in PET recycling implemented.

  • Validated simulation model for unfilled/filled PP foams for various foaming degrees considering crucial foam properties for improved mechanical performance under a certain loading case.

  • Autonomous detection of the solubility limit in an injection moulding process and characterization capabilities for talcum-filled and elastomer modified materials in terms of solubility limits during method development.

Intensifying polymer production value chain

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