Fluid Separations

Mass-transfer equipment, such as random or structured column packings are used to increase mass-transfer in absorption and distillation processes. These separation processes have widespread applications in many fields and industries e.g. (petro-) chemical production, pharmaceuticals, food production or environmental technology. Based on a detailed understanding of both fluid dynamics and mass-transfer mechanisms within column packings the development of rigorous calculation models is possible, necessary for the efficient conception and operation of packing columns. Measurements under realistic conditions are performed at our absorption pilot plant “Packed Column” (2 columns; DN450 and DN600; Height 7m). Our research in the area of mass-transfer and absorption processes aims to understand mass-transfer phenomena in column packings on a fundamental level. Nevertheless, due to the industry-oriented nature of our investigations, research results find direct application in existing and novel processes and products. Research interests of our working group consist of four main areas:

  • Modelling: The main objective in this area is to reduce the number of empirical parameters necessary for describing the performance of column packings.
  • Standardization and characterization: Alongside characterizing mass-transfer equipment for industry partners, the main influencing parameters of different measurement setups are investigated for standardization efforts.
  • Absorption systems: Improving the understanding of absorption systems with subsequent chemical reactions is the main focus of this research topic. Currently, the absorption system SO2/seawater is investigated.
  • Column packing design: Experimental findings are used in conjunction with new and improved manufacturing possibilities e.g. additive manufacturing for improved packing design.