Energy Process Engineering

The main targets of the research group are the integration of renewable energy in industrial production, the utilization of CO2 as feedstock as well as the development of processes for closing the cycles of materials.

The working group deals with chemical-catalytic processes for the utilization of CO2 as feedstock. The main focus is process development by experimental works and process simulation. A long-term emphasis is given to catalytic methanation, where both process concepts for load management as well as dynamic operation are developed. Furthermore, application scenarios for the implementation in industrial production and coupling with technologies for the production of renewable hydrogen are addressed. These works are complemented by catalytic reforming of CO2 rich process gases from industrial processes. For this purpose, laboratory plants are available, like a methanation plant consisting of three serial pressure vessels with intermittent cooling (maximum flow rate 3 Nm³/h,, maximum operating pressure 20 bar), gas analytics (infrared sensor, process gas chromatograph) and simulation tools (Aspen Plus®, Comsol Mulitphysics®, proprietary codes based on Matlab®).

Additionally, the development of a process for thermal cracking of polyolefins embedded in a crude oil refinery is supported by kinetic modeling. Also, the mechanical treatment of post-consumer plastic containing waste streams for the derivation of a polyolefin rich feedstock for the thermal cracking process is investigated. The working group co-operates in all projects with industrial partners working in the fields of plant engineering, oil and gas processing, waste treatment as well as automotive industry. Many projects are based on the collaboration with national and international scientific working groups. .