The systematic investigation of separation processes used in chemistry, biotechnology and environmental technology has led to in-depth knowledge of heat and mass transfer in dependence of fluid dynamic properties of the process. Membrane separation processes - in some areas still an emerging technology - have been of special interest within the research group for more than ten years. Current projects involve the investigation of nanofiltration and gas permeation as modern efficient and energy saving separation technologies.

The fast development of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods and the availability of reliable CFD codes have opened a wide field for scientific and applied research projects to assist the design of apparatuses, devices or modules with their special fluid dynamic requirements.

Process engineers still make use of empiric equations based on dimensionless numbers to design the apparatus. However, complex reactors or separation devices cannot be described by such models only. Reliable answers to questions such as "How does a geometry change affect the process performance?", "What is the effect of different process conditions?" or "How is the partial load behavior?" are needed but may be expensive especially if they have to be derived from experiments.

Numerical flow simulation has become an effective alternative. By three dimensional discretization of the Navier-Stokes equation, the continuity equation, the energy equation and additional terms (species balances, reactions, external forces, multiphase flow interactions) it is possible to obtain local information about the flow field.

The research group has started early to make use of CFD as an important tool in chemical engineering. Experimental CFD codes as well as various submodels to commercial CFD solvers have been developed recently and have been successfully applied in various projects.

Core Competences
  • Computational fluid dynamics (process engineering, energy technology)
  • Flow measurement (unit operations, multi-phase flow phenomena)
  • Flow and system behaviour of high temperature industrial processes
  • Chemical, biotechnological and environmental applications of thermal separation processes (downstream processing)
  • Thermal process engineering (membrane processes, rectification, absorption)