AVT-Thermal Process Engineering
At the Chair of Thermal Process Engineering (AVT.TVT) thermal separation processes are investigated in detail since 1972. The research is mainly focused on liquid-liquid operations like extraction and separation of dispersions.
The aim is the development of applicable and robust engineering models to design reliable separation processes with minimal effort. It is targeted to replace expensive pilot plant experiments by appropriate lab scale experiments and simulations.
In the field of extraction, the main work strives to further development of the simulation tool ReDrop. With the program developed at the AVT.TVT, the operational limits and the separation efficiency of extraction columns can be predicted on the basis of single-drop experiments with the original chemical system. The extension of ReDrop encompasses the integration of additional column types and extraction systems. Recent studies on the residence time of drops in stirred compartments are carried out. Extraction in aqueous two-phase systems and reactive extraction is examined as well.
Thermal separation methods are based on thermodynamic equilibrium which can be described by equations of state (EOS). The development of a new predictive EOS is one part of the research in the group "Molecular Thermodynamics". Another focus is the investigation of diffusion phenomena.
In addition to the work on the implementation and design of thermal separation processes, scenarios are calculated for future energy supply structures in collaboration with engineers and social scientists in the project Ethics for Energy Technology (EET). In modeling the global energy and resource requirements, primarily the chemical industry is considered to identify cost-effective and resource-saving processes. Thus, different synthetic routes from the plant to the chemical end-products are considered and evaluated using exergy balances.