Analysis of humins via process spectroscopy
- Process Systems Engineering
- Focus/Key Topic:
- experimental / simulativ
Due to its high availability, lignocellulose biomass is suitable as a sustainable raw material for biorefineries. To make these plants more economically competitive, a shift from the often batchwise operated processes to continuous processes, such as e.g. continuous tube reactors, is necessary. Unwanted side reactions during the acid-catalyzed conversion of sugars obtained from biomass are a major challenge for such process alternatives. Formed by polymerization of unstable intermediates, insoluble degradation products, so-called humins or hydrochar, lead to significant fouling in reactors and pipelines. Furthermore, they strongly reduce the process yield [1-4]. Although this fact has been known for a long time, humins have only recently been the subject of intensive research on their avoidance or utilization. Here, however, there is a lack of techniques for in-line quantification of these substances during a conversion in the reactor or in pipelines. Spectroscopic analytical methods, such as infrared and UV/Vis can provide valuable new insights as they allow rapid, non-invasive measurements under process conditions directly in the respective plant component [5, 6]. In this experimentally oriented work, a qualitative and quantitative method for the spectroscopic detection of humins will be developed and validated.
That's waiting for you:
- Solid experience in biomass conversion
- Developing your skills in the field of experimental work
- Handling advanced analytical techniques of process spectroscopy
- Plenty of freedom to contribute your own ideas
- Deepening your ability to work scientifically
- Exciting tasks and new challenges
- Always a point of contact for your work
- Experience with lab work is helpful, but not mandatory
- Good comprehension and the ability to improvise
- Independent, structured and autonomous way of working
- Motivation, interest and commitment
- Fun with experimental work
The thesis can be written in German or English. If you are interested feel free to contact me with a short CV and your latest transcript of records to arrange an appointment. E-Mail to: email@example.com
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 T. Eifert & M. A. Liauw, React. Chem. Eng., 2016, 1, 521-532.
 M. Glass et al., Fluid Phase Equilib., 2017, 443, 212-225.