Chemical Process Engineering

  Cross-sction of an menbrane module consisting of polymer hollow fiber membranes. Copyright: AVT

Research Topics

  • Membrane Technology
  • Process Intensification
  • Polymer Technologies
  • Electro Chemistry

Since 2010 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Wessling is the head of the Chair of Chemical Process Engineering (AVT.CVT). The core research field of the chair focuses on the development and application of membrane technology for current global challenges.

Research Topics

Projects within the AVT.CVT can be divided into seven research groups: Gas (Gas-Group) , Electrons to Chemicals (e2chem), interactive Surface Fabrication (iSurF), Ion Transport, Water (Water group), Small group and Numerics and process modeling. Fundamental research and applied sciences on laboratory scale are part of each research group.

Projects in the gas sector include the development of novel membrane reactors, the use of enthalpy exchangers in building ventilation technology, CO2 adsorption behavior in newly developed sorbents and the bubble-free aeration of biofermenters. The gas-group is mainly investigating and analyzing processes in which gas separation, sorption or diffusion are elementary.

The e2chem research group aims at synthesizing both: new membranes and membrane electrode assemblies, transforming electrons and regenerative sources into chemicals. Furthermore, a related research topic is the development of novel energy saving systems for regenerative energy.

The interactive Surface Fabrication group (iSurF) creates interactive surfaces from advanced materials in the shape of films, hollow fibers or micro capsules. Our key research objective focusses on the fabrication of micro-porous structures, which for instance find usage in membrane applications. Above all, we explore the interactions of our (multi-)functional surfaces with its environment.

The Ion Transport group focuses on ion selective processes such as capacitive water desalination or recovery of precious salts from process streams. But also looks at charge transport in and around artificial or biological cells.

The Water group investigates different aspects related to water treatment and purification systems. The combination of membrane processes with other type of treatments, like adsorption or electrochemical processes is investigated. Main research projects of the water group link the development of novel process concepts and materials with pilot tests in a real environment.

Small studies microscopic processes for microscale product synthesis and process analysis. Examples are the production of artificial silk, blood separation and the 3D fabrication of micrometer sized structures.

Numerics deals with complex simulations of various membrane processes as well as their optimization. Their methods include computational fluid dynamics as well as multiphase flow simulations and artificial neural network based optimization.