Final Thesis

Optimization of a "carbon capture and utilization via mineralization" process

Key Info

Basic Information

Process Systems Engineering
Focus/Key Topic:


Description of your thesis:

The cement industry is responsible for about 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. On the one hand, this is due to the thermal decomposition of CaCO3 in the cement process and on the other hand to the high fossil energy requirement for the required process heat. Innovative processes are needed to reduce those greenhouse gas emissions. One concept that has come to the fore in recent years is the carbonation of minerals, such as magnesium silicates. This involves dissolving the raw material in an aqueous solution at high temperature and simultaneously dissolving CO2 at high pressure. The products precipitated from the solution are thermally stable magnesite (MgCO3) and amorphous silica (SiO2), some of which can be substituted in cement. In this way, exhaust gases from the cement process can be recycled and the total amount of cement can be reduced.

In this thesis, the economic and ecological potential of a carbonation process is investigated by means of an optimization in Matlab. Fur this purpose, models for economic efficiency and life cycle assessment as well as a mechanistic model of the reactor serve as a basis. First, a framework for linking the models in Matlab is developed. Among other things, the target function of the CO2 avoidance costs is then calculated from the economic efficiency and life cycle assessment models and the reactor model will be adjusted to the optimization requirements. On this basis, meaningful constraints for the process are determined. Subsequently, the overall model is used for optimization in Matlab in order to quantify the potential of the process.

The work offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of climate-friendly solutions with great societal relevance.

What you should bring:

  • You study Mechanical Engineering, Business Administration and Engineering, CES or similar
  • You know the basics in Matlab and Modelica and are eager to work on a simulative topic
  • Your way of working is independent, well-structured, and self-reliant

What we offer:

  • A highly motivated team that is always available in case of questions
  • Application of modleing and optimization methods
  • Deepening of your scientific practice


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