Process engineering is concerned with the technical implementation that enables us to transform material and energy into products that are useful to society. The process engineer observes and clarifies procedures in processes, combines individual apparatus appropriately to form industrial systems, dimensions large-scale plants based on laboratory tests (scale-up) and vice versa (scale-down).
Chemical engineering comprises technical-scientific questions which can generally be divided into the three sub-steps:
- Preparation (e.g. crushing, separation, mixing, dissolving)
- Reaction (e.g. chemical conversion of the reaction substances)
- Processing (e.g. filtering, rectification, extraction, drying).
The term environmental technology includes technologies for the use of renewable energies, for the reduction of emissions, technical measures for water, soil, noise and radiation protection and processes for waste disposal, waste incineration and recycling. Sustainable development, with the call for urgent action to combat climate change, is at the heart of environmental technologies.
Climate change, in combination with the growing dependence on fossil fuels are the main driving forces behind the development of new technologies for the conversion of the energy economy and the production of chemical raw materials to renewable energies and renewable resources. The development of innovative technologies takes place in a combination of experimental work in the ‘Technikum’ (experimental hall) of the institute and the modelling and simulation of real processes. The main areas of the work include:
- Decarbonization of industries and the energy and transport sector with fuel cells as efficient energy converters.
- Development of heterogeneous catalytic processes in connection with CCU.
- Fluid process engineering and process intensification.
- High pressure extraction using supercritical CO2 for the isolation of natural substances.
- Isolation of valuable materials from process streams of pulp production and from side streams of the bio-based industry.
- Modelling and experimental determination of transport phenomena in fluid systems.
- Modelling and optimization of highly networked industrial plants.
- Development of thermodynamic models for the accurate description of industrial processes
- Second generation fuels for energy storage and transport.
- Sustainable hydrogen production for use as a chemical feedstock and in the energy sector.