The concept of process intensification has increasingly found its way into industry and science in recent years. In our research, we therefore try to link different key points of process intensification with the complex challenges of homogeneous catalysis with focus on phase contact and recycling strategies. Besides the usage of standard reactor setups like continuous stirred tank- or plug-flow-reactors we aim to investigate innovative reactor concepts like for example the Jetloop-reactor or different types of Membrane-reactors. In addition, all the investigations of reactor concepts go hand in hand with the determination of the reactions-kinetics to predict yields and selectivity and develop a powerful tool for transferring batchwise operated lab scale reactions to continuously operated miniplants using innovative reactor concepts.
The mentioned Jetloop-Reactor allows us a high energy input to generate huge phase-contact surfaces to overcome limitations of mass transport between non-mixing phases and a downstream phase separation for a simple recycle of homogeneous catalyst. This can result in high activity of the catalyst and therefore fast reaction rates without the additional need of phase contact agents.
Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. 2020, 122 (1), 1900166 DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.201900166
Chem. Eng. J. 2016, 330, S. 585–595, DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2017.07.152
This reactor concept consist of two concentric cylinders rotating in relation to each other, which results in the formation of vortices in the annular gap. They rotate in opposite directions, are very well mixed but offer only minor mass transfer between each other. All this leads to a highly controllable system, which has a residence time distribution similar to a plug flow reactor but e.g. decouples the hydrodynamic properties from the feed flow.
Chem. Eng. Res. Des. 2016, 112, 263-273, DOI: 10.1016/j.cherd.2016.06.022
Chem. Eng. Trans. 2015, 43, 835-840, DOI: 10.3303/CET1543140
With the concept of membrane reactors we are able to separate the catalyst without thermal stress and its inherent loss of activity. With various available membrane-modules it is possible to connect different types of reactors to a membrane and examine novel process designs.
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2017, 56, 13634- 13641, DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.7b03770