Competence Area 2 (CA-2)
Interfacial Phenomena and Devices
This competence area aims at the understanding, design, and operation of reactive-flow systems with a focus on intensified and adaptive multiphase reactor concepts targeting high yield and selectivity over a wide range of conditions for fuel production based on fluctuating supply of renewable energy and carbon feedstocks and novel combustion engine concepts for bio-hybrid fuels including after-treatment systems with energy conversion efficiencies beyond 50 % and near-zero pollutant emissions. Both focus areas have in common that multi-phase flow phenomena occur superimposed with chemical reactions in confined spaces. Developing the corresponding fundamental knowledge and simulation tools will leverage the synergies between research in fuel production and combustion.
In chemical engineering, conversion and separation processes occur in structured volumes preferentially operated in steady-state with fluid dispersions passing along reactive and separative surfaces with the challenge to overcome diffusional resistances. Combustion in engines, on the other hand, occurs at variable volume, pressure, and temperature with superimposed liquid injection, droplet formation, evaporation, ignition, and highly exothermic chemical reactions. Yet, both areas have in common that they take place in confined spaces involving complex, often turbulent, multiphase reactive flow fields. Developing the necessary fundamental knowledge for the design and operation of these reactive flow systems is the main objective of CA-2 with a focus on novel intensified unit operations for sustainable fuel production (CA-2-1 Adaptive Multiphase Reactors) and novel highly efficient and clean propulsion systems (CA-2-2 Clean Combustion Systems).