Welcome to the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering

Dear Visitor,

Welcome to the website of the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering at Hamburg University of Technology!

Chemical Reaction Engineering is at the heart of Chemical Engineering dealing with analysis, design and optimization of industrial chemical reactors. Since most industrial reactions are catalytic, chemical reaction engineering and catalysis are inextricably linked.

The Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering focuses on heterogeneous catalytic reactions. Solid catalysts are highly dynamic and change their structure and properties according to the local temperature, pressure and species concentration in the reactor. In consequence of this dynamic nature a feedback loop exists between the structure of the catalyst, the reaction kinetics and the temperature and concentration field in the chemical reactor.

Due to the catalyst dynamics described above it is difficult to extrapolate the performance of an industrial catalytic reactor from catalyst kinetics measured in differential and isothermal laboratory reactors. Also, spectroscopic investigations of model catalysts under idealized conditions must not be representative for an industrial catalyst in a production reactor. The situation becomes even more complex if gas phase reactions occur, such as in the catalytic oxidation of hydrocarbons at elevated pressure.

The Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering studies catalysts and catalytic reactions under temperature and pressure conditions as close to industrial reality as possible. Novel experimental methods are developed at the institute to study catalysts under reaction conditions and to resolve the concentration and temperature field in catalytic reactors. The experimental data are compared with numerical reactor simulations. To study the response of the catalyst and possibly occuring reactions in the gas phase surrounding the catalyst particles we develop in-situ spectroscopic methods such as fiber based Raman-Spectroscopy or Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

On behalf of all members of the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering I invite you to explore our research projects and get in touch with us if you are interested!


Sincerely yours,

Raimund Horn