The fulfillment of national and international climate targets as well as the forced conversion of the energy supply in Germany to the increased use of renewable energy sources require increased efforts in the area of energy efficiency. In particular, the energy consumption of large-scale industrial manufacturing processes, such as those in the metal, glass, paper and chemical industries, is the focus of attention. For the chemical industry, "energy-efficient chemical process technology, optimization of reactor technology and process chemicals, and process chain shortening" are regarded as the most important research and development priorities for reducing primary energy consumption (Federal Government Energy Research Programme 2011).
The Helmholtz Energy Alliance "Energy-efficient Chemical Multiphase Processes" is focusing on new processes and technologies for the design of chemical multiphase reaction apparatuses with the aim of optimising process control and, in particular, reducing energy requirements in synthesis and product preparation for chemical multiphase processes. The project focuses on innovative structured multiphase reactors ranging from microstructure apparatuses to large-scale reactor concepts. The design of these apparatuses on the basis of reaction- and process-adapted design strategies is a central working point. New catalyst structures based on ceramic and metallic monoliths and foams as well as their production and characterisation are researched. Methodical work includes the characterisation of catalysts and modular reactor components, the cross-scale modelling of hydrodynamics, mass and heat transport as well as chemical reactions from the pore structure of the catalyst to the reaction apparatus and the development of new measurement techniques for multiphase processes. The project is spanned by dedicated system analyses to assess the economic efficiency and sustainability of new reactor technologies over the entire life cycle.
Link to the Helmholtz Energy Alliance