Our research

Packed absorption and distillation towers

The research dealing with packed absorption and distillation towers is focused on the development of the experimental methods for the determination of the mass transfer coefficients under complex and distillation conditions and their transfer between absorption and distillation. The research group operates absorption as well as distillation pilot plant unit (diameter of 300 mm). The facilities and acquired data are used for the design of new units and also for a new packing design.

In the last 10 years, the research group finished several important research tasks. Our most significant achievements are:

  • Development of the profile method for the determination of the volumetric mass-transfer coefficients under distillation conditions
  • Development of the standardized methods for the measurement of the mass-transfer characteristics of packings under absorption conditions
  • Verification of absorption and distillation process analogy
  • Development of the methods for reliable kLa and kGa measurements using distillation-like absorption systems

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Mechanically stirred gas-liquid reactors

Our research aims to the development of reliable methods for the prediction of the mass-transfer characteristics of aerated vessels equipped with an agitator (fermentors, bubbled reactors). Our activities consist from the measurement of the agitated vessels transport characteristics like impeller power, mixing intensity of liquid and gas, gas-liquid mass transfer intensity; development of scale-up rules for gas-liquid mechanically agitated contactors and the development of the methodology of proper impeller type selection for specific process conditions. For these purposes, we operate the laboratory-scale (ID 0.29 m) and pilot-scale (ID 0.6 m) agitated vessels. Both the vessels can be equipped with up to 3 impellers on a common shaft.

Our achievements:

  • Development of the polarographic probe for measurement of oxygen concentration in gases and liquids
  • Development of the dynamic pressure method for the kLa measurements in agitated vessels
  • Improvement of the methods for the design of single- and multi-impeller fermentors

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Ejector units

The research on the upwards-pumping gas-liquid ejector unit targets the development of the reliable method for energy-optimized design of industrial-scale gas-liquid ejectors working as gas-liquid reactors with the intensive interfacial mass transfer or as very effective gas scrubbers. The high effectivity of the gas-liquid ejector unit lies in the formation of fine and intensively mixed gas-liquid dispersion with an enormous specific interfacial area (the usual values of the specific interfacial area lie within the range of 12000 – 70000 m2/m3). The outstanding mass-transfer performance of the ejecotr is, however, compensated by its relatively high energy costs. Our research on this topic is therefore focused on the possibilities of energy optimaization of the ejector unit via its geometrical parameters and operating conditions.

Our achievements:

  • Development of a sulfite-loop method for the kLa measurements
  • Development of semi-empirical correlations for estimation of mass-transfer efficiency of the ejector unit
  • Build-up of a broad database of ejector hydraulic and mass-transfer characteristics for various operation conditions
  • Development of the general correlation for the gas-suction rate of the ejector unit with a nearly ideal nozzle

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On-demand industrial research

Besides our long-term research activities, we also participate on topics of commercial industrial research related to the heat- or mass-transfer phenomena and reactor design. In recent years we successfully completed multiple research tasks for various industrial partners.

Our most important outcomes are:

  • Patent for hydrophilization of the packing surface (polypropylene or polyethylene). Licence sold to Raschig GmbH.
  • Patent for the design of the hydrogen feed into the primary loop of the nuclear powerplant.
  • Patent for method and equipment for phenolates treatment.
  • Design of the absorption column for bromide removal from food-grade calcium chloride
  • Design of absorption column for drug production off-gas treatment.
  • Measurement of the hydraulic and mass-transfer properties of the structured packing prototypes.