Process intensification and digitalisation
General theme: Process intensification aims at the development of chemical process technology which allows chemical and metallurgical processing with high materials and energy efficiency. Process digitalisation aims at developing Industry 4.0 tools in order to improve process and data management.
The leading members in this research line are:
Prof. Tom Van Gerven has a background in chemical engineering and is a specialist in process intensification using localised energy and alternative energy forms (ultrasound, light, microwaves etc.). Prof. Van Gerven’s role in RARE³ is the application of process intensification techniques to the leaching of low grade ores and industrial process residues and to the solvent extraction. This includes ultrasound- and microwave-assisted leaching, light-assisted separations and the use of microflow reactors for solvent extraction.
Prof. Jan Fransaer is a full professor of chemistry (Department of Materials Engineering). His research group has a tradition in experimental & computational electrochemistry. More than 100 peer reviewed publications and 11 patents in this field. He was involved in 7 EU projects (2 as coordinator) on electrodeposition. The group made significant contributions to the practical and theoretical understanding of the electrodeposition of particles together with metals, and was one of the first to study this process using non-aqueous electrolytes.
Prof. Bart Blanpain (RL Leader) leads the HiTemp Group, has more than 20 years of experience in the field of pyrometallurgy including ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy and slag processing. Bart Blanpain’s Group has an excellent track record in (mainly) strategic basic and applied science projects involving slag/residue valorisation, refractory wear, urban/landfill mining and novel/optimised metallurgical flow sheets (incl. projects with Aperam, ArcelorMittal Sidmar, Umicore, MetalloChimique, Campine, Group Machiels etc.
Simon Kuhn is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems
Department of Chemical Engineering. His research interests include Multiphase flows, microfluidics, scale-up, transport processes, Experimental fluid mechanics: particle image velocimetry (PIV), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and Computational fluid dynamics: turbulence modeling, large-eddy simulations, multiphase flow simulations (VOF).