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. Electrification of the chemical and materials process industry is an important aspect in these fields.


Flagship topics:

Process intensification

The main focus is on the transition from batch to continuous flow systems and on the use of external energy forms (e.g. ultrasound, light, microwave, plasma) to additionally actuate chemical reactors and/or separators. The research stretches from fundamental studies (reaction activation, transfer of mass, heat and momentum) to equipment design and scalability. While in the frame of SIM² the developed technologies are used in particular for recycling or new materials synthesis from waste, they have a much wider applicability.

Process digitalisation

Process digitalisation is a new challenge in the process industry within the vision of Industry 4.0. It includes topics such as artificial intelligence, new immersion technologies (e.g. AR/VR) and data mining. For the development of this new topic for SIM² KU Leuven, contact will be made with KU Leuven experts in the field, amongst other colleagues that are active in the Leuven Center for Artificial Intelligence.

The Team:

Prof. Tom Van Gerven

Process Eng' for Sustainable Systems

Prof. Koen Binnemans

Laboratory of Chemical Metallurgy

Prof. Jan Fransaer

Functional Materials

Prof. Jef Peeters

De- and Remanufacturing Lab

Prof. Bart Blanpain

High Temperature Processes (HiTemp)

Prof. Simon Kuhn

Process Eng' for Sustainable Systems