Special Issue "Process Intensification – improve efficiency by clever process/reactor designs"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Fausto Gallucci

Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Inorganic Membranes and Membrane Reactors Research Group, Room 1.45, Helix-west, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 40 247 3675
Interests: Process design and intensification; Membrane and membrane reactors; Separation technologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

 

Process Intensification (PI), which is defined as "any chemical engineering development that leads to a substantially smaller, cleaner, safer and more energy efficient technology", is already the next revolution of the chemical industry. The need for more efficient processes, including further flexible engineering designs and, at the same time, increasing the safety and environmental impact of these processes, is pushing the industry to novel research in this field.

The Special Issue, " Process Intensification – Improve Efficiency by Clever Process/Reactor Designs", of Processes seeks contributions to assess the state-of-the-art and future developments in the exiting area of process intensification; topics include, but are not limited to: process integration, multiphase reactors, chemical looping processes, membrane processes, hybrid processes, micro-reactor systems, High-G reactors, and forced unsteady state operations.

Papers involving industrial exploitation of the novel concepts are particularly encouraged to give the reader an overview of the challenges to be faced when scaling up novel integrated processes.

Dr. Fausto Gallucci
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1100 CHF (Swiss Francs). Please note that for papers submitted after 30 June 2019 an APC of 1200 CHF applies. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Integrated processes
  • novel reactor concepts
  • hybrid separations
  • process efficiency

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Techno-Economic Feasibility Study of Renewable Power Systems for a Small-Scale Plasma-Assisted Nitric Acid Plant in Africa
Processes 2016, 4(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4040054
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 19 December 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The expected world population growth by 2050 is likely to pose great challenges in the global food demand and, in turn, in the fertilizer consumption. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has forecasted that 46% of this projected growth will [...] Read more.
The expected world population growth by 2050 is likely to pose great challenges in the global food demand and, in turn, in the fertilizer consumption. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has forecasted that 46% of this projected growth will be attributed to Africa. This, in turn, raises further concerns about the sustainability of Africa’s contemporary fertilizer production, considering also its high dependence on fertilizer imports. Based on these facts, a novel “green” route for the synthesis of fertilizers has been considered in the context of the African agriculture by means of plasma technology. More precisely, a techno-economic feasibility study has been conducted for a small-scale plasma-assisted nitric acid plant located in Kenya and South Africa with respect to the electricity provision by renewable energy sources. In this study, standalone solar and wind power systems, as well as a hybrid system, have been assessed for two different electricity loads against certain economic criteria. The relevant simulations have been carried out in HOMER software and the optimized configurations of each examined renewable power system are presented in this study. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Integrated Membrane Process for Butenes Production
Processes 2016, 4(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4040042
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Iso-butene is an important material for the production of chemicals and polymers. It can take part in various chemical reactions, such as hydrogenation, oxidation and other additions owing to the presence of a reactive double bond. It is usually obtained as a [...] Read more.
Iso-butene is an important material for the production of chemicals and polymers. It can take part in various chemical reactions, such as hydrogenation, oxidation and other additions owing to the presence of a reactive double bond. It is usually obtained as a by-product of a petroleum refinery, by Fluidized Catalytic Cracking (FCC) of naphtha or gas-oil. However, an interesting alternative to iso-butene production is n-butane dehydroisomerization, which allows the direct conversion of n-butane via dehydrogenation and successive isomerization. In this work, a simulation analysis of an integrated membrane system is proposed for the production and recovery of butenes. The dehydroisomerization of n-butane to iso-butene takes place in a membrane reactor where the hydrogen is removed from the reaction side with a Pd/Ag alloys membrane. Afterwards, the retentate and permeate post-processing is performed in membrane separation units for butenes concentration and recovery. Four different process schemes are developed. The performance of each membrane unit is analyzed by appropriately developed performance maps, to identify the operating conditions windows and the membrane permeation properties required to maximize the recovery of the iso-butene produced. An analysis of integrated systems showed a yield of butenes higher than the other reaction products with high butenes recovery in the gas separation section, with values of molar concentration between 75% and 80%. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Design of a Multi-Tube Pd-Membrane Module for Tritium Recovery from He in DEMO
Processes 2016, 4(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4040040
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 5 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 October 2016 / Published: 24 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1877 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dense self-supported Pd-alloy membranes are used to selectively separate hydrogen and hydrogen isotopes. In particular, deuterium (D) and tritium (T) are currently identified as the main elements for the sustainability of the nuclear fusion reaction aimed at carbon free power generation. In the [...] Read more.
Dense self-supported Pd-alloy membranes are used to selectively separate hydrogen and hydrogen isotopes. In particular, deuterium (D) and tritium (T) are currently identified as the main elements for the sustainability of the nuclear fusion reaction aimed at carbon free power generation. In the fusion nuclear reactors, a breeding blanket produces the tritium that is extracted and purified before being sent to the plasma chamber in order to sustain the fusion reaction. In this work, the application of Pd-alloy membranes has been tested for recovering tritium from a solid breeding blanket through a helium purge stream. Several simulations have been performed in order to optimize the design of a Pd-Ag multi-tube module in terms of geometry, operating parameters, and membrane module configuration (series vs. parallel). The results demonstrate that a pre-concentration stage before the Pd-membrane unit is mandatory because of the very low tritium concentration in the He which leaves the breeding blanket of the fusion reactor. The most suitable operating conditions could be reached by: (i) increasing the hydrogen partial pressure in the lumen side and (ii) decreasing the shell pressure. The preliminary design of a membrane unit has been carried out for the case of the DEMO fusion reactor: the optimized membrane module consists of an array of 182 Pd-Ag tubes of 500 mm length, 10 mm diameter, and 0.100 mm wall thickness (total active area of 2.85 m2). Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Recent Advances on Carbon Molecular Sieve Membranes (CMSMs) and Reactors
Processes 2016, 4(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4030029
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 13 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2981 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Carbon molecular sieve membranes (CMSMs) are an important alternative for gas separation because of their ease of manufacture, high selectivity due to molecular sieve separation, and high permeance. The integration of separation by membranes and reaction in only one unit lead to a [...] Read more.
Carbon molecular sieve membranes (CMSMs) are an important alternative for gas separation because of their ease of manufacture, high selectivity due to molecular sieve separation, and high permeance. The integration of separation by membranes and reaction in only one unit lead to a high degree of process integration/intensification, with associated benefits of increased energy, production efficiencies and reduced reactor or catalyst volume. This review focuses on recent advances in carbon molecular sieve membranes and their applications in membrane reactors. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessFeature PaperProject Report Process Intensification in Fuel Cell CHP Systems, the ReforCELL Project
Processes 2016, 4(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4040037
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 18 September 2016 / Accepted: 1 October 2016 / Published: 17 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9869 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports the findings of a FP7/FCH JU project (ReforCELL) that developed materials (catalysts and membranes) and an advance autothermal membrane reformer for a micro Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system of 5 kWel based on a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell [...] Read more.
This paper reports the findings of a FP7/FCH JU project (ReforCELL) that developed materials (catalysts and membranes) and an advance autothermal membrane reformer for a micro Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system of 5 kWel based on a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In this project, an active, stable and selective catalyst was developed for the reactions of interest and its production was scaled up to kg scale (TRL5 (TRL: Technology Readiness Level)). Simultaneously, new membranes for gas separation were developed. In particular, dense supported thin palladium-based membranes were developed for hydrogen separation from reactive mixtures. These membranes were successfully scaled up to TRL4 and used in lab-scale reactors for fluidized bed steam methane reforming (SMR) and autothermal reforming (ATR) and in a prototype reactor for ATR. Suitable sealing techniques able to integrate the different membranes in lab-scale and prototype reactors were also developed. The project also addressed the design and optimization of the subcomponents (BoP) for the integration of the membrane reformer to the fuel cell system. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperProject Report Process Intensification via Membrane Reactors, the DEMCAMER Project
Processes 2016, 4(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr4020016
Received: 12 March 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (14859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports the findings of a FP7 project (DEMCAMER) that developed materials (catalysts and membranes) and new processes for four industrially relevant reaction processes. In this project, active, stable, and selective catalysts were developed for the reaction systems of interest and their [...] Read more.
This paper reports the findings of a FP7 project (DEMCAMER) that developed materials (catalysts and membranes) and new processes for four industrially relevant reaction processes. In this project, active, stable, and selective catalysts were developed for the reaction systems of interest and their production scaled up to kg scale (TRL5 (TRL: Technology Readiness Level)). Simultaneously, new membranes for gas separation were developed; in particular, dense supported thin palladium-based membranes for hydrogen separation from reactive mixtures. These membranes were successfully scaled up to TRL4 and used in various lab-scale reactors for water gas shift (WGS), using both packed bed and fluidized bed reactors, and Fischer-Tropsch (FTS) using packed bed reactors and in prototype reactors for WGS and FTS. Mixed ionic-electronic conducting membranes in capillary form were also developed for high temperature oxygen separation from air. These membranes can be used for both Autothermal Reforming (ATR) and Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM) reaction systems to increase the efficiency and the yield of the processes. The production of these membranes was scaled up to TRL3–4. The project also developed adequate sealing techniques to be able to integrate the different membranes in lab-scale and prototype reactors. Full article
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