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PI Technologies

PI Technologies

Process Intensification 

  • improves cost competitiveness
  • delivers energy savings
  • improves material efficiency and environmental performance
  • improves safety and process control
  • delivers improved/new product properties/functionalities, often not achievable with conventional technologies.

Process Intensification technologies can be generally divided into four groups. Each of these groups addresses one of the four fundamental domains of chemical processing: spatial, thermodynamic, functional and temporal domain.

PI Technologies addressing spatial domain

  • Main feature: structured environment
  • Examples: structured catalysts, milli- and microreactors, structured packings, fractal devices
  • Motivation:
    • well-defined geometry enabling precise mathematical description
    • creating maximum specific surface area at minimum energy expenses
    • creating high mass and heat transfer rates
    • easy understanding, simple scale-up
    • easy control

PI Technologies addressing thermodynamic domain

  • Main feature: alternative forms and transfer mechanisms of energy
  • Examples: microwave-assisted processing, photocatalytic reactors, plasma reactors sonocrystallization, high-gravity (rotating) reactors and separators
  • Motivation:
    • activating  targeted molecules
    • enabling new chemistries
    • selective, gradientless and locally controlled energy supply
    • ultra-high interfacial areas for mass and heat transfer

PI Technologies addressing functional domain

  • Main feature: integration of functions/steps
  • Examples: heat exchanger reactors, heat integrated distillation, reactive and hybrid separations
  • Motivation:
    • synergistic effects
    • better heat management
    • increased product yield
    • increased overall efficiency
    • more compact equipment

PI Technologies addressing temporal domain

  • Main feature: timing of the events, introducing dynamics (pulsing)
  • Examples: milli-second reactors, reverse-flow reactors, oscillatory flow devices
  • Motivation:
    • increased yield
    • influencing hydrodynamic behaviour
    • increased energy efficiency
    • improved product quality
    • minimized unwanted phenomena, such as fouling