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Research topics

Rotating Packed Beds
A common and in the chemical industry well established way to carry out absorption or distillation processes is the use of vertically orientated columns. Rotating Packed Beds (RPBs) are a promising technology to intensify those processes and to overcome the limitations linked with the gravitational field. By rotating a packed bed, a centrifugal field is generated leading to an intense contact between a liquid and a gas. In counter-current operation gas flows through the donut-shaped rotating packing from the outside to the middle of the rotor. Simultaneously liquid is sprayed into the eye of the rotor and flows, driven by the centrifugal movement, to the outside of the rotor. For experimental and theoretical investigation multiple pilot-scale RPB devices are available at the chair.

• Tobias Pyka (tobias.pyka@tu-dortmund.de, G2-626, Tel.: 6002).
• Rouven Loll (rouven.loll@tu-dortmund.de, G2-611, Tel.: 2357).


Membrane processes
Membrane processes have been attracting more and more attention in industry. Because of different interactions between components and the membrane material some components can permeate through the membrane preferably which leads to a selective separation. In particular pervaporation and vapor permeation have great potential for the selective removal of trace substances from aqueous and organic mixtures. Another promising new technology is organic solvent nanofiltration which can be employed for the retention of catalysts.

• Stefan Schlüter (stefan2.schlueter@tu-dortmund.de, G2-609A, Tel.: 4319)


Process design and optimization
Process design in general requires accurate models for dimensioning of separation units, i.e. for the design of distillation columns. At present process engineers commonly use equilibrium (EQ) models for column dimensioning. However, in some cases EQ models lead to considerable design errors and consequently significant costs. Therefore, so called non-equilibrium (NEQ) models have to be used. NEQ models consider the actual mass and energy transfers within the column and thus, allow correct design and dimensioning of columns even for the separation of highly non-ideal mixtures. At the laboratory of fluid separations, the need for NEQ modeling of non-ideal mixtures is systematically investigated. Moreover, optimization-based methods for the design of energy efficient distillation processes are developed. Conventional distillation processes suffer from low energy efficiency. The energy efficiency can be significantly improved by using alternative process variants such as heat-pump assisted and thermally coupled distillation columns. The developed design methods are based on rigorous models and can consider different process configurations, e.g. dividing wall columns. These methods are extended step by step and are applied for the design of difficult separation tasks such as extractive or azeotropic distillation processes.

• Jerzy Pela (jerzy.pela@tu-dortmund.de, G2-609, Tel.: 2342)
• Thulasi Sasi (thulasi.sasi@tu-dortmund.de, G2-626, Tel.: 6002)


Hybrid separation
In hybrid separations two or more unit operations, based on different separation phenomena, are combined which leads to more efficient and sustainable processes. The most common combinations are (reactive) distillation and membrane separation, distillation and crystallization as well as distillation and extraction. At this laboratory hybrid separations are investigated experimentally and theoretically with a main focus on modeling and optimization.

• Tobias Hubach (tobias.hubach@tu-dortmund.de, G2-613, Tel.: 6192)


Chemical recycling of PET bottles
Chemical depolymerization of PET is performed via glycolysis. The resulting BHET monomer can be used as raw material for the production of fresh PET. This equilibrium reaction is examined experimentally as well as theoretically. By means of thermodynamic modelling the yield of BHET monomers is optimized. In order to separate BHET monomers selectively out of the reaction mixture crystallization is used. The influence of process parameters on the efficiency of separation is determined by design of experiment. Finally, all process steps – from shredded PET flakes to pure BHET crystals – are performed one after another. Subsequently, the whole process is economically assessed.

• Maria Schlüter (maria.schlueter@tu-dortmund.de, G2-614, Tel.: 2356)

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).