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Research

Chemical Reactor Engineering and Safety (CREaS)

Division head: Prof. Jan Degrève

To accomplish its mission of exploiting and enhancing (bio)chemical reactor processes and process safety, CREaS integrates expertise, methodologies and techniques from different (bio)chemical reactor and process engineering domains, going from macro- and microscopic analysis of (bio)chemical processes, via modelling and design, to process optimization. Parallelized and controlled bioreactor experiments, metabolomics, metabolic flux analysis, dedicated microscopic imaging, among other techniques, provide insight in (bio)chemical reaction kinetics and its interactions in relation to process dynamics and control. Research projects follow an iterative loop of data generation, modeling and optimization, or focus on one of these aspects. Process optimization can be achieved at different systems levels, ranging from monitoring and control of biomarkers and metabolic engineering to optimization of up-scaling conditions.

Full-time professors: Prof. Jan Degrève, Prof. Kristel Bernaerts, Prof. Ilse Smets

Link to the division website.

 

Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS)

Division head: Prof. Tom Van Gerven

The ProcESS section is dedicated to contribute to sustainable chemical processing by developing intensified and integrated flow sheets using continuous reactors and separators with alternative energy forms. Process intensification and integration are key to the overall approach of our research as we aim at the design of new unit processes as well as their integration with other unit operations (hybrid and multifunctional devices) and in complete flow sheets. Research focuses on process intensification, membrane technology and transport phenomena in multiphase systems.

Full-time professors: Prof. Simon Kuhn, Prof. Georgios Stefanidis, Prof. Bart Van der Bruggen, Prof. Tom Van Gerven

Link to the division website.

 

Soft Matter, Rheology and Technology (SMaRT)

Division head: Prof. Christian Clasen

Research in Soft Matter, Rheology and Technology (SMaRT) of the KU Leuven aims at the development of methodologies with which the processing problems of non-Newtonian liquids can be addressed rationally. Concentrated colloidal suspensions and polymeric fluids constitute the two major classes of rheologically complex fluids under consideration. Recently, work has also started on surfactants.
Rheological constitutive equations for both polymeric fluids and suspensions are being developed. This is supplemented with studies on the experimental determination of the rheological characteristics of complex fluids using state-of-the-art equipment. Rheo-optical and dielectric techniques are used for this purpose in our laboratory.
Microstructure and flow behaviour is studied systematically to predict the rheological properties and the resulting microstructure from the composition of the material and from the characteristics of the components.

Full-time professors: Prof. Paula Moldenaers, Prof. Jan Vermant, Prof. Peter Van Puyvelde, Prof. Christian Clasen

Link to the division website.