Leuphana involved in new DFG-Collaborative Research Centre

2023-05-23 Smart reactors for the switch from fossil to renewable raw materials

Lüneburg/Hamburg/Bonn. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is establishing eleven new Collaborative Research Centres (SFB) to further strengthen top-level research at universities. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee in Bonn. One of the newly funded projects is the SFB "SMART Reactors for Process Engineering of the Future" led by the Technical University of Hamburg, in which Leuphana University Lüneburg is represented by Mathematics Professor Dr. Kathrin Padberg-Gehle.

To cope with climate change and create resilient supply chains, a switch from fossil to renewable raw materials is essential. However, the latter fluctuate seasonally and regionally in their availability and quality. Therefore, in the Collaborative Research Centre "SMART Reactors for Process Engineering of the Future", processes and reactors are being developed that can react flexibly to fluctuating properties of raw materials and act in a self-adapting manner in order to achieve more resilient process engineering processes.

Together with Professor Alexandra von Kameke from HAW Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Kathrin Padberg-Gehle is leading the sub-project "From sensors and trajectories to transport and mixing". Their project is about a better understanding of transport and mixing processes in chemical reactors. The aim is to identify zones with poor mixing and thus reduce their negative influence on reaction yield and the formation of by-products.

Prof. von Kameke's team will collect experimental measurement data for this purpose, for example using sensors and high-resolution particle tracking. These data will then be analysed by Professor Padberg-Gehle and her team at Leuphana using novel Lagrangian methods, in particular to investigate the local and temporal variability of transport and mixing processes. The knowledge gained in this way will be used to develop targeted mixing optimisation in SMART reactors.

In addition to TU Hamburg, HAW Hamburg and Leuphana, the universities of Hamburg and Freiburg as well as the research institutes Hereon Geesthacht and DESY are involved in the new SFB.

The Collaborative Research Centres established by the German Research Foundation (DFG) are long-term research institutions at universities, designed to last up to twelve years, in which scientists work together within the framework of an interdisciplinary research programme. The new collaborations will initially be funded for three years and nine months from 1 October 2023.

For more information, contact Professor Padberg-Gehle: