The efficient use of resources is one of the most important factors in the process industry to ensure competitiveness in the global market.
This means maximum utilization of raw materials, minimal loss through by-products, cost-efficient treatment of waste and the rational use of energy. It is also important to maintain resource efficiency during changes in production, such as changes in the quality and amount of product, and as a result of unforeseen events that can affect operation.
Resource-efficient production often involves complex processes, with many steps, the recirculation of material streams and energy-recovery systems. Research at the department is focused on the evaluation, optimization and design of complex processes, and is pursued exclusively with the aid of process modelling and simulation.
The effects of the choice of, and changes in, operational conditions during continuous processes, and the choice of dynamic conditions in batch processes are also studied. The aim of this research is to evaluate the flexibility and robustness of a process to changes in production, and will provide a competitive advantage by minimizing the amount of product that has to be stored at the plant, while maximizing the amount that can be delivered to the customer. Evaluation, optimization and the design of dynamic conditions in batch separation processes for the production of pharmaceuticals is an especially active area of research at the department.