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Reactor optimisation by membrane enhanced operation (ROMEO)
Start date: Sep 14, 2015, End date: Sep 13, 2019 PROJECT  ONGOING 

The integration of reaction and downstream processing steps into a single unit is of central importance in order to achieve a new level of process intensification for catalytic driven and eco-friendly reaction systems. This disruptive technology concept has the ability to reduce the total energy consumption of large volume industrial processes by up to 78%. Additionally, emissions can be reduced by up to 90%To achieve this, HOMOGENEOUS catalysts are supported on membranes. Embedding the homogeneous catalysts in thin films of non-volatile ionic liquids (SILP technology) will maintain their catalytic abilities as in the homogeneous phase while the anchoring directly on the membrane ensures a most efficient separation.The new technology concept will be proven by two prominent large volume reaction types: a) Processes with undesired consecutive reactions like hydroformylation and b) Equilibrium driven reactions like water gas shift (WGS) reaction.These processes for bulk chemicals and bio energy applications have been chosen to demonstrate the high impact of the ROMEO technology in an industrial near environment.Nonetheless, it is a core task to also get a detailed understanding of the general processes on a molecular level for the different required functionalities. One achievement will therefore be to provide a modelling “tool-box” that can be applied to any other process in order to check the benefits of the ROMEO technology for a specific reaction in a short time.The ROMEO reactor methodology allows being highly flexible and adapting to both different process and volume requirements. An increase in production volume can then be achieved by a simple numbering up of reactor modules.

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