Conserving reactor sizzling with holes

Leon Rosseau operating within the lab.

Leon Rosseau defended his PhD thesis on the Area of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry on February seventh.

TU/e chemical engineer Leon Rosseau investigated the right way to keep an eye on the temperature in a chemical reactor as successfully as conceivable. To take action, he impaired 3-d revealed stumbling blocks to resolve which state works highest. A analysis tale about frigid beer and shortcuts at IKEA.

Do you wish to have to reserve your beverages great and funky at a grassland birthday celebration or competition? After struggle striking them between H2O with ice cubes and sprinkle a beneficiant quantity of desk salt on manage. You’ll get to experience an ice-cold beer in disagree day. That is on account of warmth switch; on this case from the drink to the circumstance, extra-cold H2O. Warmth switch additionally takes park in chemical reactors, explains PhD candidate Leon Rosseau.

However the place a chilly drink is fascinating, a cooling reactor is in most cases now not, since the decrease temperature has a damaging affect at the chemical reactions. Subsequently, Rosseau has spent the week few years investigating the right way to higher control the temperature in a chemical reactor with the aid of 3-d-printed shapes. On Wednesday, February 7, he defended his doctoral analysis on the Area of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.

We talked to Rosseau by means of a video connection; he moved to Denmark together with his spouse and canine in mid-December. It’s very frigid and there’s a number of snow – “you’re immediately put to the test.” There, he’s operating on a sustainable approach to warmth reactors, with electrical energy. He enjoys the paintings. Despite the fact that he’s recently taking a extra application-oriented way to power transition, the questions and demanding situations in large part overlap together with his doctoral analysis.


“Temperature is very important in a reactor. Especially in reactions that cool themselves, like when producing hydrogen from natural gas. The rate at which heat is added determines how the reactor operates; many chemical reactions require heat to take place correctly.”

Merely turning the knobs to extend the temperature frequently has an antagonistic impact, in step with Rosseau. So how are you able to control the temperature in a reactor with out affecting the extra of the chemical procedure? To uncover the answer, Rosseau delved into the arena of catalysts. Those are components that give a contribution to chemical reactions however don’t react themselves.

“Imagine standing in front of a tall wall. You could probably climb over it yourself, with some difficulty perhaps, but if you use a springboard, it’s much easier and faster. The same is true in chemistry. If you want a reaction to occur that transforms a molecule into another molecule, you must first overcome an energy barrier. A catalyst lowers that wall a bit.”

Optimum blockading

And after there may be the chemical reactor itself. The setups Rosseau has been learning have same old lengthy, slim tubes, making it more straightforward so as to add warmth to the device. This isn’t preferrred as a result of you wish to have a dozen of tubes, prominent to important prices, Rosseau says.

“Have you ever walked through IKEA? You can’t just quickly grab something from a specific department; you have to move with the crowd along the main path so you’re led through the entire store. Fortunately, there are also shortcuts, and you can cut straight through to the kitchenware section via the lighting department.”

“And that’s basically what we did, we built a chemical infrastructure. We direct the gas from left to right through the reactor – which is called a cross-flow – by inserting blocks. Because of that cross-flow, the gas is constantly hitting the wall of the reactor, which is hot.”

“That way, the temperature is kept at the right level. But we realized that we can make the process much more energy-efficient by making tiny holes in the blocks. Then the compressor doesn’t have to press as hard to get the gas through the system. A win-win situation.”

Heat sweaters

With the help of a 3-d printer, Rosseau used to be in a position to check diverse buildings of his catalyst very simply. It’s fabricated from porous ceramic subject material infused with powdered nickel. He presentations an instance fabricated from plastic. You’ll be able to’t simply put the actual catalysts to your hand on account of the ultra-fine, carcinogenic nickel powder – you could possibly want a correct masks and just right gloves to take action.

“Through these tests, we ultimately managed to describe the optimal blocking structure. What shape, which holes – how many and how deep – but also how exactly you place the blocks in the setup. This works perfectly well on a lab scale and ideally, we now want to scale up to a commercial application.”

“That will require quite a bit of work, though. Because we already ran into several problems with our printing technique when we went from a two-centimeter catalyst to a four-centimeter one. You can print the ceramic paste in a perfectly fine shape, but keeping it stable while drying is a challenge. And for a commercial catalyst, we have to go up to a size of 10 cm. Fundamentally, we have made great strides and we now have a much better understanding of how various parameters work in a reactor.”

Rosseau is now hanging that wisdom to virtue on the Danish corporate Topsoe, the place he’s investigating whether or not he can virtue his catalyst era to build the arena a modest greener. Then acquiring his doctorate, he plans to be informed the language. However he’s recently most commonly invested in woollen warmth retainers, he laughs. “Thankfully, spring is in sight.”

Name of Leon Rosseau’s dissertation: Chemical procedure intensification by way of 3-d printing of catalysts: The warmth switch – force loose trade-off

Manager: Martin van Sint Annaland

Leon Rosseau defended his PhD thesis on the Area of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry on February seventh.

TU/e researcher Sander Nijdam receives the ERC Consolidator Provide. He goals to get to the bottom of the secrets and techniques of lightning in his laboratory.

Sylvia Roovers-Genet defended her PhD thesis on the Area of Biomedical Engineering on February 1st.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button