Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Techn. Biowissenschaften
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PhD #9: Systems engineering and life cycle assessment

Open Position PhD #9

Process  simulation  allows  the  steady  state  or  dynamic  representation  of  complex  multistage  process  routes at unit operation level. Considering thermodynamics of separation and reaction processes, material and  energy  balances  are  calculated  to  find  optimal  combinations  of  process  units.  In  the  context  of  CO2refinery,  upstream  processes  to  produce  CO2,  reaction  processes  to  convert  CO2  to  valuables,  and  downstream processes to separate the valuables including recycles and by-product treatment have to be implemented into the process simulator. Due to frequent temperature changes along the process routes, energy integration is a key success factor for the selection of favourable process routes reducing energy consumption  and/or  energy  storage  needs.  With  key  process  parameters,  the  material  and  energy  balances at hand, the environmental impact of process routes from cradle to gate or even from cradle to grave  can  be  calculated.  Usually,  life  cycle  analysis  fed  with  balancing  data  from  process  simulation  or  experiments is the common approach in this context.

For technologies in stages of early development (low technology readiness level, TRL) as targeted in the proposed  PhD  works  #1  to  #7  of  CO2Refinery,   special  care  must  be  taken  in  LCA  studies,  since  most  reference technologies are mature and have been optimized over decades. In contrast, low TRL processes usually  have  higher  energy  demand  or  solvent  consumption  because  of  not  yet  established  heat  integration and/or process optimization.


Co-PIs: Bettina MIHALYI, Walter WUKOVITS