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Prof. Dr. ir. Joeri Denayer
Department of Chemical Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 629 1798
Our research department has a vast amount of experience in separation solutions, ranging from the analytical level of liquid chromatography to the bulk level of separative adsorption processes. In the last years, a relatively new research topic has organically grown from these two topics, resulting in a build-up of additional experience on several aspects of microreactor technology.
The expertise is built upon a solid basis of multidisciplinarity, which focuses on exploiting the advantages of order and confinement for a greener chemistry and sustainable processes.
The department owns a great deal of impressive experimental set-ups and software, together with a dedicated technical workshop to cater to the department’s needs.
To support your own research and requirements in these research topics, our expertise is offered in several formats:
If you are looking for a partner to complement or supplement your own expertise, we are always open to work out a joint research project (with or without government funding).
If you wish to make use of our available equipment for large- or small-scale testing programs, the department has a dedicated technician at its disposal to execute these measurement services. Our available high-throughput equipment can be found under Infrastructure.
Please feel free to contact us with your specific questions!
Our experts are available for regular or one-time consultancy contracts.
Below you can find an overview of our experts and their knowledge areas:
- Prof. Dr. ir. Gert Desmet : HPLC column characterization, HPLC devices, flow simulation in packed beds
- Prof. Dr. ir. Joeri Denayer: adsorption on structured materials in gas-, vapour- and liquid phase; dynamic (flow-through) and static determination of adsorption parameters, modelling and simulation of adsorptive and catalytic processes, …
- Prof. Dr. ir. Sebastiaan Eeltink: stationary phases for (capillary) HPLC, multi-dimensional LC, chips, proteomics and bio-pharmaceutical separations
- Prof. Dr. ir. Wim De Malsche: micro-pillar array columns for nano LC, micro-devices for separation and reaction (membrane reactors, mixers, flow distributors), …
- Prof. Dr. ir. Ken Broeckhoven: modelling and simulation of flow and temperature profiles in packed beds, …
- Prof. Dr. ir. Harry Verelst: flue gas cleaning, process design, …
- Prof. Dr. ir. Em. Gino Baron: Adsorption, characterization of adsorptive materials, hot gas cleaning , …
Based on our simulation and design expertise, combined with our milling equipment and technical workshop, the department of Chemical Engineering is very likely able to provide you with a proof-of-concept device for your catalytic, separative or mixing applications.
The Chemical Engineering department has several technology offers available:
- Model for improved fuel cell process design.
- Model for predicting improved flow field designs.
- New concept for high performance fuel cell reactor design.
- Pushing the boundaries of UPLC analytical technology: intercolumn cooling .
- Simulated hot gas cleaning set-up (up to 1000°C )
- Simulated flue gas cleaning (up to 400°C)
- Hydrogen fuel cells
For more information, please contact us!
Infrastructure / Equipment
The Chemical Engineering Department owns a great deal of high tech equipment, that can be put at our partner’s disposal for joint research or service research.
You can find an overview of the available equipment below, listed according to topic:
Principal Scientist: Prof. Joeri Denayer and Prof. Gino Baron
The Adsorption Group of the department Chemical Engineering owns an impressive amount of high tech equipment. This allows us to study liquid, vapour and gas phase applications.
Breakthrough profiles of flow-through adsorption/separation processes are measured on our dynamic setups. These can also be used for flow-through reactive processes.
Usually the adsorbent (or catalyst) is trapped in a packed column. Adsorption isotherms are measured on our static setups.
These experiments deliver more fundamental parameters describing the adsorption process. Both types of experiments can be performed for single-component and multi-component (competitive) adsorptions.
See our equipment for:
Measurement of liquid phase separations on adsorption/reaction columns (packed bed)
Measurement of breakthrough of gas phase components on an adsorption bed
Measurement of adsorption isotherms for low coverage adsorption
Measurement of adsorption isotherms for high coverage adsorption
Measurement of the adsorption constants for low coverage adsorption.
Principal Scientists: Prof. Gert Desmet and Prof. Sebastiaan Eeltink
In the realm of analytical separation techniques, liquid chromatography stands out as the workhorse for separation before quantification or qualification of many different types of liquid samples. The application for this technology ranges from food and environmental monitoring, to quality control in many industrial processes, and bio-chemical analyses. The users of this technology are demanding more and more performance, and are straining at the bit to perform more challenging separations.
The department of Chemical Engineering approaches this technology from the engineering point-of-view by improving flow in systems, columns, stationary phases. The improvements are made based on the department’s simulation and characterization expertise regarding (flow through) columns, and the application of alternative system configurations and novel column types, stationary phases and supports.
Several HPLC systems are used for this research and column testing: mainly models provided by Agilent and Dionex (ultra high pressure, constant pressure, nano and capillary flow).
Several systems have been modified to enable i.e. extreme pressures, alternative valve configurations, novel automated method development (hardware and software), temperature controlling,…
MICROREACTOR AND MICROFLUIDICS EQUIPMENT
Principal Scientists: Prof. Wim De Malsche, Prof. Sebastiaan Eeltink, Prof. Joeri Denayer and Prof. Gert Desmet
In the department of Chemical Engineering, our interest in microfluidics (sub-mm scale) was born out of the application for ultra-performing liquid chromatography. Our take on microfluidics resulted in expertise on shear-driven chromatography, micro-pillar array columns, miniaturized flow distributors, know-how on interfacing of high-pressure systems etc.
In the functionalization of the surfaces in microfluidics devices, CHIS saw opportunities for applications in the chemical industry. Enlarging the scale to mm and beyond, created microdevices and microreactors to be used in micro-separation and flow chemistry. Our knowledge on microfluidic systems was readily translated to microreactor technology (mm scale).
CHIS can produce their own prototypes of microfluidic devices (in collaboration with partners) and microreactors
(at our own facility). Please check out the modelling tools for software being used to simulate and design microdevices under the topic ‘Modelling’. Besides several microflow pumps and UV-VIS detectors, there are several setups present at CHIS premises for testing and visualization of microdevices, and they can also be made available to our partners:
Principal Scientists: Prof. Joeri Denayer, Prof. Harry Verelst, Prof. Gert Desmet and Prof. Ken Broeckhoven
The Department of Chemical Engineering stands for creative solutions for the challenges in the field of separation technology and catalysis. To achieve this, several new developments are put to use. This creates a multi-disciplinary approach, which always finds a solid base in the research group’s modelling and simulation expertise.
SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY EQUIPMENT
Principal Scientists: Prof. Joeri Denayer, Prof. Harry Verelst, and Prof. Gino Baron
The department of Chemical Engineering pays a lot of attention to sustainable technologies, and most research can actually be classified as such. There are however several experimental setups present in the lab, which are dedicated specifically for sustainable chemistry applications, such as flue gas cleaning for Waste-to-Energy plants, development of catalyst composition for high temperature flue gas cleaning (biomass gasification gas), configuration optimization of fuel cells for co-generation of chemicals, …
The department owns a mechanical workspace, equipped with all the necessary machining such as turning machine, milling bench, welding station, etc…
This equipment is in the capable hands of a 4-man strong technical team: Anuschka Liekens, Bart Degreef, Rudy Timmermans and Marc Sonck.
One piece of equipment merits more attention, the CNC mill (DATRON M7HP). This high-precision mill can be used for applications ranging from
engraving steel and stainless steel to machining small parts from plastics, aluminum and brass, where tight tolerance and accuracy are of paramount importance.
This machine has produced prototypes of microreactors, flow distributors, chip holders etc…
Positioning resolution 0,5 µm
Repeat accuracy better 10 µm
Work Area & Positioning Feed up to 8 m/min