Fast changing consumer demands, changing environmental regulations and fluctuating raw material compositions are challenges for chemical production. A promising concept to meet these requirements is the development of flexible, mobile and relocatable production equipment such as rotating packed beds.
The ImPaCCt (Improved Process Performance by Process Intensification in Centrifugal Contactors) project aims for evaluating and quantifying the potential of rotating packed beds, leading to proper scale up rules which are currently not available. The project consortium, consisting of three chemical companies Nouryon, DSM, Huntsman and coordinated by the TU Dortmund, is facilitated by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT).
Rotating packed beds offer the possibility to expand the operating window of common separation equipment due to the rotational speed as an additional degree of freedom. By applying the centrifugal field they provide an intense contact between two or more phases and lead to good mass transfer rates and high capacities. A general set-up consists of a vertical or horizontal aligned torus shaped packing area and a motor to accelerate the packing to a certain rotational speed. Different rotational speeds lead to different mass transfer behavior. The operating mode can be co- or counter-current. Various types of packings and internals enable a flexible use or a tailor made set-up.
In the course of the project the focus will be set on systematic characterization of rotating packed beds, the equipment improvement and industrial case studies. The project ImPaCCt just started and will run for four years.