Processes, Reactors, Intensification, Membranes, Optimization

Leader: Jean-Marc Commenge

The conducted researches aim at the design, study and optimization of new processes involving intensified reactors and micro-structured systems, membrane processes, gas / liquid contactors and supercritical processes. They are based on a better understanding of the phenomena involved and their coupling (thermodynamic equilibria, reactions, mass and heat transfer, flows, and physico-chemistry). The study and development of coupled processes or multifunctional hybrid processes are thus considered as fundamental for the sake of technical and energy efficiency.
The intensification, defined as the set of technologies and methods for increasing the volume productivity, and the architecture of the processes, seen as the spatial and temporal arrangement of the unit operations, constitutes the basis of the scientific approach of the research axis.

The research associates experimental studies on pilots at different scales (micro and mini-intensified reactors and micro-structured systems, catalytic reactors, polymerization reactors, gas-liquid and liquid-liquid contactors, permanent or cyclic membrane gas separation processes, supercritical extraction processes), specific parametric determinations, and numerical modeling and simulation studies including computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Validated models make it possible to find the optimal conditions of process operation.
Within the axis, our skills are valued in our participation in collaborative projects such as "Acrylics Green" (Lorraine Region, Arkema) and "Valorco" (ADEME, Arcelor Mittal, Air Liquide, IFPEN). Finally, the numerous collaborations established over the course of time led to the setting up of a common laboratory with Air Liquide and EDF.

We can mention two important achievements:

1. As part of the EnergyCapt ANR (2011-15) on CO2 capture (Energy Efficiency and CO2 Reduction in Industrial Systems Program), the work led to the design (LRGP) and the development of (LLT, Polymem, ICARE) of an industrial pilot integrating a gas-liquid membrane contactor as a capture system that has actually been associated with an industrial gas boiler on the CPCU site in St-Ouen. While many collaborative projects on CO2 capture have been conducted for 15 years, to our knowledge, the deployment of an industrial capture pilot is extremely rare. This achievement received an innovation award in 2015.

2. MEMSIC ™. In the framework of its research methodology, the PRIMO axis develops multi-component simulation software whose objective is to predict membrane process performance (purity, productivity) and to evaluate the cost (OPEX, CAPEX) of the process compared to other alternatives, depending on different operating parameters (pressures, membrane surface area, and material type). Given the strong interest of several companies and the lack of commercial software, a version that can be integrated into the commercial simulation software (ASPEN, ProII) was developed and put on the market.