Process Dynamics and Operations

Transport phenomena

Objective of this research area is the detailed investigation of selected transport phenomena like heat, mass or momentum transport on micro-scale. Still a lack of knowledge exists in the understanding of many phenomena. With systematic experimental and numerical investigations, we aim on closing the gap for specific systems e.g. film-, rivulet- and droplet-flow on free surfaces or heat transfer between particles and walls.

Research approach

  • Development and validation of new methods for the experimental and numerical investigation of transport phenomena
  • Planning and optimization of measurement cells for the investigation of transport phenomena
  • Simulations for the description of physical phenomena on the micro level
  • Detailed investigations of liquid films on structured surfaces as used in industry
  • Coupling of experimental and numerical methods for a holistic understanding
  • Enabling process optimization on the basis of physical findings


Research areas

Liquid flow in process equipment

3D Velocity Profiles on Inclined Micro- and Macro Structured Surfaces

The 3D velocity field of liquid over complex surfaces is investigated using a Stereo-µ-Particle Image Velocimetry (µSPIV) setup. The influence of micro- and macro-structures on the momentum transport is investigated in order to fundamentally understand flow patterns and structures in structured packings of chemical plants. Moreover, the long term objective is to identify the influence of those structures on mass transfer due to induced manipulations on the film structures by e.g. vortices.

Investigation of Film Thickness and Wetting Phenomena on Complex Surfaces

For understanding liquid film flow, characteristic properties like thickness and wetting behavior are crucial. In order to develop accurate models for the design of separation processes, fundamental experiments are carried out by both Light Induced Fluorescence and Structured Light Scanning.

DNS-Simulations with Cahn-Hilliard Navier-Stokes

Dynamic contact line simulations of droplets and rivulets on solid surfaces are carried out with an in-house code based on the Cahn-Hillard-Navier-Stokes Equations. The Finite Element code was especially developed as a modular system in order to test submodels and formulations for energy potentials against each other efficiently.

Development of measurement cells for suspended film flow

By developing measurement cells with clearly defined boundary conditions, the fluid dynamics in hanging films and the dripping behavior are to be described. Here, the film thickness is identified by optical methods. Experimental parameter identification is used to analyze and evaluate the flow phenomena of liquid film flows.

Gas flow in process equipment

CFD Simulations to Meso-Scale Model

Volume of Fluid (VoF) simulations for one and two phase flows are conducted using OpenFOAM® for various environments. Validation can be ensured by carrying out specific experimental investigations as well. On that basis a new Meso-Scale Model for simulating packed columns is developed.

Direct Numerical Simulation of Conjugated Heat Transfer

In order to carry out fundamental research on the field of heat transfer between rolling particles and walls the OpenFOAM® an own Finite Volume solver was developed based on the standard solver chtMultiRegionFOAM. The system was investigated in laminar and turbulent flow regime with Direct Numerical Simulations in respect to both, turbulence and heat transfer.