Area of research:
Diploma & Master Thesis
The position is suitable for part-time employment.
In the food and beverage industry, polysaccharides are used to replace sugar and fat and increase fiber content of foods due to its versatility. Polysaccharides are produced by means of a polycondensation reaction from naturally occurring monosaccharides. Previous investigations showed that this reversible reaction can be conducted with a high yield and selectivity in micro reactors at high temperatures. By removing water from the reaction mixture, the equilibrium of the reaction can be shifted towards higher condensation grades of polysaccharides.
Within a technology transfer project in cooperation with an international industry partner, the optimization of the micro reactor technology and the development of a novel membrane technology for the continuous removal of water during the reaction is pursued. This may allow performing the reaction in one step, reduce further equipment and increase the energy efficiency of the process.
Before including a membrane in the reactor, the most effective micro reactor technology for the polysaccharide production should be determined. Two micro reactor technologies are under consideration. On the one hand a multi microchannel flat module and on the other hand, a micro reactor based on flow guiding elements, both technologies developed at the IMVT.
The aim of this work is to experimentally investigate the performance of the different micro reactor technologies and draw conclusions for the suitability of the micro reactors for different reaction conditions.
The individual tasks include:
Literature studyStart-up of a pilot plant: Validation of the test stand and the measuring techniqueEvaluation of the polymer production and the water amount for both reactor technologies at different reaction conditionsWritten summary of results