The research that the institutes of the KIT Department of Chemical and Process Engineering conduct plays an important role in sharpening KIT's profile in the socially relevant areas energy, mobility and information. The nationally and internationally renowned research of the KIT Department covers process engineering issues from scientific bases to technical applications and from laboratory experiments to pilot plants.

Main areas of research are:

  • Development of processes and methods for closing material and energy cycles as the basis of a sustainable society (circular economy)
  • Synthesis of chemical energy sources from ubiquitous materials and renewable energy
  • Development of innovative, resource-saving process engineering and biotechnological processes for the processing of raw materials of biological origin into biopharmaceuticals, foods, fine chemicals and basic materials for the chemical industry
  • Development of processes for water reuse
  • Development and use of digital tools for bioengineering and chemical engineering

The researchers of the department lead and coordinate national and international research projects (DFG, BMBF, EU, ...) and contribute significantly to the research programs of the Helmholtz Association.

Energy independence: KIT produces synthetic methane from biomass

The bioliq® plant at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) can produce a synthesis gas from carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, among other things, from residues from agriculture and forestry. KIT researchers have now succeeded for the first time in producing methane from this, which, after appropriate processing, could be fed directly into the German natural gas grid and replace fossil gas. In the three-phase methanisation process used for this purpose, a catalyst is suspended in a liquid. This is located in a bubble column reactor through which the synthesis gas flows.

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KIT and University of Hohenheim: Biorefinery on the Farm of the Future

KIT and University of Hohenheim conduct research in a joint pilot plant - residual biomass can be refined into new materials and energy sources - concept closes cycles on site.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Hohenheim are setting up a biorefinery farm. Their joint initiative is aimed at finding economic and sustainable technical solutions for the utilisation of biogenic residues: Small biorefineries, located on farms, supply materials and energy sources, close cycles on site and help to protect nature and the climate.

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PartikelHermann Nirschl/KIT
Process technology: A modular system for particle production

New interdisciplinary DFG priority program to develop concepts for safe production: Battery materials, medicines, solar cells, 3D-printed components, all these products consist to a predominant extent of particles. Particulate products are of great importance in everyday life and in numerous technical applications. At the same time, the production process today is still predominantly based on many years of experience. The priority program "Autonomous Processes in Particle Technology" recently approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under the leadership of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims to bring more systematics into production.

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Latest publications of the institutes of the KIT Department

Bächler, P.; Löschner, V.; Meyer, J.; Dittler, A. (2022). Process integrated monitoring of spatially resolved particle emissions of a baghouse filter using a network of low-cost PM-sensors. Process safety and environmental protection, 160, 411–423. doi:10.1016/j.psep.2022.02.005
Leister, N.; Vladisavljević, G. T.; Karbstein, H. P. (2022). Novel glass capillary microfluidic devices for the flexible and simple production of multi-cored double emulsions. Journal of colloid and interface science, 611, 451–461. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2021.12.094
Wen, X.; Zirwes, T.; Scholtissek, A.; Böttler, H.; Zhang, F.; Bockhorn, H.; Hasse, C. (2022). Flame structure analysis and composition space modeling of thermodiffusively unstable premixed hydrogen flames — Part II: Elevated pressure. Combustion and Flame, 238, Art.Nr. 111808. doi:10.1016/j.combustflame.2021.111808