By using computer simulations, the teams intend to render energy and resource-intensive large-scale industrial production processes more efficient.
In so-called thermal production processes, such as those used in furnaces in the processing of ores and building materials or in the production of steel, but also in coffee roasting and drying of tablets, the particles of the processed raw materials, foodstuffs or medicines are moved and a gas flows through the bulk material. The chemical reactions triggered by the flow are used to process the particles.
The calculations of the chemical reactions between the particles and the gases have considerable weaknesses and are still very vague. As a result, the potential of the processes is not fully exploited, the processes are suboptimal and product quality is diminished. In order to gain a deeper insight into what happens in the furnaces, the teams at the Collaborative Research Centre are pursuing a new approach: they couple numerical calculations and computer-based simulations with innovative experimental measurement techniques, in order to subsequently check and validate the calculations.
The combination of experimental methods, novel measuring techniques and numerical analyses of industrial processes increases the quality of the products while reducing both the percentage of rejects and energy consumption. By digitalising the production processes, the researchers hope that renewable energy sources such as hydrogen or biomass can be used for these processes in the future.