Micro Reaction Engineering
temporary leader Dr. Heike Ehrich
The use of microstructured components for process engineering has gained increasing importance in chemical, pharmaceutical and life science applications during the last years.
Due to the small inner dimensions of less than 1 mm the essential feature of micro structurerd reactors is the high ratio between surface and volume. The specific surfaces vary from 5.000 up to 50.000 m2/m3. Micro structured reactos have higher values than conventional ones which have specific surfaces of approx 100 m2/m3 sometimes ranging up to 1000 m2/m3. In micro structured reactors heat exchange rates of 10 kW m-2 K-1 enable rapid warming up and cooling down of reaction mixtures.
Several obstacles in the introduction of this technology resulted from frequent incompatibility of the hardware components. Therefore, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) funded a strategic research project, led by an industry platform, with the goal to develop and use a modular hardware and software concept for compatible modules for microprocess engineering technology. This strategy allows for a flexible construction of microprocess engineering equipments. Within the framework of this project a “backbone kit” for microprocess engineering technology was developed and used to construct complete microplants. The goal of the present study is to demonstrate the performance of such a microplant for multi-step processes.