New manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing have the potential to drastically transform the chemical industry.
Novel, complex, integrated reactor designs can now be created, that will allow to unlock alternative chemical
routes, such as for methane activation. Driven by process intensification and the power of high performance
computing, this project will enhance heat and mass transfer in advanced chemical reactors by multiscale modelling
and experimentation. OPTIMA aims to:
(1) develop in silico novel 3D reactor technologies and concepts with significantly improved selectivity and heat
transfer by the use of additive manufacturing;
(2) generate new fundamental understanding of kinetics, heat transfer and mass transfer by using advanced measuring
techniques for processes of both current and future importance;
(3) demonstrate the practical applicability of an open-source multiscale large eddy simulation (LES) platform in
combination with finite rate chemistry for turbulent reacting flows;
(4) transform the chemical industry by valorising methane and converting it to a platform molecule through oxidative
coupling of methane.
OPTIMA will focus on two olefin production processes of industrial and social importance in Europe, the exothermal
oxidative coupling of methane and the endothermic steam cracking, demonstrating the universality of the proposed
new paradigm. Starting from fundamental experiments and kinetic modelling (WP1), detailed chemistry will
be implemented in an open-source LES multiscale modelling framework (WP2) generating in silico novel 3D
reactor technologies with significantly improved selectivity (WP3). The power of the approach will be ultimately
demonstrated in a novel, 3D integrated reactor, in which the studied exothermic and endothermic processes are
cleverly combined (WP4).
OPTIMA will pave the way for designing the 3D reactors of tomorrow and promote the new techniques and tools that
will be driving innovation in the next decades.