Sonication and Microwave Processing of Material Feedstock
SIMPLIFY, the Sonication and Microwave Processing of material Feedstock project, aims at enabling the electrification of the chemical process industry – and in particular the specialty chemicals industries. SIMPLIFY's vision is that of intensified processes, where alternative energy sources enable flexible continuous technologies to achieve localized ultrasound and microwave actuation of multiphase, flow reactors powered by electricity from renewable sources for the purpose of high-value product synthesis.
SIMPLIFY has selected three major classes of specialty processes to work on:
i. The class of chemical processes involving highly viscous streams, with MW/US-assisted reactive extrusion of polyurethane as representative;
ii. The class of chemical processes involving suspensions, in particular those requiring long residence times (up to hours), with US/MW-assisted reactive crystallization of zeolite microparticles in a continuous oscillatory baffle reactor (COBR);
iii. The class of chemical processes involving suspensions, in particular those with inherently high reaction rates (residence times of seconds to minutes), with MW/US-assisted reactive crystallization of titania nanoparticle synthesis in a plug flow reactor (PFR).
SIMPLIFY advances the technology readiness level (TRL) of flow technology for these multiphase streams involving suspensions or viscous products from TRL4 (technology validation in lab) to TRL6 (industrial demonstration), thus pushing the transition from chemical reactions with poor resource – both material and energy – efficiency and variable product quality to processes with high resource efficiency and excellent, uniform product properties.