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Prof Alexei Lapkin talks on First principles process models for design of intensified catalytic processes, 3rd Nov 2017

You are cordially invited to the upcoming session of the Monthly Seminar Series by CREATE PIs, Friday 3 Nov 2017, 11 am, CREATE Theatrette.

Talk 1: First principles process models for design of intensified catalytic processes
Professor Alexei Lapkin

Chemical industry has been highly successful in rapidly increasing its efficiency and decreasing emissions. Further radical reduction in emissions and increase in energy efficiency are required for the industry to comply with the global targets in CO2 emissions reduction. One of approaches that is rapidly being adopted by the industry is Process Intensification – a radical departure from classical chemical processing, exploiting chemical and process synergies. Examples of PI approaches in industry include ‘reactive distillation’ technology, which allowed Eastman to use one reactor instead of 7, or the ionic liquid-based technology which allowed BASF to shrink one of their processes more than 100-fold. However, finding synergies to exploit is non-trivial. In our work we aim to develop model-based process design approaches that explicitly look at synergies between chemical reactions and within processes. In the talk examples from developing new processes in pharmaceutical and bulk chemical manufacturing will be discussed.

About the speaker
Alexei Lapkin studied bio-chemistry at Novosibirsk State University (Russian Federation) where he obtained MChem degree, specialising in membrane separations, in 1994. He then worked as a research scientist in Boreskov Institute of Catalysis (Novosibirsk, RF) before moving to UK in 1997. He worked towards his PhD under supervision of Prof. W.J.Thomas at University of Bath on catalytic membrane contactor process. Since 2000 he held academic positions at Universities of Bath and Warwick, and since 2013 at the University of Cambridge. His group involves both experimental and modelling work and focuses on translation of molecular-level understanding of chemical processed into process design.

Talk 2: Cheap, Good and Fast: Affordable, High Performance, Self-pumping Magnetic Cooling Systems
Professor Raju V. Ramanujan

Dwindling energy resources, energy security, global warming and unsustainable energy consumption are major global challenges. Thermal management accounts for a significant faction of the world’s energy consumption. In Singapore, more than half of electricity consumption is utilized for air-conditioning and refrigeration. Hence, magnetic cooling technology, based on the magnetocaloric effect, is of high significance. Magnetic cooling has significant advantages compared to conventional gas compression cooling, e.g., higher energy efficiency, no greenhouse gases, condensed state technology, minimum noise and vibration. Commercialization by BASF (Germany), Haier (China), Astronautics Corporation (USA) and Cooltech (France) have demonstrated the advantages of this technology. However, gadolinium, the conventionally used magnetocaloric material (MCM), is very expensive, which has discouraged further commercialization. Hence we developed affordable MCM, e.g., Mn and Fe based alloys, in nanoparticle form. High relative cooling power, low cost, rare earth free magnetocaloric nanoparticles were developed. These nanoparticles were used as a suspension within a carrier fluid to construct self-pumping heat transfer systems which require no external energy input.
Prototypes in the kW range and heat load temperatures of up to 210oC, were fabricated. The impressive system performance depends strongly on heat load characteristics, magnetic field strength, volume fraction of particles and carrier fluid density. These experimental results matched well with our simulations. This technology has considerable potential for a wide variety of cooling applications over a range of length scales, including cooling of electronic components, batteries, solar panels, servers etc. Our system is self-regulating; as the heat load increases, heat is transferred more quickly from the heat source to the heat sink. Energy harvesting of the waste heat could also be performed.

About the speaker
Raju V. Ramanujan is Assistant Chair, School of Materials Science and Engineering, NTU, Singapore. He earned his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from IIT-Bombay and Carnegie Mellon University (USA), respectively. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Materials. He serves/served as local chair of the IEEE Intermag conference, the Functional Materials Divisional Council, Phase Transformations Committee and Awards Committee of TMS (USA), IEEE Technical Committee (USA) and as Chair of the Magnetic Materials Committee of TMS (USA). Ramanujan serves/served as Editor/Editorial Board member of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), Nanomedicine, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, Materials Science and Engineering B, and Materials Science and Engineering C. He has received the Nanyang Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of North Texas, South China University of Technology, IIT-Madras, University of Mumbai and the Center for Advanced Scientific Research (India). His research focuses on magnetic nanotechnology for cutting-edge energy, biomedical, transducer and Lab-on-a-Chip systems.

CREATE Monthly Principal Investigator Seminar Series
Friday 3 Nov 2017, 11 am, CREATE Theatrette