At the department of Chemical Engineering, we cooperate on several of national and international. Some of them are listed below.
In February 2015, a three-year European project COOPOL (Control and Real-Time Optimization of Intensive Polymerization Processes) was completed in cooperation with 8 academic and business partners from Germany, England, Norway and the Czech Republic. The partners included the University of Cambridge, BASF, RWTH Aachen, Cybernetics, the University of Warwick and the University of Hamburg. According to the preliminary assessment, the COOPOL project is considered to be one of the most successful European projects. The aim of the project was to develop robust models, control tools and on-line sensors and apply them to intensify both existing industrial processes and newly developed "smart-scale processes". The department of Chemical Engineering at UCT Prague has contributed to the project through key activities: the development of semi-batch emulsion polymerization reactor models and the 'smart-scale' reactor, the design of robust and inexpensive on-line sensors and the dynamics of coagulation of the emulsion. One of the outputs of the project is the first industrial installation of a system for on-line control and on-line optimization of semi-batch polymerization processes. Emulsion polymerization produces products with high added value, such as coatings. Demand for these products is growing rapidly.
The current European project in the field of nanotechnologies MODENA is the collaboration of 10 academic and business partners from Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, England, Spain and the Czech Republic. Partners are BASF, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Universität Stuttgart, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, University of Trieste, Wikki and DIN Deutsche Institut für Normung eV. The aim of the project is to join the previously fragmented efforts of European partners, coordinate this effort into a viable framework (which will run without subsidies after the end of the project) and demonstrate the solution of extremely difficult problems that do not suffice for the isolation skills of any of the partners. Thus MODENA combines modeling with quantum-chemical computations, molecular modeling and material science modeling, and macroscopic modeling of fluid dynamics and entire processes. The usefulness of the developed software framework will be demonstrated by designing new nanocomposite polyurethane materials and polyurethane foam with better thermal insulation properties. The department of chemical Engineering at UCT Prague contributes to the project through a number of key activities: mesoscopic modeling by forming the morphology of polyurethane foams, computer optimization of the thermal insulation properties of foams, visualization and statistical description of foam morphology and a number of experiments to estimate the basic parameters of the models. The market segment in the field of polyurethane foams and thermoplastic polyurethanes is healthy and fast growing.
RECOBA Project (Cross-Sectoral Real Time Sensing) is the collaboration of 10 partners from Germany, Norway, England, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic, such as BASF, ThyssenKrupp, University of Cambridge, RWTH Aachen, ELKEM AS Technology and others. The project reacts to the policy assignment to orient the research so that the results bring not only excellence in science but also a competitive advantage for European companies. Solutions developed as a result of research should not be narrowly specialized but useable in more industrial sectors. RECOBA project, based on current advances in sensor, modeling and automation, is developing a new paradigm for designing and running batch processes to reduce their energy and raw materials while maintaining or improving the required product quality and minimizing costs. This new paradigm will be demonstrated in the industrial sectors of polymers, steel and silicon. This is one of the ambitious "flagship projects" of Horizon 2020. The department of Chemical Engineering at UCT Prague will contribute to the project with new process models, data processing from several types of advanced sensors, basic research of polymer adhesion on device walls and modeling of morphology of Polymer particles in nanoscale emulsions.