The separation and final purification of chemical compounds can be one of the most challenging and energy intensive activities in a chemical manufacturing process. The global demand for lower and cleaner energy consumption, together with an ever-increasing demand for higher purity products, necessitates strong research and development in separation processes. In order to optimise a separation process, one requires intricate knowledge of the hydrodynamics and mass transfer behaviour of the system, as well as a detailed understanding of the underlying thermodynamics and kinetics of the processes involved. Therefore, research by the Separations Technology Group at Stellenbosch focuses on the overall process behaviour and the fundamentals of phenomena occurring during separation. The group work in close collaboration with industry and study processes such as distillation of petroleum compounds, carbon dioxide sequestration, supercritical fluid extraction, membrane separation and water purification.
- Supercritical fluid extraction
- Column hydrodynamics and effective surface area
- Mass transfer coefficient characterisation
- Low and high pressure multicomponent phase equilibria
- Thermodynamic modelling
- Carbon dioxide sequestration
- Water purification