Research at the Chair of Process Systems Engineering

Process systems engineering as a scientific discipline is characterized by its integrative approach. Technological problems are addressed not only in the context of a specific application, but rather from a general systemic perspective. The systemic perspective leads to the central role of models as well as mathematical and computational tools in process systems engineering. Additionally, the systemic approach involves the focus on process design, control, and optimization in process systems engineering. This general agenda is used to address various process-engineering in the context of food- and biotechnology.

Particle Technology

Various solids are given as discrete particles. In this case, particle size and shape have an important impact on storage und use of granular materials. Size and shape are also variables that can be themselves influenced in technical processes and have to be chosen correctly for different applications as well as realized in the corresponding processes. Various questions of particle technological interest are addressed in this context at the Chair of Process Systems Engineering by experimental methods and simulation approaches.

Discrete Element SimulationDaniel Nasato
Triboelectric protein enrichmentJavier Perez Vaquero
Nanocrystalline Cellulose and starch nano particlesChristine Hermann
Pneumatic conveyingPhilipp Schweda
Wax-Particle-CoatingMario Wörthmann
Sugar comminutionAli Khajehesamedini

Simulation of a powder rheometer (left) and a ring shear cell (right) using the Discrete Element Method (DEM)

Drying Technology

Many products in food and pharmaceutical industry, have to be dried for their further use. Drying, however, leads to various changes in material properties, some wanted, others unwanted. To use this process in a targeted way for different applications, basic mechanisms need to be understood and their control has to be explored. This is done at the Chair of Process Systems Engineering with different research focusses.

Amorphous-crystailline transition for sugarsMartin Schugmann
Freeze drying of foodSebastian Gruber

 Schematic representation of a partially freeze-dried sugar particle, which can be observed e.g. by neutron tomography. ©Schürmann

Transport Processes in Porous Media

Porous media play an important role in various systems, e.g., in biological structures, in thermal insulation as well as in separation and extraction processes. Porous structures are characterized by their large inner surface as well as their specific transport properties. At the Chair of Process Systems Engineering, different porous media are analyzed and optimized with respect to specific applications.

Lautering processesPeter Bandelt
Optimal control of precoat filtration  Michael Kuhn, Philip Pergam
Coffee extractionVerena Hargarten, Michael Kuhn
Mass transfer in filamentous micro-organismsHenri Müller, Stefan Schmideder
Water transport in treesPetra Först

  Computed tomography of Aspergillus niger (left) and visualization of mass transfer inside a filamentous fungus (right)



Crystallization is an important downstream processing and product formation step in the pharmaceutical and food industry. Active agents are purposefully crystalized from liquid solutions in order to facilitate separation and further processing. In this respect, crystal size and shape are of central importance; these can, in turn, influenced by suitable process control strategies. At the Chair of Process Systems Engineering, different crystallization processes are investigated experimentally and theoretically in order to explore possible improvements.

Lactose crystallizationSimon Schiele
Optical sensorsCornelia Eder
Molecular mechansims for dissolution of pharmaceutical crystalsFrederik Luxenburger
Methodological develoment for molecular simulation of crystal-solution-interfacesEkaterina Elts

Measurement of crystal growth and concentration in the vicinity of the crystal surface by laser interferometry

Heat and Mass Transport in Complex Systems

Heat and mass transfer are omnipresent in nature and technology. For various technological applications, it is decisive to use and control these mechanisms purposefully. Especially in complex systems, such as often encountered in the biological and food sciences, heat and mass transport are usually difficult to assess and to influence. With a special focus on these fields of application, heat and mass transport are investigated experimentally and theoretically at the Chair of Process Systems Engineering.

Cleaning technology and hygienic designLakshmi Narasiman Vijayasarathi
Heat transfer in multiphase flow (application: fruit-based beverages)Mohd Tarmizan bin Ibrahim
Conching of chocolatePhilip Schmid

 Flow-induced heat transfer to cubic geometry (piece of fruit inside a beverage with different orientation angles), obtained by numerical fluid dynamics