CRE XI, Green Chemical Reactor Engineering, will showcase the conception, development and implementation of novel, environmentally friendly technologies. Chemical reactor engineers will be pivotal in the discovery and implementation of new environmentally acceptable products and processes, safety strategies and policies, computer modeling for process control and process simulation. It is anticipated that key enablers to meeting these new challenges are going to be:
Catalysis Research. Innovations are urgently needed on the design of catalysts promoting new reaction pathways with these discoveries leading to new green chemical processes and products. This research will involve original techniques for catalyst testing and molecular based reaction modeling. Most relevant applications in these areas are novel catalysts for the production of hydrogen, environmentally friendly fuels, synthesis gas, and oxygenates. Biotechnology. Major progress is expected on biochemical reactor engineering and this as a consequence of recent advances in the area of genetics. These discoveries will have a definite impact on the synthesis and development of new pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, production of new agricultural products, novel bioreactor processes using animal, plant, insect cells, and so on.
Reactor Engineering for the XXI century: Chemical reactors, and more specifically catalytic reactors, offer ample opportunity for new concepts with superior performance. Thus, there is unique prospect for novel multiphase and multifunctional chemical reactors designed on the basis of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and targeted experimentation in mock-ups. This will lead to the synthesis of new materials, better use of natural resources, minimization of non-utilizable by-products, sensors and instrumentation. Excellent examples of these new types of reactors are both the multifunctional membrane reactors and the miniaturized micro reactor units.