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ING-IND/25 - Chemical Plant Design



The Chemical Plant Design Group of Palermo (CPDG) works at the Department of Engineering of the University of Palermo and promotes research and teaching activities in the field of typical topics of chemical engineering and the process industry. In particular, the group promotes the development of analysis and design methodologies for industrial processes and plants based on chemical-physical and biochemical material transformation operations aimed at the production of goods and services, as well as at the prevention and mitigation of habitat modifications induced by anthropic activities or settlements. The activities carried out include:

the study of processes and plant design;

the development of methodologies for the analysis and modeling of systems, equipment, processes and industrial chemical plants, as well as the application to the development of innovative industrial and environmental technologies, to biotechnologies;

analysis of the safety and environmental compatibility aspects of industrial plants and processes based on chemical-physical transformation of the material.

The sectors of reference are those relating to the process industry and to industrial chemical and biochemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, biotechnological, energy, extraction, treatment and refining of oil and natural gas, environmental protection and restoration.

The research areas currently active are the following:

  • Study and modeling of mixing phenomena in agitated containers. The investigations were mainly directed towards the agitated multi-phase systems (solid-liquid, gas-liquid and gas-solid-liquid) for which the group has developed numerous innovative investigation techniques. It also has more than thirty years of experience in the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques for solving complex modeling problems, with particular reference to the simulation of agitated chemical and biochemical reactors.
  • Study and modeling of heterogeneous catalytic photoreactors. In this sector the activity was mainly focused on the development of models for the distribution of the radiant field in heterogeneous photocatalytic reactors.
  • Development of innovative transesterification processes and reactors for biodiesel production.
  • Development of innovative and low-cost photobioreactors for microalgae growth.
  • Development of enrichment technologies in omega-3 fatty acids using supercritical CO2.
  • Study and experimentation of oxidative and gasification processes in supercritical water.
  • Experimentation and modeling of bioreactors and other gas-liquid and solid liquid systems, also with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques.
  • Experimental investigations and modeling of unbaffled agitated reactors.

List of active research projects:

  • INTEGRAQUA (PO-FEAMP) / Financially supported by Regione Siciliana / Duration 2 years / Start date: gen 2019-31
  • PON Biofeedstock / Financially supported by MIUR/ Duration 3y / Start dat: 7/2018

Keywords: CFD - Computational Fluid Dynamics, Mixing, Mass Transfer, Photobioreactors, Supercritical Processes, Gasification, Oxidation, Microalgae Growth, Renewable Fuels, Waste Special Treatment Processes.