The German chemical industry is facing strong global competition. The markets demand shorter development times and more efficient production of specialties and new products to serve the market quickly while at the same time maintaining a high level of energy efficiency and resource conservation. The ENPRO initiative - Energy Efficiency and Process Acceleration for the Chemical Industry - is one of the focal points of the Federal Government's strategy to secure and strengthen Germany as a location for science and industry. The ENPRO initiative is pursuing a number of individual collaborative projects that are networked with each other.
In the Koppona sub-project (development of modular, intelligent, coating resistant reactors for continuous polymerisation processes) with a project volume of €12 million, process improvements for chemical production are now to be achieved, which so far have been mainly impaired by disruptions via coating formation processes. In a consortium of 6 industrial partners, 9 universities and the CeMOS Research Centre of the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, the only university of applied sciences to do so, a technology is to be developed over the next 3 years which will enable heat exchangers to be operated more efficiently, reactors more reliably and chemical plants more efficiently overall.
The central task of the Center for Mass Spectrometry and Optical Spectroscopy (CeMOS) in the consortium is the development of "material-system independent, universally applicable measuring techniques in apparatuses for the temporal recording of deposit formation processes for causal research and as a signal for the initiation of countermeasures in operation".
"We assume that the project will develop usable sensors into pre-production prototypes and that they can be marketed via the university's own channels, medium-sized partners of the CeMOS research centre or university spin-offs," says project manager Prof. Dr. Matthias Rädle. CeMOS has a network of about 120 mostly medium-sized companies that can supply components for the sensors to be developed, so that the vertical range of manufacture at the university itself remains low.
If successful, the project will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the industrial partners in international competition. CeMOS sees this research project as an opportunity to position itself and its partners and to support application-oriented research for companies in the development of future products in this area in the long term, as well as to offer services itself. For the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, this is another milestone that makes it clear that its industry-related research and development is among the best in Germany.