Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Separation and Other Processes for a Low-Carbon, Bio and Circular Economy and Sustainable Development

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.02.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering   
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   

Code Science Field
T350  Technological sciences  Chemical technology and engineering 

Code Science Field
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
algae, biomass, (bio)char, polymers, pyrolysis, gasification, electroporation, bio and alternative fuels, functional materials, reactor and reaction systems, chemical engineering, separation processes, carbon sequestration, bio and circular economy, sustainable development
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  31320  PhD Nataša Belšak Šel  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2017 - 2021  79 
2.  52432  PhD Ana Bjelić  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2020  60 
3.  11243  PhD Štefan Čelan  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2017 - 2021  296 
4.  55416  Jerneja Črepinšek    Technical associate  2021 
5.  00853  PhD Janvit Golob  Engineering sciences and technologies  Head  2017 - 2021  600 
6.  50557  Matic Grojzdek  Engineering sciences and technologies  Junior researcher  2017 - 2021  20 
7.  14980  PhD Dušan Klinar  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2017 - 2021  178 
8.  08353  PhD Barbara Novosel  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2017 - 2021  455 
9.  20043  PhD Aleksandra Pivec  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2017 - 2020  107 
10.  20089  PhD Klavdija Rižnar  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2017 - 2021  131 
11.  15799  PhD Lidija Tušek  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2019 - 2021  124 
12.  37498  PhD Žan Zore  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2020  29 
13.  07557  PhD Klementina Zupan  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2017 - 2021  234 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0103  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology  Ljubljana  1626990  22,621 
2.  1421  Scientific research Centre Bistra Ptuj  Ptuj  5844975000  646 
Low-carbon, in the production and use of a biomass-based circular economy with sustainable/balanced development, represents a fundamental premise for the creation of the programme. Suggested contents are consistent with European and global trends and ensures achieving of economic efficiency and competitiveness of the national economy in both areas.     Chemical engineering act as the connecting link between industries in the development of new products and their transfer to production processes in an economical and sustainable manner. Branches of chemical engineering, such as: separation processes, process design and environmental protection as well as their links to the areas of energy engineering and the construction industry. In addition to the system-level, we focus on individual-specific areas of specialization such as: functional materials (i), the production and use of biomass and biotechnologies (ii) and processes/advanced biomass processing technologies (gasification, pyrolysis) (iii). A system or a common level, ensures the integrity of the programme and allows it to connect with other sectors/disciplines regarded as an area (iv).   These different fields are the basis for scientific research and are seen in the process of transferring knowledge to the industrial sector (e.g. scientific publications, lectures as well as presentations and international networking) as new industrial processes and, finally, also as new products (i.e. the results of the pilot plant, patents, publications, lectures, and presentations).   In order to transfer knowledge into industrial practice (TRL 3-4 and 5-6), the key research is based on reaction stoichiometry, chemical kinetics phenomena, thermodynamics, mass and heat transfer phenomena, catalysts and scale-up methods. All of this allows for the transfer of research results from the laboratory to the industrial sector at various levels of product, processes and equipment. A phase in these activities is a pilot plant (TRL 5-6) which enables the study of criteria for the non-linear increase in capacity and an analysis of the characteristics of the processes in this regard. We use this approach to establish the transfer function and specificity of the technological process. Chemical and process engineering represents the necessary basis for quality and economic justification of the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory (TRL 3-4) to pilot equipment scale (TRL 5-6) and further on to an industrial scale (TRL 7-9) for chemical and most other products (food products, polymers, rubber, paints and varnishes, glass, ceramics, metals ...).   The programme supports cooperation with other research organizations and companies and regional, as well as national, development in networking and providing education of personnel, on levels of graduates as well as doctoral students.   The programme is designed to enable the achievement of originality and scientific excellence with international publications and patent applications.
Significance for science
With research into different reaction and phase (gas-solid-liquid) chemical engineering systems we discover new opportunities to improve existing processes and upgrade them in terms of energy consumption, selectivity and efficiency. By doing so, we are opening up new areas of research (pyrolysis liquid-solid) or presenting new development opportunities to improve the process (pyrolysis, extraction of sugar). The example of the extraction of sugar from sugar beets indicate how it is possible, with the introduction of the new approach of electroporation, to replace a process that is thermal energy demanding with other more effective processes. Such contributions to basic knowledge occur, such as the previous example implies, by focusing on the possibility of phenomena transfer to the industrial scale; this represents a key driver for the generation of ideas for new products and technologies. This also marks a new area of research for separation processes in biotechnology. The processes under consideration are mostly old and basically well known, which makes their use in industrial processes for new purposes (conversion of biomass and waste to energy) rise in importance. With the research we contribute new original solutions to old problems with new technology solutions and approaches. An example is the concept of a circular economy, which introduces a new concept of urgent concern for the usefulness of all by-products of the discussed reaction and separation systems. With the opening of new original technological concepts, we have enhanced engineering knowledge needed to develop new processes and devices that need to be further researched, integrated and developed for the necessary scientific background in order to attain them. The research results provide an important contribution to understanding the process of pyrolysis of various organic and alternative fuels as an input material for the production of gaseous and liquid energy products or new materials (bio-bitumen based on materials of local origin). Basic research is directed towards the exploration of phenomena that enable the design for a new generation of technology and equipment for pyrolysis and thus facilitate the transition to more sustainable development when compared to an energy sector based on fossil fuels. In bioprocesses, such as the cultivation of algae, we wish to contribute to the understanding of mechanisms of growing algae by targeting the quantities and composition of the contents of algae as a new biomass source based on the carbon sink (absorption) of CO2. With the research into material and energy optimization of the processes and integration into broader systems processes we want to contribute to the behaviour of the possibilities of economical and environmentally effective (prints, carbon energy, zero waste) operations of the plant for the conversion of bio and alternative fuels (advanced use of biomass, etc.) into electricity and heat (cogeneration) and materials (CHP). This will help guide future research into the development of more efficient processes, equipment and technology that will allow for an intensive increase in the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy and increase the possibility of local production of biomass. With research into new concepts, we open up possibilities for the advancement of enabling processes and technologies for the development of a circular bio-economy. This would enable the creation of new theoretical principles and ideas for future strategies for the production and use of bio and alternative fuels. Research into functional materials (biochar, adsorbents based on zeolites, etc.) contributes to the understanding of the functional properties for the system processes’ use of chemical chains and product engineering as well as increasing the level of knowledge and thus boost the potential for their competitive and sustainable production methods. The science of chemical engineering forms a part of the e
Significance for the country
Research programme contributes to the achievement of the Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2011-2020 with the purpose of raising the quality of life, effectively addressing societal challenges and contributing to an increased added value per employee with the achievement of the programme's objectives: New product development – NPD Development and optimization of technological processes regarding ecology, energy and efficiency Systematically increasing added value of new products Creating high-tech opportunities and work places Qualification of companies to deal with new technological developments Improvement of knowledge transfer to industry and cooperation between research institutions and industry Human resources creation, training and education (new engineers and doctors of engineering science) New product development as a fundamental objective, which enables intra-company development of innovation and competitiveness on the market, cannot be designed without relevant ideas. The source of new ideas is research, the results of which enable the creation of new products, technologies, processes, appliances and equipment in the field of functional materials (inorganic, organic and composite), technologies for the advanced uses of biomass (gasification, pyrolysis, etc.) and the circular and bio-economy (accumulation of CO2. bio-based products, increased local production of biomass, the reaction and the reactor systems, etc.). With the introduction of advanced process concepts of chemical and product engineering at all size scales (scales) of processing units and systems of product-process-equipment, new specializations, especially in designs of reactors and reaction systems, open up. This applies to well-known process systems (e.g. gasification, pyrolysis, etc.) as well as to radical new design processes (pyrolysis solid-liquid, etc.).   With the research and development of laboratory and pilot facilities we enable research of processes and methods to increase to an industrial level in specific process areas, which enable the transition into the industrial phase – the transition to the market (TRL 7-9). By this we enable the realization of the essence of the socio-economic relevance of the chemical engineering field to steer the economy in a new sustainable development paradigm and achieve relevance and competitiveness in the international arena.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2017, 2018, 2019
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2017, 2018, 2019
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