Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Process systems engneering and sustainable development

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.02.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering   
1.07.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Computer intensive methods and applications   
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   
2.03.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Energy engineering   

Code Science Field
T350  Technological sciences  Chemical technology and engineering 

Code Science Field
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
process systems engineering, sustainable development, environmental protection, modelling, design, integration, optimization, mathematical programming, MINLP, TRIZ, kazalniki trajnostnega razvoja, supply chain, information technology, inovation, knowledge transfer
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  26217  PhD Miloš Bogataj  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
2.  30944  PhD Lidija Čuček  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012 
3.  28477  PhD Matjaž Finšgar  Chemistry  Researcher  2014 
4.  01347  PhD Peter Glavič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
5.  06008  PhD Andreja Goršek  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
6.  34487  PhD Jernej Hosnar  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014 
7.  29572  PhD Mihael Kasaš  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
8.  31253  Katja Kocuvan  Chemical engineering  Technical associate  2013 - 2014 
9.  10878  PhD Anita Kovač-Kralj  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
10.  23475  PhD Damjan Krajnc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
11.  03466  PhD Majda Krajnc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
12.  06005  PhD Zdravko Kravanja  Chemical engineering  Head  2009 - 2014 
13.  33252  PhD Janja Križan Milić  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2010 - 2014 
14.  11369  PhD Zorka Novak Pintarič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
15.  19271  PhD Darja Pečar  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
16.  34486  PhD Aleksandra Petrovič  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014 
17.  12659  PhD Marjana Simonič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
18.  28402  PhD Katja Zajšek  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2009 - 2014 
19.  37498  PhD Žan Zore  Engineering sciences and technologies  Junior researcher  2014 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0794  University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  Maribor  5089638012  80 
Our research is concentrated on strengthening the scientific and technological capacities to develop new and improved production processes which will be more flexible, integrated, safe, clean and in accordance with the concept of the sustainable development in Slovenian and European area. The research work comprises different, mutually linked fields of process systems engineering. Design of specialty chemical processes with the emphasis on all the three agregate states, continuous and batch operating is performed. New technologies together with modeling, simulation, energy and mass integration and optimization are being developed. Thermodynamic and transport characteristics are being estimated. Special care is focused on reaction engineering with determination of thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of unknown chemical reactions. The purpose of this research is to ensure the quality, by designing flexible, ecological, social and economic production systems. The contents of the research is determined by the proposals of international programes covering thematic priorities of the 6th Framework Programme (CAPRI, PROSCO2, CAPEability, PREPstrem, SUSTAIN, SIPP), EUREKA (CAPE'21) and NATO (Clean Products and Processes) and it is incorporated into the European research area (ERA). Sustainable development includes ecological, social and economic aspects with special care on efficient use of water, energy and chemicals. Sustainable development indicators, decreased nonrenewable energy resources consumption, possibilities for water consumption minimization, cleaning and reuse in different fields of industry and environmentally friendly energy systems are beeing studied. New and existing energy extensive processes are beeing optimised, meaning reduced energy, utilities, raw material consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (Kyoto protocol) and more efficient operation of existing processes. Our program follows those thematic priorities of EU concerning sustainable development (6th FP, priorities 1.1.2.i, 1.1.2.ii, 1.1.3.i, 1.1.3.iii and 1.1.6.iii). Until today waste and emissions have been in fore front requiring high investments with high operating costs. Better approach is to prevent waste and emissions production at the source (changing process and/or product). This concept is known as integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC). Cleaner production is being studied and advanced oxidative processes (AOP) together with membrane technologies are being used for water analysis. In the field of knowledge transfer new methods for turning theory into practice with special emphasis on creativeness, inovativeness and efficiency are beeing developed. The developed knowledge is transferred to industry and to the educational process. Activities for faster transfer of information in undergraduate and graduate studies, lifelong learning and pedagogical reform are beeing developed. New, modern approaches of teaching and learning in the field of process systems engineering and sustainable development are beeing introduced. To reach sustainable development the switch from evolutionary to inovative improvements has an essential meaning, the development of inovative integrated information technology (IT), is one of the most important research targets. It represents systematic, integrated methodology for innovative design, operation, retrofit, planning and control of sustainable chemical process systems.
Significance for science
On the process-system's level, we upgraded general methodology for the optimisation of regional supply network for production and consumption of energy, and methodology for optimisation of material and energy flows within industrial companies and their supply network. Using the developed methodologies it is now possible to obtain flexible sustainable solutions under fixed and varying conditions. On the bio-molecular laboratory scale we optimised the production of biogas from pre-treated lignocellulosic materials, where we used beech wood. The results showed that pre-treatment of wood helps to increase biogas production. In the field of measuring and evaluating sustainable development we developed general methodology for reducing the dimensionality of criteria for multi-objective optimisation problems for both burdening and total (burdening and unburdening) footprints and other criteria. The developed tool was proved to be practical and useful for reduction of dimensionality of criteria. In the field of process integration and intensification we developed a general procedure and tool for the optimal identification of modifications and integration within industrial complexes and Total Sites. The tool was proved to be very promising and much more advanced than the currently-existing commercial and academic tools of such kind, and thus represents a major innovation. For the treatment of industrial effluents, such as oil-in-water emulsion, membrane separation processes offer significant advantages over conventional treatment methods, such as reliable effluent quality. The scientific importance is shown in the new membrane material development. Taking into account the principles of sustainability, we studied new (bio)reaction pathways, optimized their process parameters and developed kinetic models of reactions for which these data have not been published. We highlight two scientific topics with great potential for applications. The majority of commercial wood adhesives are still synthetic adhesives, mostly due to their better water resistance. However, they are derived from non-renewable and limited fossil resources. Since protection of the environment, health and sustainable use of natural resources have become a major world concern the interest in natural adhesives is increasing. As soy-based adhesives have a potential to replace the synthetic ones a new method of thermal modification of soy protein isolate for production of wood adhesives with high adhesive bonding strength was developed. Chemical and physical properties of glasses and frits are to a large extent dependent on the speed of quenching and the ability to transform the melt as quickly as possible to the amorphous solid. Knowledge of these changes allows the production of higher quality end products of frits (ovens, water heaters etc.) and successful creation of new melting systems. The water atomisation technique for frits production together with reaction mechanism was developed. Combined electrochemical and surface analytical approach, to design formulations in oilfield applications, provided the qualitative and quantitative information necessary for a detailed understanding of mechanisms at elevated temperatures, which will prove useful in designing new formulations. Fundamental research directed at an improved understanding of these systems is important for general scientific progress in that field. The importance of this research is even more pronounced because only environmentally friendly chemicals were used (German WGK 1 classification), which contributes to sustainable development.
Significance for the country
We have dealt with the systematic development and improvements of methods in order to be useful for practical problems. For the improvement of operations within companies and reduction of their negative impacts on the environment, we developed a general systematic tool using which it is possible to obtain flexible environmentally-friendly solutions with improved profits. On a case of Perutnina Ptuj we demonstrated that it could become an energy self-sufficient company in terms of electricity in all the seasons by integration of renewable energy sources. To ensure meeting of the objectives for the year 2020 regarding renewable energy at the level of Slovenija as well as each EU Member State and within entire EU we developed a general framework, by which it is possible to optimise entire supply network of biofuels and other renewable energy sources by considering fluctuations and dynamism of available resources and entire production. The tool can significantly help in decision-making regarding the design of optimal production of renewable energy sources. In the field of process integration and intensification we developed a general tool for improvements of energy and resource efficiency within existing industrial complexes and Total Sites. With the help of the developed tool it is also possible to identify the sources of waste heat for district heating. The tool is suitable for any kind of industries that operate under fixed and variable operating conditions. The tool was tested on a case of existing oil refinery where it was proved to be an excellent tool. If this tool was used on the cases of Slovenian companies they would become more competitive and sustainable as they could optimally reduce the external fuel consumption and possibly use the identified excess waste heat for district heating. The global shift in process industry towards sustainable development requires the use of innovative and flexible processes that provide long-term friendly and affordable products with target properties. Our studies were primarily intended for industrial application of scientific research in the interdisciplinary field of biotechnology, reaction and process engineering. During the program, we have solved various process problems and integrated sustainability concepts into Slovenian processing industry. We developed some new (bio) reaction pathes, modelled unknown reaction mechanisms and experimental optimized complex homogeneous and heterogeneous (bio) chemical systems in different physical states. Particular emphasis was placed on the fermentation techniques in dairy industry, the design of wastewater treatment technologies in the paper industry, the development of biodegradable adhesives in wood industry and the design of the new products final properties (grain size distribution, crystal polymorphism) in enamel industries. Low efficiency, negative impacts on the environment and non-profitable operation are the main shortcomings of outdated energy-chemical plants. In order to increase their added value, such processes can be modified for the production of new products by using the proposed retrofit technique. Development of environmentally acceptable formulations for oilfield applications is novel and its successful implementation contribute to the reputation of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at University of Maribor and other research institutions, with which we co-operate. Moreover, this also contributes to the scientific recognition of Slovenia. Based on the developed technology we were entrusted with an industrial project for the international German company BASF SE, Ludwigshafen. The main issue on the water treatment field is the increasing concentration of nitrates in water sources due to intensive fertilization. The importance of efficient and economically accepted denitrification method is in accordance with the Decree of water protection from agriculture nitrate pollution.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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