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   

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, Process synthesis, Process integration, Chemical supply-chain, Energy efficiency, Clean energy, Industry, Modelling, Optimisation, Bio-catalysis, Biopharmaceutical processes, Sustainability metrics, Renewable resources, Water usage, MINLP
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  26217  PhD Miloš Bogataj  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  138 
2.  28477  PhD Matjaž Finšgar  Chemistry  Researcher  2015 - 2019  412 
3.  01347  PhD Peter Glavič  Chemical engineering  Retired researcher  2015 - 2019  1,120 
4.  06008  PhD Andreja Goršek  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  541 
5.  34487  PhD Jernej Hosnar  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2015  18 
6.  52023  PhD Tina Kegl  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2018 - 2019  85 
7.  10878  PhD Anita Kovač-Kralj  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  336 
8.  23475  PhD Damjan Krajnc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  166 
9.  03466  PhD Majda Krajnc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  231 
10.  06005  PhD Zdravko Kravanja  Chemical engineering  Head  2015 - 2019  905 
11.  36603  PhD Andreja Nemet  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2017 - 2019  154 
12.  11369  PhD Zorka Novak Pintarič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  477 
13.  19271  PhD Darja Pečar  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  320 
14.  34486  PhD Aleksandra Petrovič  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2015  75 
15.  52327  PhD Sanja Potrč  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2019  53 
16.  12659  PhD Marjana Simonič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2019  570 
17.  39209  PhD Klavdija Zirngast  Chemical engineering  Junior researcher  2016 - 2019  55 
18.  37498  PhD Žan Zore  Engineering sciences and technologies  Junior researcher  2015 - 2018  29 
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  13,143 
The main motivation and objective of the proposed programme ‘Process Systems Engineering and Sustainable Development’ would be to contribute to solving some the more severe problems of our society by virtue of process systems engineering environmental nexus. In particular the programme would aim at alleviating challenging problems within industrial and industry-related sectors due to their very high consumptions of resources, as well as massive emissions and severe footprints. The problems would be tackled by integrating the whole (bio)chemical supply-chain sustainably from renewable raw-materials, reaction pathways, clean energy, green processes, and advanced products at local, regional and continent levels. The proposed programme would consist of six research sections in compliance with Horizon 2020: 1. Renewable resources, clean and efficient energy and water usages 2. Synthesis of new (bio)reaction paths, and bio- and biopharmaceutical processes 3. Development of tools and metrics for environmental performance analysis of production processes 4. Development of computer-aided methods and tools for sustainable system synthesis, 5. Optimisation methodology for efficient and competitive industrial sectors, and 6. Knowledge and technologies transfers. The programme would thus be organised to perform advanced research at all levels of the (bio)chemical supply-chain and would cover sustainable handling of resources (materials, energy, and water) as systems’ inlet streams and green and even biopharmaceutical products as outlet streams, resources being efficiently processed at reaction, plant and Total Sites levels. It would be expected that the programme should contribute to science especially by developing efficient process systems engineering methods and computerised tools, e.g. further development of the unique process synthesizer MIPSYN, in combination with laboratory and pilot plant research. On the other hand, the programme would contribute to Slovenia's and the EU’s socioeconomic development especially by a variety of industrial applications at local, regional and even continent levels. A highly qualified research team would be composed of process systems, reaction, water-treatment, and environmental engineers, in order to accomplish the tasks integrally across the (bio)chemical supply-chain. The programme would be a continuation of the current programme P2-0032 through which the research team has published more than 100 articles over the last five years and accomplished several important industrial and other applications. Two additional research topics would also be proposed if the increased number of annual research hours was approved: 7. Multi-objective temporal and spatial integration of resources within a company’s supply-networks and 8. Synthesis of an energy-efficient chemical supply-chain within renewable supply/demand networks. Due to the challenging research topics, the programme would be planned to cover a period of six years.
Significance for science
The main contribution of the proposed programme would be to tackle process-product design integrally across the levels of the (bio) chemical supply-chain, from chemical transformation, processes and products, industrial locally-integrated Total Sites, to the regional supply-chains, as well as nontraditional levels such as microprocesses. Such integration, however, would be a very challenging approach by combining Process System Engineering methods and tools with sustainable principles and would represent a worldwide novelty. The concept of energy efficient Total Sites, so far dedicated only to the reduction of utilities’ consumptions, would be expanded to all resource materials, energy, and water. A new paradigm of resource efficient Total sites at local and regional levels would emerge. Special attention would be given to advanced water-treatment methodology by employing membrane reactors. The novelty of the proposed water-treatment methodology would be to recover some precious compounds from the effluents, such as metals or even nitrogen and phosphorus, which would otherwise cause severe environmental problems. With respect to biotransformation at the reaction level, emphasis would be given to the generation of scientific and technological know-how and its translation into industrial products and solutions of societal challenges. Design and development of advanced technologies and methods for fast and accurate enzyme activity determination and enzyme optimisation would enable the designing of highly efficient biocatalysts with an expanded range of substrates and for industrially important conversions. The development of methods for the formulation and immobilization of enzymes could be considered with a view to optimising process efficiency. An integrated optimisation methodology would enhance the economic prosperity and competitiveness of industrial sectors. Stronger links between research and innovation, increased added-value in products and production, and decreased environmental impacts would be expected. With respect to the development of new systems’ methods and tools new advanced optimisation methods and computerised tools would be expected to handle combined very complex synthesis problems using a large number of possible alternatives. Using the novel concept of eco-profit and total profit (economical + eco-profit) would be applied and adapted for multi-objective optimisation and syntheses of such large-sized problems. In addition, sustainability measurements such as total footprints and total sustainability index would be applied and adapted to various specific applications in order to consider both the unburdening and burdening effects on the environment. Sustainable solutions would thus be identified which would favour the selection of unburdening alternatives rather than just those burdening the environment the least. The emergence of new or improved global optimisation algorithms, synthesis and flexibility methods and strategies would be expected based on a multi-level mixed-integer programming approach implemented within computer package MIPSYN.
Significance for the country
The ultimate research results would be those optimal process solutions that would be directly transferrable to enterprises in order to increase their sustainable efficiencies and competitiveness. The new technologies would be developed for sustainable and efficient production, such as the new reaction routes and enzyme catalysed reactions for producing pharmaceuticals, food additives and biofuels, as well as the recycling and recovery of metals from wastewater. A developed computer platform would include those optimisation models that would enable Slovenian enterprises to acquire the more advanced optimization algorithms, and those examples of good practice for transferring knowledge into the production processes. Linking the new technologies and optimisation would promote faster upgrading from the laboratory to the production and onto the market, as well as more efficient production and a higher degree of competitiveness. The targeted industries would be the chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic enterprises, food and beverage plants, pulp and paper industry, energy installations such as biogas plants, metal processing industry, wastewater treatment plants, and centres for waste management. They would later also contribute to developing public infrastructure. The members of the research group would contribute to the promotion of the Republic of Slovenia by publishing their achievements in the top international journals and at conferences, as well as by participating in the international projects and associations. The members of the research group would be strongly involved in the teaching process. They would transfer their research achievements into the study programmes, publish pertinent textbooks in the Slovene language, and thus contribute to the development of professional terminology within the field of chemical engineering. The development of information and communication technologies and the efficient use of media, would be part of a lifelong learning process, that would bring cost savings regarding study materials, accommodation and travelling. Through organizing domestic conferences and collaborating with Slovenian enterprises, the group members would contribute to knowledge dissemination within Slovenia, as well as towards professional development and the promotion of chemical engineering practice.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
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