I³MS - Bardow Seminar
Prof. Dr. André Bardow - Towards Integrated Design of Materials and Processes
Technical Thermodynamics, RWTH Aachen University
In recent years, our ability to control molecular structures has increased such that the development of tailor-made materials is becoming a major theme in science and engineering. However, materials by themselves are usually not the main purpose of a development but the function these materials deliver in a certain application. In this sense, the material is only one degree of freedom in the application process. A holistic optimization should thus integrate material and process design into one integrated design problem. A rigorous solution of such an integrated design problem, however, would lead to a prohibitively large mixed-integer nonlinear programming problem. In this work, a general framework for the integrated design of materials and processes is presented and exemplified with applications from energy and chemical engineering. In particular, solvents for CO2 capture processes and working fluids for Organic Rankine Cycles are simultaneously optimized with the corresponding processes. It is shown that the insight offered by modern molecular-based thermodynamic models allows for the development of an efficient decomposition of the integrated problem. The key prerequisite to the approach is a fundamental understanding of the intrinsic material properties driving the process. For complex systems, targeted experiments are therefore still required. The development of experiments for the characterization of intrinsic fluid properties is therefore further discussed. Here, the opportunities offered by microfluidics for improved characterization of fluids are emphasized. The combination of targeted experiments with model-based methods provides for a systematic framework to design tailor-made materials and processes.