Description of impactIn the research area on microstructured reactors and devices, the SPE group focusses on microchemical systems that provide intricate geometries with characteristic length scales of 10 µm to 50 mm for optimum mixing, mass and heat transfer, (catalytic) reaction, and product separation. The challenge is to explore the potential benefits of these miniaturized chemical systems in terms of e.g. productivity, selectivity, energy efficiency, new reaction pathways, safety, and environmental benign manufacturing. A particular innovative aspect is to take benefit of microfabrication technologies for integrating sensors and actuators for process monitoring and control. Areas of application include fuel processing and hydrogen production, high-throughput catalyst screening, and chemicals synthesis ("process on a chip"). Research focuses on scale-up of microreactors to industrial scale, multifunctional reactors (combining multiple reactions or reaction with separation), and the preparation of catalysts in microreactors and the expansion of chemical space through use of unusual or underutilized activation modes such as photochemistry and electrochemistry.
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