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Personal profile


"The switch to renewable resources requires a new generation of chemical production plants. I develop small, multipurpose and durable production units enabling a self-sustainable chemical community that provides for local welfare and wellbeing."

Research profile

The research of John van der Schaaf focuses on the development of catalytic and non-catalytic multiphase reactors that use rotation to create high gravity and high shear conditions. These conditions lead to excellent interphase mass transfer, intraphase mixing, and fluid-to-wall heat transfer. Applications are especially in (exothermic) fast reactions that are interphase mass transfer limited, are mixing limited, or are heat transfer limited. Additionally, in a high gravity field two phases with different density can be contacted countercurrently. Thus, distillation (gas-liquid), extraction (liquid-liquid), and crystallization (liquid-solid) become feasible.

The high-gravity high-shear conditions enable the use of extremely compact equipment for the chemical industry. The equipment is easily a factor hundred smaller than conventional equipment. The much smaller equipment size allows for the safe use of high temperatures and high pressures, enlarging the economic process window. An additional benefit of the small equipment size is that expensive construction materials and coatings can be used, with only a minor increase in equipment costs.

In future research Van der Schaaf will focus on the performance of high-gravity high-shear equipment as a function of design, operating conditions, and fluid properties. For proper design and optimization, preferably determined with industrially relevant systems, research is required into e.g. flow patterns, mixing intensity, and interphase mass transfer.

Academic background

John van der Schaaf studied chemical engineering at TU Delft where he obtained his master's degree in 1993. In 1998 he obtained his PhD from the same university with his thesis 'Dynamics of Gas-Solids Fluidized Beds - analysis of pressure fluctuations'. Until 2000 he performed postdoctoral research at TU Delft on the validation of computational fluid dynamics codes for gas-solid fluidized beds. In 2000 he moved to Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) where he joined the Glass Technology research group of Prof. Ruud Beerkens to perform postdoctoral research on the formation of foam in glass melting furnaces, in cooperation with TNO. In 2003 he started working as assistant professor (tenure track) in the Chemical Reactor Engineering group of Prof. Jaap Schouten. In 2014 he was appointed associate professor and since 2017 he is the chair of the group.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where John van der Schaaf is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Mass transfer Chemical Compounds
Foams Chemical Compounds
Stators Chemical Compounds
Liquids Chemical Compounds
Gases Chemical Compounds
Rotors Chemical Compounds
Catalysts Engineering & Materials Science
Carbon nanofibers Chemical Compounds

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Research Output 1997 2020

The butoxylation of dodecylamine: reaction mechanism and kinetics

Müller, P., Krösschell, R. D. E., Winkenwerder, W. & van der Schaaf, J., 15 Feb 2020, In : Chemical Engineering Journal. 382, 9 p., 122939.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Hydroxyl Radical
Ethylene Oxide

An improved kinetic model for micromixing characterization using the Villermaux-Dushman method

Manzano Martinez, A., Haase, S., Assirelli, M. & van der Schaaf, J., 12 Nov 2019, Proceeding: 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting. p. 1 1 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Climate change

Characterization of micromixing in a rotor-stator spinning disc reactor: effects of gap distance

Manzano Martinez, A., Assirelli, M. & van der Schaaf, J., 11 Nov 2019, p. 1. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Effect of microchannel structure and fluid properties on non-inertial particle migration

Maitri, R. V., De, S., Koesen, S. P., Wyss, H. M., van der Schaaf, J., Kuipers, J. A. M., Padding, J. T. & Peters, E. A. J. F., 1 Jan 2019, In : Soft Matter. 15, 12, p. 2648-2656 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Shear thinning
9 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access


Capita selecta

1/09/16 → …


Chemical reactors

1/09/13 → …


DBL Energy

1/09/14 → …



1/09/13 → …


Student theses

3D scalar field simulations for Micro Mixing applications in a cylindrical geometry: implementation and verification

Author: van Kouwen, R., 28 Feb 2018

Supervisor: van der Schaaf, J. (Supervisor 1), van Eeten, K. (Supervisor 2), Aguirre, A. (Supervisor 2), Peters, E. (Supervisor 2) & Buist, K. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


A computational study of turbulent jet behaviour in a spray dryer

Author: Perederija, T., 30 Apr 2013

Supervisor: Kuipers, J. (Supervisor 1), Deen, N. (Supervisor 2), Padding, J. (Supervisor 2), van der Schaaf, J. (Supervisor 2) & Pawar, S. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

A detailed numerical study on the micro mixing behaviour of turbulent flow fields at low Schmidt numbers: implementation and validation

Author: Hop, V., 29 May 2019

Supervisor: van der Schaaf, J. (Supervisor 1), van Kouwen, E. (Supervisor 2), Aguirre, A. (Supervisor 2) & Roghair, I. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


A mechanistic study of methane steam reforming over ceria-zirconia supported rhodium

Author: van Leendert, R., 31 Aug 2009

Supervisor: Halabi, M. (Supervisor 1), van der Schaaf, J. (Supervisor 2), de Croon, M. (Supervisor 2), Meuldijk, J. (Supervisor 2) & Schouten, J. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

An experimental and numerical study of ion and water fluxes through a cation-selective membrane at high current densities

Author: Oppers, N., 31 Dec 2014

Supervisor: Moshtari Khah, S. (Supervisor 1), van der Schaaf, J. (Supervisor 2), Schouten, J. (Supervisor 2) & de Groot, M. (External coach)

Student thesis: Master