Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

PhD researcher develops inexpensive, sustainable production method in just two years

06.12.2006
Delft University of Technology PhD candidate Maaike Kroon has developed a sustainable and inexpensive production method for the chemical industry. This method combines reactions and separation processes, does not produce chemical waste and uses much less energy.

After just two years of PhD research, she will receive her doctorate degree based on this research subject on December 11. Maaike Kroon (25) is regarded as an exceptionally talented young researcher.

Maaike Kroon has developed a sustainable production method for the chemical industry that combines reaction and separation processes. She used this new method in trial experiments to reproduce a (already existing) medicine for Parkinson's disease. In doing so, no chemical waste was produced nor harmful solvents used, and the process required 75 percent less energy than is normally used. Moreover, not only is the end product extremely pure, but Kroon's method is also faster and less expensive. If used for this specific medicine, her production method would result in possible savings of 11 million euro per year.

The method combines so-called ionic liquids and separation with supercritical carbon dioxide. Using this combination was Kroon's idea, which Delft University of Technology has since patented.

... more about:
»Kroon »PhD »SUSTAINABLE »Separation »ionic

The raw materials for the medicine are dissolved in ionic liquid. Ionic liquids are fluid salts that serve as clean solvents. Carbon dioxide is added to this liquid under high pressure. The high pressure propels the CO2 gas to the so-called supercritical phase, during which it assumes the properties of both a gas and a liquid. This causes everything present to fully mix in a homogenous phase. The resulting reactions occur much more quickly than during the reaction processes currently used. A further advantage of Kroon's method is that all the raw materials are transposed into the end product without containing any by-products. The separation process occurs after the reaction. For this to occur, the pressure in the kettle is reduced, causing the CO2 and material produced to evaporate and float in a gas bubble on top of the liquid. It is easy to remove this gaseous mixture. The ionic liquid's fluid mixture and the catalyst remain behind in the kettle for reuse. The pressure is lowered further for the gaseous mixture, causing the end product to separate into a solid or liquid form.

Kroon says that there are no technical obstacles preventing the industry from using this method. Kroon: "Unfortunately, we must however consider the investments that companies have already made in existing production plants. Many companies will therefore only use this new method if a new factory is built." The combination of ionic liquids with supercritical carbon dioxide can in principle be used for the production of many other materials. Three new PhD candidates will conduct further research in this area at Delft University of Technology.

Maaike Kroon is regarded as an exceptionally talented young researcher and has received her PhD degree remarkably quickly: in just two years. Kroon had previously won the award for best Delft University of Technology graduate of the class of 2004-2005. This past summer she was also invited to participate as a researcher in the exclusive annual meeting of Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry, which was held in the German city of Lindau.

In 2007, Kroon will become an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology. She will work in the DelftChemTech section and concentrate on nanochemistry. "I like to see new scientific discoveries actually being applied. This is currently an exciting challenge in nanotechnology." In the autumn of 2007, Kroon will conduct research at the Institut de Ciència de Materials in Barcelona for a year.

Frank Nuijens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl

Further reports about: Kroon PhD SUSTAINABLE Separation ionic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>