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.
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
Rochester scientists discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates
23.04.2018 | University of Rochester
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News