Center Goal: To promote advances in process science and technology and workforce education by leveraging government and industrial resources in a highly collaborative program.
Center Structure: The center is divided into three focus areas:
Separations Technology Development
The research extends and enhances the previous activities of the Separations Research Program. New separations technologies are developed along with models with enhanced predictive capability. Areas of investigation include distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, adsorption, separations based on chemical complexation, membrane technology, and complex fluid behavior. World-class expertise exists within the host institutions with significant experimental equipment available. The pilot plant facilities at UT Austin provide unique experimental capabilities which are utilized for a broad cross-section of research activities.
Process Optimization, Control, and Safety
The effort benefits greatly from the expertise of investigators who combine a fundamental understanding of process technology with advanced computational and model development expertise. State-of-the-art research promotes the development of processes which maximize both profitability and safety. The pilot plant equipment at UT-Austin features state-of-the-art process control capability which permits a wide range of research. The research programs benefit from interaction with two world-class centers, the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M and The Texas-Wisconsin Modeling and Control Consortium. Both organizations are leaders in the development of technologies which enhance the control and safe operation of chemical processes.
Energy and Environmental Research
Projects are undertaken which address energy consumption in a variety
of processes. The host institutions are leaders in energy research with
historically high levels of funding from the US Department of Energy.
Research programs targeted at reducing both energy consumption and
environmental impact for carbon dioxide recovery, water purification, and
distillation processes are on-going. Projects leading toward the
development of novel methods of producing fuels and chemicals from
renewable resources are underway.