Process development for raw material change
- BASF for the first time sponsors junior professorship
at University of Kaiserslautern
- Junior Professor Dr.-Ing. Jakob Burger is developing new evaluation methods at the Chair of Thermodynamics
On June 1, 2013, the University of Kaiserslautern (TU) established a new junior professorship “Process Development and Raw Material Change.” Together with two other junior professorships, it belongs to the Chair of Thermodynamics under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Hasse.The scientist position sponsored by BASF is limited to a period of six years.
As Junior Professor for Process Development and Raw Material Change, Dr.-Ing. Jakob Burger investigates tools for the development of innovative processes which use alternative raw materials. Aim is that in future crude oil could be supplemented and gradually replaced as the principal basis for chemical production. His research is concerned with developing special methods for evaluating new processes at an early stage. These evaluation methods are very important for the chemical industry in view of the increasing diversity of raw materials. Specific examples are also used to demonstrate how production processes based on alternative raw materials could be designed.
“With this endowment, we want to support the independent research activities of a young, creative scientist in an important field,” emphasizes Dr. Gerd Haderlein, Research Group Leader in BASF’s Process Technology department. “This initiative reflects that BASF is moving beyond the established and successful research cooperation models which usually pursue quite strictly delimited research topics with defined milestones.”
“Especially C1 chemistry will increase in importance, as it allows important feedstocks to be manufactured from natural gas or biogas via methanol,” explains Junior Professor Jakob Burger. “For the evaluation of alternative processes the reliable determination of reaction equilibriums and kinetics is necessary among other factors. The Chair of Thermodynamics of TU Kaiserslautern possesses an excellent know-how for this.”
A technology field of growing importance
Projects relating to raw material change are one important technology field in BASF’s Research Verbund. Here, BASF experts are engaged in identifying interesting processes for utilizing alternative raw materials and are evaluating these processes under technological, economic and ecological aspects. Olefins and aromatics, which are produced mainly by steam cracking and reforming of naphtha (crude petroleum), are currently the most important feedstocks for the majority of value chains in the chemical industry.
Natural gas is now already being used as a feedstock in a wide range of applications. Renewable resources, however, have so far only been used to manufacture specialty products in individual applications. In principle, CO2 can supplement the portfolio of raw materials for specific applications. However, the thermodynamic properties of this compound require a large amount of energy for any reaction, for example in the form of hydrogen.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.