Chemical Engineering and Processing, Vol.71, 19-30, 2013
Industrial applications of plasma, microwave and ultrasound techniques: Nitrogen-fixation and hydrogenation reactions
The MAPSYN project (Microwave, Acoustic and Plasma assisted SYNtheses) aims at nitrogen-fixation reactions intensified by plasma catalysis and selective hydrogenations intensified by microwaves, possibly assisted by ultrasound. Energy efficiency is the key motif of the project and the call of the European Union behind (NMP.2012.3.0-1; highly efficient chemical syntheses using alternative energy forms). The material (catalysis) and process innovations given in the literature for the two demonstration examples (of the project) are reviewed and added by the project's own ones derived from the latest state of the art. From there still a gap to industrialization needs to be closed which needs innovation as well on the level of process control and plant operation, finally opening gates to new business models (distributed production and modular plant-numbering up instead of scale-up). Such systemic solution shall be developed under the supervision of energy and cost analysis as well as life-cycle analysis to ensure following a holistic approach. This demands for a new science management not focusing only on the key innovation, but as well as on other assisting enabling technologies needed and for the systemic vision with plant view and process control - all centered around industrial reaction equipment. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.