Process Technology

A current challenge in the sustainable use of non-conventional resources is the development of innovative processes for material transformation. The main objective is the treatment of water and the processing of biogenic raw materials in order to generate new resources.

Chemical and physical relationships, as they can be found for example in complex mixtures of organic residues are investigated. From these findings, the technicality steps should be modeled and calculated. The advantage of these pioneering technologies generates benefits to society.

Contact
Marco Rupprich
FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D. Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3200

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Membrane Technology

The research field of membrane technology deals with the production and optimization of membranes and membrane materials. Another topic is the improvement of membrane processes which are commonly used in the water- and gas treatment.

 

Advanced Oxidation Processes

In the field of the Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) the focus is on the application of non-thermal plasma for water treatment. The aim is to develop competitive processes for water preparation, as well as the design of new non-conventional AOP operations, such as the recyclable Fenton-process.

 

Wastewater and Water Treatment

An essential characteristic is the combination of different methods (for example membrane technology and AOP) for a cheap and effective purification of municipal and industrial wastewater. A very promising approach is to combine the advantages of a chemically-oxidative water treatment by oxygen ions and radicals with a membrane filtration.

 

Downstream-Processing

The reprocessing of fermentation stocks is often a big challenge in the purification or production of new active substances. The focus of this field is on the processing of microalgae and reaction mixtures of physico-chemical conversion processes, such as fractionation of lignocellulose. To lead to an optimization of these processes, this is supported by specific chemical and thermodynamic considerations.

 

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Research areas at a glance

Optimierung des Energieeintrags zur Durchmischung von Faultürmen
State:
Laufend

Start of project:
April 2018

Project staff:
Dr. Michael Meister, MSc
ProjektleiterIn, since Mai 2018


About the project:
The aim of the present research project is to optimize the energy input for the digester mixing such that the anaerobic digestion process becomes economically more attractive. Apart from gas injection and impeller induced mixing, the utilization of slowly rotating stirrer devices proved to be energetically efficient. An ideal operation, however, requires the calibration of the stirrer and its operating parameters with the digester geometry and the physical properties of the slurry flow therein. Since until now stirrer devices are dimensioned and operated based on experience only, a substantial room for improving the energy efficiency is foreseen. The plan of the "OPTFAUL" project is to first conduct a laboratory experiment and to subsequently perform a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation to optimize the energy requirements for the digester mixing. The experimental setup allows measuring the mixing intensity and the input energy for diverse scenarios such that the efficiency of different stirrers can be compared. For the 2 most suitable mixing devices a detailed CFD analysis for a full scale digester is conducted. Subsequent to the optimization of the energy input the project results are compared to the operating data from wastewater treatment plants in the county of Tyrol to demonstrate the room for improvement and the corresponding measures.

Beschichtungsmethode zur Nachbehandlung von Hohlfasermembrane
State:
Abgeschlossen

Start of project:
April 2015

Project staff:
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marc Koch
ProjektleiterIn, from April 2015 until Juni 2016


Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from April 2015 until Juni 2016


Roman Leithner, BSc BSc MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from April 2015 until Juni 2016


About the project:
In the present project, MF / UF polymer-based hollow-fiber membranes are to be further developed by an additional downstream process step in the direction of the nanofiltration membrane. Nanofiltration is characterized by the separation of substances such as heavy metal ions or pesticides. This is intended to expand the existing product portfolio. In the course of planned test series, critical production parameters for the coating process, such as the chemical concentrations or residence time, are to be investigated and optimal process conditions identified.

Multi-Channel-Kapillarmembrane
State:
Abgeschlossen

Start of project:
Oktober 2010

Project staff:
Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from November 2010 until September 2012


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Thomas Hermann Obholzer
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from Oktober 2010 until September 2012


FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D.
ProjektleiterIn, from Oktober 2010 until September 2012


About the project:
Membrane processes are beside distillation and extraction one of the most used separation techniques. They can be used e.g. for the hemodialysis, for purification of pharmaceutical products and for desalination. The aim of the present project is the development of spinnerets for the production of multi-channel-capillary membranes. The spinning nozzle molds a polymer solution into the desired capillary membrane in a so called phase inversion process. Therefore, it is necessary that the polymer solution hardens on the boundary layer with the so called non-solvent (e.g. water). A diffusion of the non-solvent into the pores occurs. The outer face of the membrane will be hardened by its insertion with an external coagulation bath. In general, capillary membranes with one channel and an outer diameter of one to two millimeters are thin walled and not stable against mechanical forces. In contrast to capillary membranes, multi-channel capillary membranes with up to seven channels per membrane (i.e. mult channel-capillary-membranes) are more stable and show an increased performance in separation properties accompanied by reduced costs. Commercially available multi-channel-capillary membranes are made of ceramics (e.g. alumina oxide). On the one hand, they are highly resistant against chemicals, but on the other hand they are very expensive and sensitive to sudden temperature changes. By producing and employing the spinneret it should be possible to apply the phase inversion process and its advantages, like the variety of materials, on membranes. Through the combination of phase inversion processes and multi channel techniques selective, chemically inert membranes with high performance should be achievable. Furthermore, new membranes with reduced production and operation costs can be expected. The project gives the pupils a deeper understanding of applied research and development in the field of process engineering. They are involved in the assembly of the spinnerets and feed systems as well as in the characterization of the specified conditions like chemical resistance, transportation of liquids with high viscosity etc.


Financing:
Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft
Öffentlicher Sektor Inland

C-MEM Oberflächen und Material Optimierung
State:
Laufend

Start of project:
Januar 2016

Project staff:
Roman Leithner, BSc BSc MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, since Januar 2016


FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D.
ProjektleiterIn, from Januar 2016 until Dezember 2017


Veronika Huber, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, since Januar 2016


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marc Koch
Assistenz der Projektleitung, from Januar 2016 until Dezember 2017


Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, since Januar 2016


About the project:
The C-MEM membrane fibers produced by SFC Umwelttechnik are used for drinking water and sewage treatment. Due to the complex production of these membranes, they can currently only be produced in the limited range of ultrafiltration (0.1-0.01 μm) and only with a special HDPE which (i) has a limited durability in the application (ii) unavailable on the European market, resulting in delivery bottlenecks and high transport costs, and (iii) partly causing high reject rates and also not allowing adaptation of the existing membrane fiber. The main objectives of this project are therefore (i) to modify a locally available HDPE with the help of the project partners according to our requirements, (ii) to develop a few nanometer thick ion-selective coating for the filtration area (0.01 - 0.001μm) and finally (iii) also to adapt or convert the production facilities to this new material and coating technology. The aim is to optimize the production of the fibers in terms of scrap and quality, to greatly expand the field of application and, overall, to improve the C-MEM process. Another important aspect is the know-how advantage that is built up to the competition, because this newly developed material and the new production processes of the membrane will not be freely available.

Kultivierung von Algen mit LED Beleuchtung
State:
Abgeschlossen

Start of project:
November 2014

Project staff:
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Benjamin Hupfauf
ProjektleiterIn, from November 2014 until September 2015


Sebastian Perkams, BSc MSc
ProjektleiterIn, from November 2014 until September 2015


Mag. Alexander Dumfort
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from November 2014 until September 2015


About the project:
As part of the algae cultivation program, a concept for the purification of municipal wastewater with the help of algae is being developed. While the composition of the waste water is predetermined as a nutrient medium and CO2 can be supplied in excess, the exposure, i.e. the targeted illumination of the algae solution, is an essential and controllable process parameter. This allows for algae growth optimization and effective wastewater treatment. The aim is to find an exposure solution that is based on daylight. The Environmental and Process Engineering Department of MCI is testing the most simple, robust and cost-effective lighting concepts that would be suitable for applications in sewage treatment plants. Various analytical methods (dry matter, phosphate, nitrogen determination, COD, TOC) are used.

Herstellung von Composite Mehrkanal-Kapillarmembrane für die Nanofiltration
State:
Abgeschlossen

Start of project:
Februar 2014

Project staff:
Iris Eichner, BSc
Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft, from Mai 2014 until Juli 2014


Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc
ProjektleiterIn, from Februar 2014 until Dezember 2015


About the project:
Membrane technology has become established as a separation process in the field of water treatment. The aim of the research project is the development of novel nanofiltration membranes based on multi-channel capillary systems. This special design offers advantages such as a high packing density and reduced risk of blocking. The fields of application of such membranes are in the pharmaceutical, beverage and textile industries as well as in wastewater treatment.

PHARMAQUA
State:
Laufend

Start of project:
Dezember 2016

Project staff:
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marc Koch
Assistenz der Projektleitung, since Dezember 2016


FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D.
ProjektleiterIn, since Dezember 2016


Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, since Dezember 2016


Jan Back, BSc MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, since Dezember 2016


About the project:
The objective of this project is to develop a laboratory model that combines the advantages of a hollow-fiber membrane (size-exclusion) with the adsorptive properties of zeolites or activated carbon to test an innovative way of removing trace organic compounds selective separation of anthropogenic trace substances and is tuned to the simplest possible and cost-effective use.

ModMem - Herstellung und Charakterisierung einer neuartigen Ionischen Flüssigkeits-Membran zur Biogasreinigung
State:
Laufend

Start of project:
Februar 2017

Project staff:
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marc Koch
ProjektleiterIn, from Februar 2017 until Dezember 2017


About the project:
The innovative approach and goal for this research project is the production, characterization and optimization of novel functionalized membranes with ionic liquids. For membrane production, the phase inversion method according to Loeb and Sourirajan should be used, modified and further developed. The main focus is on the development of gas permeation membranes for biogas purification.

KLA:R-Klärschlamm und Abwasser: Ressourcen nutzen
State:
Abgeschlossen

Start of project:
Mai 2015

Project staff:
FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D.
ProjektleiterIn, from Mai 2015 until Oktober 2016


Mag. Alexander Dumfort
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from Mai 2015 until Oktober 2016


About the project:
With the KLA:R project of the association klasse!Forschung, complex connections in wastewater treatment are prepared together with experts from science and industry in such a way that they can be taught fascinatingly to children and adolescents from 8 to 18 years from Innsbruck west to Telfs. School and extracurricular activities, with a particular focus on young girls and immigrant students, should inspire enthusiasm for modern technologies and applications of wastewater treatment, including the entrepreneurial context, and raise awareness of the conservation of our resources.


Qualifizierungsnetz Materialwissenschaften
State:
Laufend

Start of project:
April 2014

Project staff:
Mag. Jelena Drinic
Assistenz der Projektleitung, from April 2014 until September 2016


FH-Prof. DI Dr.-Ing. Michael Kraxner
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from April 2014 until September 2016


Sabine Watzdorf, MSc
Assistenz der Projektleitung, from April 2014 until September 2016


Mag. Alexander Dumfort
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from April 2014 until September 2016


FH-Prof. Dr. Werner Stadlmayr
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from April 2014 until September 2016


FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D.
ProjektleiterIn, from April 2014 until September 2016


About the project:
The objective of this project is to promote the establishment of a Tyrolean skills network, which aims to increase the expertise of research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) employees of participating companies in the technology fields of materials science and nanoscience. Qualification measures are the transfer of know-how through practical exercises and lectures at the participating universities on the basics, methods, current developments and future fields of application. The contents of the training measures are based on the qualification requirements of the companies. In particular, company-relevant questions are dealt with in a separate module. In addition to the funding period, a network of contacts and potential cooperation partners is formed with a comprehensive insight into the competences and infrastructure of the participating universities and partner companies. In the future, higher education institutions will be better able to design their teaching and research content according to the needs of the companies and to enter into appropriate cooperation. The project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) within the framework of the program "Research Competences for the Economy".


(co)Operation SKD
State:
Laufend

Start of project:
September 2014

Project staff:
Bettina Rainer, BSc MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from November 2014 until August 2018


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Benjamin Hupfauf
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from September 2014 until August 2018


Dr. Alexander Trockenbacher
ProjektleiterIn, from September 2014 until August 2018


Heidrun Füssl-Le, BSc, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from September 2014 until August 2018


FH-Prof. Mag. Marco Rupprich, Ph.D.
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from September 2014 until August 2018


Sebastian Perkams, BSc MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from September 2014 until November 2017


Dr. techn. Angela Hofmann
MCI interne ProjektleiterIn, from September 2014 until September 2016


Dipl.-Ing. Michael G. Schnitzlein, PhD
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from September 2014 until August 2018


FH-Prof. Dr. Christoph Griesbeck
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from September 2014 until August 2018


Dr. Martin Spruck, MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from Februar 2016 until August 2018


Peter Leitner, BSc MSc
ProjektmitarbeiterIn, from März 2016 until August 2018


About the project:
The project aims to establish an economic process for the production of valuable compounds from phototrophic microorganisms (algae, microalgae) and the subsequent energetic processing of biomass. For this purpose established R&D structures at the Departments of Biotechnology and Environmental, Process & Energy Engineering at MCI, as well as at the Departments of Bio and Environmental Technology and Process Engineering and Production at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH OÖ) are further developed, combined and integrated. The Austrian Drug Screening Institutes (ADSI) will contribute additional analytical expertise to the consortium. The main objectives will be the development of the single process steps and competence development in order to provide targeted services for potential company partners in the fields of pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries.


  • M. Spruck, W. Stadlmayr, M. Koch, L. Mayr, S. Penner, M. Rupprich. Influence of the coagulation medium on the performance of poly(ether sulfone) flat-sheet membranes. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 41645.
  • M. Spruck, G. Hoefer, G. Fili, D. Gleinser, A. Ruech, M. Schmidt-Baldassari, M. Rupprich. Preparation and characterization of composite multichannel capillary membranes on the way to nanofiltration. Desalination 2013, 314, 28-33

  • M. Spruck, T. Apperl, T.H. Obholzer, M. Rupprich. Reduction of Membrane Fouling with Ionized Air. 1st International Conference on Desalination using Membrane Technology, 2013, Sitges, Spain
  • M. Spruck, M. Koch, M. Rupprich. Preparation conditions of multi-channel capillary membranes for nanofiltration. 2nd International Conference on Desalination using Membrane Technology, 2015, Singapore
  • M. Rupprich. Reduction of membrane fouling in submerged microfiltration membrane with ionized air. Separations Technology VIII: Sustainable Separations Technology for Energy and Environmental Challenges, 2010, Kona (HI), USA

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