The PSD group develops methods and tools for synthesis, analysis and control of complex process systems. It combines physical and chemical insight with concepts from systems and control theory as well as applied mathematics. Process insight guides the way to suitable problem formulations and feasible as well as efficient solution strategies. Whenever possible with reasonable effort, theoretical concepts are validated experimentally. With its approach the PSD group helps to bridge the gap between theory and application.
Process control has become a major field of research of the PSD group during the last years. Currently, the focus is on control of particulate processes, control of advanced chromatographic processes and plantwide control strategies. Particulate processes are described by nonlinear partial differential equations and represent a highly challenging class of distributed parameter systems. Important topics which are addressed by the PSD group comprise mathematical modeling, nonlinear model reduction as well as new approaches to robust and nonlinear control of particulate processes. Novel crystallization and fluidized bed spray granulation processes are considered as application examples. Chromatographic processes are switched systems with cyclic behavior. A particular focus of the PSD group is on adaptive cycle to cycle control and plantwide control of integrated chromatographic processes leading to hybrid separation and/or hybrid reaction/separation processes.
In the field of process design the PSD group develops computational methods for a systematic design of complex process systems. Approaches range from shortcut methods based on analytical insight up to rigorous simultaneous mixed integer nonlinear optimization (MINLP) of process configurations and operating conditions. Special interest is on new methods for deterministic global MINLP optimization being developed in cooperation with partners from mathematics. Innovative multiphase reaction systems and integrated processes for the production of pure enantiomers are considered as challenging applications in the process design field.
Biosystems engineering has been identified as a research area of common interest at the Max Planck Institute and the Otto von Guericke University. Important contributions of the PSD group to biosystems engineering lie in the fields of novel methods for parameter identification and optimal experimental design, nonlinear dynamics, and multidimensional population balance modeling. Vaccine and biopolymer production processes are considered as interesting fields of application. Further, activities have been started in the innovative field of conceptual modeling and analysis of synthetic biological systems
With its activities, the PSD group is involved in a number of highly visible larger joint research projects with external funding, among others the joint research center Transregio SFB 63 on integrated chemical processes in liquid multi phase systems, which involves about 15 other partners mainly from the TU Berlin and the TU Dortmund, a national priority program SPP 1679 on dynamic flowsheet simulation of particulate processes, the MaxSynBio initiative of the Max Planck society on synthetic biology and some joint research projects in the field of biosystems engineering funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with partners from academia and industry.