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December 2021 - M.Sc. Aljoscha Frede, M.Sc Stefan Höving and M.Sc. Piriyanth Sakthithasan (Laboratory of Equipment Design) were honored with poster awards for their posters at the PAAT 2021. 

Aljoscha Frede and Stefan Höving were awarded at the annual meeting of the ProcessNet group PAAT (Prozess-, Apparate- und Anlagentechnik) with their posters “Automated Flow Calorimeter based on Modular Microreactor Integration” and “Quasi-continuous cooling crystallization on a novel belt filter apparatus” (1st place). Piriyanth Sakthithasan was awarded at the PAAT for his Poster “Numerical simulation of continuous phase mixing and residence time distribution in a stirred-pulsed solvent extraction column” (2nd place).

Contact: Aljoscha Frede, Stefan Höving, Piriyanth Sakthithasan


November 2021 - Basics of additive manufacturing (3D-printing) in process technology [Grundlagen der additiven Fertigung (3D-Druck) in der Verfahrenstechnik]

During the newly in ST 2021 established extracurricular course "Basics of additive manufacturing (3D-printing) in process technology" bachelor students learned about the materials sience and technical background of 3D-printing. The course was supported by QVM funds and organized as a cooperation of APT and AD. Since the students feedback was good, a continuation of the course for the next semester is planned.
As a final project the students had to design 0.5L-pressure vessels that were subjected tu a pressure test. The burst pressure for all vessels was above 15 bar. The animation shows a slow-motion of the bursting vessels.

Contact: Stefan Höving


October 2021 - M.Sc. Robin Dinter and M.Sc. Alexander Behr (Laboratory of Equipment Design) were honoured for their posters at the ECCE & ECAB 2021 with poster awards.

Robin Dinter from the laboratory of equipment design was awarded at the 13th European Congress of Chemical Engineering and 6th European Congress of Applied Biotechnology with his poster "Photoreactor Concept Developed by Rapid Prototyping for Flow Photochemistry" (2nd place). Katrin Rosenthal from the chair of Bioprocess Engineering and Alexander Behr from the laboratory of equipment design were awarded with the joint poster "Biocatalytic Reaction and Process Development using a Coiled Flow Inverter -From Reactor Concept to Ontology Design" (3rd place).

Contact: Alexander Behr, Robin Dinter


September 2021 – Efficient AI-based Online Supervision Method for Determining the Operating State in Stirred Extraction Columns

Recent investigations show the superior monitoring performance of artificial intelligence based process supervision.  Here, an efficient online detection method using AI-based image classification to differentiate between regular operation and flooding is presented. An image showing one of these two states is evaluated in 0.043 seconds/image with a​ validation accuracy of 99.81%. Flooding is indicated by the non-uniform appearance of the liquid-liquid interphase (at the green arrow) and could reliably be found within this image time series.

Moreover, the size of the droplets can also be evaluated within three classes, small, medium and large-sized drops. The obtained results are utilized to develop a smart sensor that can control the column based on the image analysis.

Contact: L. Neuendorf


August 2021 – Additive manufacturing for Spinning Band Distillation segments

Distillation is one of the most frequently used separation steps in process engineering.

A modular continuously operated spinning band distillation column for small product amounts was developed and characterized regarding operating window and separation efficiency. More information can be found under March 2018 – “Lab-scaled continuous operated spinning band column”. The column can be used either for first product amounts within a small-scale production or as feasibility studies for distillation in a scale-up context with small amounts of resources, energy and time. With additive manufacturing, a special internal segment fabricated allowing for feed input at the top of the spinning band. The feed stream is guided through the central bore and can be fed at a variable position. A simple exchange of the outlet segment can change the feed point adjusted to changing inlet concentrations.

L. Bittorf, N. Böttger, D. Neumann, A. Winter, N. Kockmann, Characterization of an automated spinning band column as a module for laboratory distillation, Chem. Eng. & Technol., accepted paper, July 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/ceat.202000602


July 2021 – Successful completion of the Hackathon

On Tuesday, June 16th, the Hackathon challenge as well as the two winning solutions were presented live at the Achema Pulse. Out of 14 submissions 13 teams were able to solve the challenge quite well. The highly motivated winner teams stood out with an efficient artificial intelligence (AI) solution and a specially developed preprocessing routine. Thus they were able to solve the challenge with over 99 % accuracy and in just two seconds for over 3000 beforehand unseen test images.


June 2021 - Contributions to the Journal of Flow Chemistry

The Laboratory of Equipment Design contributes to the Special Issue „Engineering Aspects of Flow Chemistry“ in the Springer Journal „Journal of Flow Chemistry“ with 4 full papers and one perspective. The featured articles demonstrate the diversity of research activities in the Laboratory of Equipment Design in the field of flow chemistry. Topics range from continuous ultrasound nucleation and crystallization (1), self-optimization of yield and by-product formation (2), and tomographic investigation of Dean flow (3) to continuous reaction calorimetry (4) and investigations on mass transfer and bubble break up in micronozzles (5).


  1. Schmalenberg, M., Weick, L.K. & Kockmann, N. Nucleation in continuous flow cooling sonocrystallization for coiled capillary crystallizers. J Flow Chem (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41981-020-00138-x
  2. Fath, V. Lau, P. Greve, C. Weller, P. Kockmann, N. Röder, T. Simultaneous self-optimisation of yield and by-product formation through successive combination of inline FT-IR spectroscopy and online mass spectrometry. J Flow Chem (2021).  (in press)
  3. Schuler, J., Herath, J. & Kockmann, N. 3D investigations of microscale mixing in helically coiled capillaries. J Flow Chem (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41981-021-00161-6
  4. Frede, T.A., Dietz, M. & Kockmann, N. Software-guided microscale flow calorimeter for efficient acquisition of thermokinetic data. J Flow Chem (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41981-021-00145-6
  5. Reichmann, F. Herath, J. Mensing, L. Kockmann N. Gas-liquid mass transfer intensification for bubble generation and breakup in micronozzles.  J Flow Chem (2021). (in press)

Contact: M. Schmalenberg, J. Schuler, T.A. Frede, N. Kockmann


Mai 2021 - Doctoral examination at AD

We congratulate Verena Fath on the successful completion of her doctoral examination. Ms. Fath investigated the application of complex reactions in microreactors in her dissertation "Continuous Processing of Complex Chemical Reactions with Autonomous Self Optimization".

We would like to thank her for the time with us and wish her all the best for the future.


April 2021 - 10 years of Equipment Design at BCI

On Friday, April 1, 2011 the newly appointed professor started his job at the TU Dortmund. In a car with trailer almost 30 moving boxes with books and work equipment were loaded, which were brought up to the designated offices with the help of Mr. Kerzel and the mechanical workshop. A laptop had already been prepared by RBG so that the central servers and the new printer could also be accessed. This was possible because various meetings at the TU Dortmund and at INVITE in Leverkusen had already taken place during the preparation phase. Thus, the building department of the TU was already involved in the run-up because of the laboratory rebuilding.

On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, the first exercise on "Apparatus Technology for Bio- and Chemical Engineers" took place, followed by the first lecture on April 7, 2011, in front of about 180 students.



March 2021 – Good Start into the KEEN Hackathon – Registration still open

The Kickoff event into the KEEN Hackathon with over 100 attendees provided a good start into the two Hackathon challenges. The first one is conducted by ABB and deals with the development of smart data cleaning solutions. The second one is provided by ApparateDesign TU Dortmund and deals with image classification in an extraction column. Here two operating states, regulary operation and flooding, an unwanted, faulty state of the extraction column should be recognized by AI. The participants can choose which kind of AI they want to use in the problem in order to classify images of these two operating states. Labelled image data sets, one for testing, one for validation are provided. The submitted solutions should be in the programming languages Python or R. Registration is still open for all data scientists, machine learners, process engineers, process technicians and programming-savvy STEM students until May 4th.

Final submission is May 11th and the finalists teams get to pitch their solution at the ACHEMA Pulse with a chance to win up to 1500 €

Further information and registration: https://www.achema.de/en/the-achema/innovation-challenge/keen-challenge

Contact: L. Neuendorf

bdm_03_21_KEEN Challenge

February 2021 - Efficient Shortcut Method for Determining the Process Window in Stirred‐Pulsed Extraction Columns

Recent studies showed the superior separation performance of stirred‐pulsed columns of different diameters in liquid‐liquid extraction processes. Here, an efficient shortcut method will be presented, which is time and resource‐efficient as well as cost‐effective to determine the operational window of these columns for industrial separation tasks. Savings in time of less experiments and costs of materials consumption can be estimated with up to 30 %. The presented method is particularly suitable before the application of new chemical systems, which are particularly cost‐intensive and scarce in material supply.

Contact: M. Schmalenberg, T. A. Frede

Corresponding publication: M. Schmalenberg, T. A. Frede, C. Mathias, N. Kockmann, Chemie Ingenieur Technik, Efficient Shortcut Method for Determining the Process Window in Stirred‐Pulsed Extraction Columns, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1002/cite.202000066


January 2021 – Bionic optimization of pressure Vessel Support Structures

The use of lightweight structures with bionic designs have made their way into the fields of architecture and aeronautics. An example for bionic optimization methods is the topology optimization, which is inspired by the growth behavior of bones. In this optimization the SIMP (solid isotropic material with penalization) method is used. In a oversized design space material is removed and distributed according to the loads of a reference model. The comparison of FEM simulation results of design approaches developed by topology optimization with standard designs by guidelines (e.g. DIN, AD2000, ASME) show lower masses and higher stiffness of topology optimized support structures. Especially in the region of linear-elastic material behavior bionic support structures have superior characteristics in the form of stresses and masses.

Contact: Daniel Becker

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Photo of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Kockmann

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Kockmann

Telephone: 0231 755-8077
Fax: 0231 755-8084


Technische Universität Dortmund
Fakultät Bio- und Chemieingenieurwesen
Arbeitsgruppe ApparateDesign
Geschossbau 3

Room 511