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AIChE meeting 2023


This week our group visited the anual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), in sunny Orlando. It was a great opportunity to meet our colleagues from oversees, and see their exciting work. Plus a nice getaway from the Dutch autumn weather!



NPS18@UTwente was a great event to reconnect with our colleagues from the other universities. Amazing talks by Andrea Ramirez Ramirez and Hans Hasse (TU Kaiserslautern). Plus we got to take a peek at Wim Brilman’s Direct Air Capture pilot set-up, very exciting!

Trondheim Conference on Carbon Capture, Transport and Storage


The 12th Trondheim Conference on Carbon Capture, Transport and Storage TCCS12, organised by SINTEF and NTNU was a great place to talk everything CCS. Great talk by Marco Mazzotti, showing us the reality of the scale discrepancy between the fossil industry and the current CCS efforts. And of course, Norway is not at all a bad place to be, beautiful!

Greetings from Portugal!


Greetings from the beautiful and sunny Portugal! We are in Aveiro, for the Biopartitioning and Purification conference BPP 2022. I am presenting my work on CFD-DEM simulation of Expanded Bed Adsorption, showcasing to the biotechnology community what we can do with advanced numerical methods. A big thanks to the organisation!



The past two days we have been at NPS17. NPS is always a great opportunity to catch up with out Dutch colleagues. Thanks to the organising committee!


A new chapter!


An exciting new chapter has opened up! I am joining the Process & Energy department at the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE), as an assistant professor on the hydrodynamics and thermodynamics of carbon capture and conversion process. As I am convinced of the utmost importance of battling climate change, I will be focusing my research on Direct Air Capture and negative emission processes. I am grateful for the confidence the department has vested in me, and excited for the work that lies ahead!

Talking to high schoolers on STEM


Today I got the chance to go back to my old high school, and to the students about what it means to study in a STEM field. It is a lot of fun to see familiar faces and places, and to inspire the next generation of brilliant scientists!

Hora est!


The end of an era for me, and the start of a new one! Today I defended my PhD thesis Dynamic behaviour of liquid-solid systems: Modelling and experiments applied to the blast furnace hearth. My gratitude goes out the committee members Niels Deen (TU/e), Martin van Sint Annaland (TU/e), Johan Padding (TU Delft), prof.dr. Stefan Pirker (JKU Linz), and prof.dr. Jonathan Seville (University of Birmingham), and of course my promotors Kay Buist and Hans Kuipers.

Journey into Biotechnology


As of today I am starting an exciting new journey! I am joining the group of prof.dr. Marcel Ottens at the department of Biotechnology in TU Delft. We will be working on understanding the hydrodynamics of Expanded Bed Adsorption. This is a novel down-stream processing method for biopharmaceutical products, where the clarification of the fermentation broth and capture of the target protein is combined in a single step. Using coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Method, we will investigate how the chromatographic resin beads move through the column, and how that will impact separation performance.


New projects: Jop and Saartje


This month, two students are starting their master’s projects! Jop is part of the Energy, Flow and Process Technology master, and will perform a feasibility study on moisture-swing CO2 capture for gas-fertilisation in greenhouses. Saartje comes from the Sustainable Energy Technology, and will investigate a new process route for integrated Direct Air Capture and CO2 electrolysis, in collaboration with Iris Burgers, Ruud Kortlever, and Earl Goetheer.

New project: Sebastiaan


This month, Sebastiaan is starting his PhD project. He will look into the design and operation of air contactor devices for Direct Air Capture. We will perform multi-physics simulation of the coupled flow, heat transfer, and mass transfer to understand how we can improve the energy efficiency of these devices.


Parametric design study on Expanded Bed Adsorption


In this second article from my postdoc in biotechnology, we performed a parametric survey of column and material design parameters for an Expanded Bed Adsorption process. We found expected, but also plenty of unexpected behaviour. For example, we saw these slow swirling motions in the bed, which became more stable at increased viscosity. A big thanks to my co-authors, Johan Padding and Marcel Ottens!

New reconstruction method for Magnetic Particle Tracking


Magnetic Particle Tracking is an inexpensive, non-intrusive method for measuring particle behaviour in dense systems. However, reconstruction of data, i.e. obtaining the particle position from the sensor readings is quite a challenge because of non-linearities. Resulting from a little Friday afternoon discussion, Kay Buist and I developed a new algorithm for this. Our method relies almost entirely on algebraic steps, making it much quicker than previous numerical methods.

Short communication: lubrication forces


Lubrication forces massively impact the collisions of immersed particles, but how can we account for that in an unresolved simulation? That is the question Johan Padding, Marcel Ottens and I asked ourselves, but we could not find a coherent answer in the literature! That is why we wrote this short communication A note on the modelling of lubrication forces in unresolved simulations, in which we provide a unified method based on physics and previous experimental results.

Last PhD paper out!


The last paper from my PhD work is available online today! Large-scale VOF/CFD-DEM simulation of blast furnace hearth dynamics got published in journal of the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan (ISIJ). We performed CFD-DEM simulations of the bottom part of the blast furnace, unique in their complexity and scale. Using the Dutch national supercomputer, we were able to simulate a 10m diameter furnace, involving over 4,000,000 particles, gas/liquid flow, mass and heat transfer. This truly gives us a unique look into the furnace.