ITTC Project

Enhanced Scalability of Chemical Processes through Narrow-Gap Architectures

Project Award Date: 0000-00-00


For the past century, chemical production facilities have been built by the same construction methods with only incremental improvements through the decades. Processing is largely linear with sequential vessels connected by pipes. This project challenges this approach to construction of chemical processes on the basis that there are better methodologies and approaches available.

The proposed narrow-gap module approach is a massively parallel and modular approach to chemical process construction. Unit operations are designed in architectures comprised of plates and gaskets fastened face-to-face. Processing is achieved by narrow-gap architecture scaled up through the use of banks of modules. Use of these modules has the potential to greatly improve cost and production efficiency of chemical processing facilities.

This team will demonstrate the concept of narrow-gap modules, identify areas for needed technology advancement, and set in motion a program that could permanently advance the chemical industry. The goals of this program are (1) to construct a working module demonstrating the concept and illustrating the narrow-gap approach as superior to traditional process architecture, and (2) to evaluate and develop processes unique to the architecture, such as porous-media-based plug flow reactors, membrane integration, and fluid flow networking.

The narrow-gap module architecture can be applied to the modularization of entire chemical process plants as well as the modularization of portions of large and complex facilities. This module will be demonstrated using the water-gas shift reaction.


Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): NSF

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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