The opportunities in biomass conversion that we aim to address include obtaining the true reaction kinetics, and exploring fundamental areas related to mass transport. Microfluidics allow for intrinsic kinetics studies, due to the well-defined convection and diffusion behavior. Typical biomass conversions include multi step and multi component reactions. Surface heterogeneity, both geometrically as well as chemically, influence fluid dynamics and mass transport near the catalytic surface. We need to understand these influences in great detail on the nano- and microscopic level, in order to couple them to the largest scales in the flow. To obtain information, we propose to experimentally probe the fluid dynamics (momentum transport) and concentration profiles (mass transport) on varying length scales. We aim to obtain relations between interfacial characteristics and boundary layer mass transport, as to allow for effective interface design.
Project leader: Prof. Rob Lammertink