Process Innovation & Green Innovation Stages

10 June 2024 |16:30 - 17:00 | EKATO Drying Solution for recovering...


Drying solution for recovering of black mass and electrolyte solvents

Mixing and drying technology are classic basic operations in mechanical process engineering. They are widely used in the process industry and is “at home” in almost every process chain. However, processes are changing. Sustainability, efficiency and CO2 footprint are the signs of the times. Agitator technology must also find an answer to this. With its battery recycling solutions, EKATO demonstrates how agitated process steps are already on the way to forming the backbone of new, sustainable technologies. Because only with safe, efficient lithium battery recycling can the cycle for tomorrow’s sustainable mobility be closed.

Speaker: Georg von Blumenthal  (EKATO SYSTEMS)

How to Optimize your Agitated Process – A Holistic View

Optimizing agitated processes, in particular energy reduction, still provides significant potentials.

First, you would think about more efficient impellers, maybe about electrical motors with a higher efficiency class.

These measures are a first step, however, there are much more options to investigate.

One point is to check the specific power per volume. Since many process designs refer back years and decades, they are often not questioned. Sometimes it is even required to change the mixing set up for a scale up rather than increasing the power.

The product data like viscosity, density or particle sizes could include higher safety margins than required. This combination can lead to higher installed power than actually required; hence significant savings are possible.

Further potential improvements can be found in the interaction of agitator and vessel, i.e., arrangement of inlet-/outlet pipes, baffles, coils etc.

Finally, a good mechanical design is crucial to avoid down times and hence loss of production.

The presentation will include examples for process optimizations, but also possible root causes of mechanical failure. All will be illustrated by CFDs, Finite Element Analysis, videos, pictures, and drawings.

Speaker: Sven Hanselmann (EKATO RMT)

Scale-up and Design of Gassed, Stirred Fermenters for Power-to-X Processes

There are various new fermentation processes capable of converting CO2 and H2 into methane or proteins, also known as power-to-gas and power-to-protein processes. CO2 is gained from CO2 rich gas streams (e.g. biogas) and H2 is obtained through electrodialysis using excess renewable energy.


Gassed, stirred fermenters are well suited for these processes and many scale-up strategies and challenges are identical to those known from traditional aerobic fermenters. However, the almost complete utilization of the gas components and the very poor solubility of hydrogen in the fermentation broth represent new challenges that must be considered when designing the fermenter and agitator system. Many of these processes are still being developed on a laboratory and pilot scale with only few processes already operating in smaller production scale. Further increasing the fermenter volume can help benefit from economies of scale. This presentation covers challenges for the scale-up of such fermenters and possible solutions. Apart from the geometric design of the fermenter, the proper agitation technology plays a crucial role in process optimization as the scale increases.

Speaker: Klaus Gezork (EKATO RMT)

10 June 2024 | 14:00 - 14:30 | Mixing in world scale plants

Mixing in world scale plants

The cost benefit of the “Economies of scale” led in some industrial production processes to a more than tenfold increase in reactor volume over the past 35 years. The presentation highlights this trend with the focus on three industrial examples – PET production, pressure oxidizing in the mining industry and fermentation. It gives background information about the current trend and shows industrial examples of the worlds’ largest plants, often referred to as “world scale” plants with their specific characteristics, challenges and mixing and engineering solution.

The biggest challenge process engineer’s face is the design transfer from pilot scale to a volumetrically often 100 – 1000 times larger world scale plant. With increased performance levels, they require more intense operating conditions with extreme pressure and temperature (high or low), corrosive and abrasive process media and higher power input by rotating equipment.

To realize such world-scale plants on a safety level in process and mechanical terms, an interdisciplinary team is required including chemists, process, mechanical and plant engineers. They use advanced experimental methods together with numerical tools such as CFD – (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and FEM- (Finite Element Method) simulations.

Speaker: Wolfgang Keller (EKATO RMT)

How to translate your process into mixing tasks

A lot of unit operations in process industry involve the use of agitators or impellers to impart motion to the materials being processed. This ensures that the final product meets specific quality and consistency standards. In order to find the right mixing equipment for the corresponding process, it is necessary to derive the process specific mixing tasks – like e.g. blending, suspending or the dispersion of a gas inside a liquid.


Key considerations in mixing tasks include the choice of agitation equipment, mixing speed, and the properties of the materials being processed. The efficiency of the mixing process is crucial for achieving desired product characteristics, such as particle size distribution, viscosity, and chemical composition.


Optimizing mixing tasks can enhance production efficiency, reduce processing time, and improve product quality. It requires a thorough understanding of the materials involved, as well as the design and operation of the agitated system.


Another challenge on the way to a commercial agitated process is maintaining consistent mixing performance, as the hydrodynamics can change with scale. Achieving similar flow patterns, residence times, and shear rates becomes more complex as vessel dimensions increase. Additionally, issues related to heat transfer, mass transfer, and the potential for non-uniform mixing at larger scales must be carefully addressed to ensure the successful scale-up of the agitated process.


This talk shows basic design principles for industrial agitators – and how to select suitable equipment for different agitated processes.

Speaker: Bernd Nienhaus (EKATO RMT)

From pilot units to commercial scale agitated photoreactors

Photochemistry by harnessing light-induced reactions to drive chemical processes, has emerged as a powerful tool for sustainable and environmentally friendly industrial applications.


The foundation of photochemical processes lies in the absorption of light by photoactive molecules, leading to the initiation of chemical reactions. Understanding the intricate interplay between the reactor design, mixing task, photon flux and reaction kinetics is crucial for the successful scale-up of photochemical processes. Accurate data acquisition and process monitoring are also indispensable for the successful scale-up of photochemical processes.


Therefore, EKATO RMT and Peschl Ultraviolet have developed the MPDS-EVO, a specific multi-purpose, pilot-scale batch photoreactor with an EKATO impeller system. By using the MPDS-EVO as mini-plant technology in the lab, it is now possible to determine all photo-chemically relevant process parameters in a structured and reproducible way under defined mixing conditions. Only with the fundamental process parameters obtained using this equipment can the feasibility and costs of photochemical processes be properly assessed (CAPEX / OPEX). By use of the unique and easily up-scaled radiation sources with stepless power regulation and EKATO’s long-standing expertise in replicating mixing conditions in different scale, it is simple to translate the process into commercial scale. Photochemical reactions which are already performed in industrial scale can be traced and afterwards optimised.

As advancements continue to drive the field forward, the integration of photochemistry into mainstream industrial practices holds significant promise for a greener and more sustainable future.

Speaker: Christopher Jones (EKATO RMT)