Environmental and Process Engineering Research Group (ENVPROCENG)

About the lab


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Research fields:

Petroleum technologies
Waste management technologies
Waste recycling technologies
Industrial chemistry
Environmental technologies
Carbon Capture and Utilization
Sewage treatment technologies
Organic chemistry technologies
Inorganic chemical technologies
Chemical technology
Green chemistry
Integrated process design
Life cycle assessment
Membrane techniques
Distillation and absorption
Biofuel, bioenergy
Vapour-liquid equilibria

Featured projects (1)

1. Comparison and evaluation of separation processes 2. Model development of separation processes and validation in flowsheet environment 3. Dynamic modelling and exergy analysis of separation processes 4. Comprehensive evaluation of separation processes 5. Improving the optimisation of separation processes Subproject between 09.2017-09.2020: Development of liquid waste treatment in the circular economy (János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) Subproject between 09.2018-06.2019: Study of liquid waste treatment processes to design the best practicing technologies (ÚNKP Bolyai+ Higher Education Young Researcher Scholarship) Subproject between 09.2019-06.2020: Comparison of process wastewater treatment methods: distillation and membrane processes (ÚNKP Bolyai+ Higher Education Young Researcher Scholarship) Subproject between 07.2020-06.2021: Development of modelling of separation processes in process simulator environment (National Talent Program – Scholarship for Young Talents of the Nation) Subproject between 05.2021-08.2021: Evaluation of process wastewater treatment processes by life cycle assessment (Tempus Public Foundation – Hungarian State Eotvos Scholarship) Subproject between 07.2021-06.2022: Investigation of competitive membrane operations in the chemical industry: development of pervaporation method (National Talent Program – Scholarship for Young Talents of the Nation) Subproject between 01.2022-12.2022: Comparative evaluation of process wastewater treatment methods: separation methods and incineration (Scientific Patronage Program (Subprogram 1))

Featured research (6)

The chemical process design always includes the controllability investigation of the different design alternatives. An old-new energy integrated alternative for the reduction of the energy consumption of distillation column is the so called dividing-wall columns. There are some new structures where the dividing wall is positioned to the lower or the upper part of a single distillation column. Such a design can replace two columns saving capital and utility costs, in certain cases. In this work dividing-wall columns with upper and lower partitions (DWCs) are investigated and compared. The controllability analysis methodology uses the Control Design Interface (CDI) module of Aspen Dynamics to obtain the state space representation of the studied systems. On the basis of the state-space matrices, the frequency dependent controllability indices are calculated with Matlab. The work includes the examination of the conventional distillation column sequences like direct and indirect ones and two DWCs systematically generated from the corresponding conventional sequences. The separation of ternary alcohol mixtures are completed with different eases of separation. Results obtained show that conventional distillation sequences have more favorable controllability features than those of the DWCs in the cases of the separation of mixtures with symmetrical ease of split. In the cases of such alcohol mixtures where the separation shows non-symmetrical ease, the indirect separation the DWC with lower partition shows practically similar controllability features than those of the corresponding conventional sequence. The work presents that the controllability investigation influences the process design activity of chemical engineers.
The exfoliation method was applied for the preparation of high-water selective mixed matrix membranes (MMMs), especially for the dehydration of C1−C3 alcohol−water solutions. Herein, a facile and easy method was employed to fabricate physically cross-linked Laponite nanosilicate clay−PVA MMMs without additional cross-linking by a one-step synthesis route for water dehydration from methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol aqueous solutions. The morphologies, chemical structures, thermal stabilities, and surface hydrophilicity of Laponite−PVA MMMs were investigated properly by different characterization techniques. The Laponite concentration has affected the fractional free volume of the membranes, as proven by positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy analysis. The MMMs displayed both a significant improvement in the separation factor and remarkable enhancement in the permeation fluxes for the three alcohol systems. The influence of the operating temperature on the MMM performance was investigated for the methanol/water solution. The methanol permeability was 100-fold lower than that of the water, indicating that the membranes are more water selective. Particularly, the Laponite−PVA membrane with 5 mg/mL Laponite loading exhibits excellent separation efficiency for C1−C3 dehydration having water permeabilities higher than most other polymeric membranes from the other literature studies of 2.82, 2.08, and 1.56 mg m −1 h −1 kPa −1 for methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol/water systems, respectively. This membrane development allows a more efficient and sustainable separation of aqueous alcoholic mixtures.
It can be stated that in the fine chemical industries, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, large amounts of liquid waste and industrial waste solvents are generated during the production technology. Addressing these is a key issue because their disposal often accounts for the largest proportion of the cost of the entire technology. There is need to develop regeneration processes that are financially beneficial to the plant and, if possible, reuse the liquid waste in the spirit of a circular economy, in a particular technology, or possibly elsewhere. The distillation technique proves to be a good solution in many cases, but in the case of mixtures with high water content and few volatile components, this process is often not cost-effective due to its high steam consumption, and in the case of azeotropic mixtures there are separation constraints. In the present work, the membrane process considered as an alternative; pervaporation is demonstrated through the treatment of low alcohol (methanol and ethanol) aqueous mixtures. Alcohol-containing process wastewaters were investigated in professional process simulator environment with user-added pervaporation modules. Eight different methods were built up in ChemCAD flowsheet simulator: organophilic pervaporation (OPV), hydrophilic pervaporation (HPV), hydrophilic pervaporation with recirculation (R-HPV), dynamic organophilic pervaporation (Dyn-OPV), dynamic hydronophilic pervaporation (Dyn-HPV), hybrid distillation-organophilic pervaporation (D + OPV), hybrid distillation-hydrophilic pervaporation (D + HPV), and finally hybrid distillation-hydrophilic pervaporation with recirculation (R-D + HPV). It can be stated the last solution in line was the most suitable in the terms of composition, however distillation of mixture with high water content has significant heat consumption. Furthermore, the pervaporation supplemented with dynamic tanks is not favourable due to the high recirculation rate in the case of tested mixtures and compositions.
There are different factors and indices to characterize the performance of a pervaporation membrane, but none of them gives information about their capabilities in the area of liquid separation compared to the most convenient alternative, which is distillation. Membrane flash index (MFLI) can be considered the first and only one that shows if the membrane is more efficient or not than distillation and quantifies this feature too. Therefore, the MFLI helps select the best separation alternative in the case of process design. In this study, the evaluation and capabilities of membrane flash index are comprehensively investigated in the cases of six aqueous mixtures: methyl alcohol−water, ethyl alcohol−water, isobutyl alcohol−water, tetrahydrofuran−water, N-butyl alcohol− water, and isopropanol−water. It must be concluded that the separation capacity of organophilic type membranes is remarkably lower than hydrophilic membranes in all cases of separation. The study of the MFLI is extended with the consideration of other binary interaction parameters like separation factor, permeation flux, selectivity, and pervaporation separation index (PSI) in order to find a descriptive relationship between them. For the same membrane material type, descriptive function can be determined between feed concentration and MFLI and PSI and separation factor, which can be used to calculate each other's value. On the basis of the indices and especially the MFLI, a significant help can be given to the process design engineer to select the right liquid separation alternative and, in the case of pervaporation, find the most appropriate membrane.
Thermal crosslinking sequential method applied for DN-PVAs generation efficiently. The swelling measurements investigated that the hydrophilicity of the membrane decreases because of the collaboration of the second thermal crosslinked PVA matrix. The dehydration performance of ethanol solution showed improved using the thermal crosslinked double network PVA membrane. The pervaporation dehydration of the water-ethanol mixture was investigated at different conditions. The separation selectivity showed a significant improvement, while the permeation flux declines due to the incorporation of the second PVA network under 95 % ethanol and at 40 °C. Increasing the feed temperature enhanced the permeability of the membrane, while decreasing the water content in the feed resulted in an increase in the selectivity. The overall results showed that, at high operating temperature and high ethanol concentration in the feed, the prepared membranes are highly selective towards the water with reasonable fluxes values. The influence of temperature permeation parameter and diffusion coefficient of the feed component is also discussed. The negative heat of sorption (∆H s) values calculated on the basis of the estimated Arrhenius activation energy values indicates that the sorption process is controlled by Langmuir's mode.

Lab head

Peter Mizsey
  • Institute of Chemistry Department of Fine Chemicals and Environmntal Technologies
About Peter Mizsey
  • Peter Mizsey currently works at University of Miskolc and Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Their current project is 'Capture of CO2 from biogases and industrial flue gases' and 'Storage of fluctuating renewable energies with flexible methods: energy and raw materials'

Members (6)

Andras Jozsef Toth
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Eniko Haaz
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Daniel Fozer
  • Technical University of Denmark
Tibor Nagy
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Huyen Trang Do Thi
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Ayshan Khalafli
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Huyen Trang Do Thi
Huyen Trang Do Thi
  • Not confirmed yet

Alumni (2)

Tamas Benko
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Máté Haragovics
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics