Kevin M. Van Geem - OPTIMA

Kevin Van Geem



Kevin Van Geem (full professor) is member of the Laboratory for Chemical Technology of Ghent University. Thermochemical reaction engineering in general and in particular the transition from fossil to renewable resources are his main research interests. He is a former Fulbright Research Scholar of MIT and directs the Pilot plant for steam cracking and pyrolysis. He is the author of more than a hundred scientific publications and has recently started his own spin-off company.
He is involved in the on-line and off-line analysis of complex petrochemical and biochemical samples using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. Pyrolysis, detailed kinetic modeling, process, scale-up, modeling, and anti-fouling technology belong to his main expertise.

Process intensification and Innovation in Olefin Production by Multiscale Analysis and design (OPTIMA)

This project focuses on process intensification for turbulent reacting systems, one of the most challenging problems in chemical engineering and fluid dynamics due to the complex and highly non-linear interaction between the flow motion and the chemistry. The applications will be focused on the olefin production via steam cracking and Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM).

-    OPTIMA will produce high-quality data on heat and mass transfer for the targeted processes.
-    OPTIMA will develop and demonstrate the first validated 3D multiscale modelling framework based on first principles, in which turbulence, chemistry, and turbulence-chemistry interaction are properly accounted for.
-    OPTIMA will drive innovation by implementing automated geometry improvement and optimization.
-    OPTIMA will build the first proof of concept integrated rotor reactor where OCM and pyrolysis are cleverly combined for valorising methane, potentially revolutionising the petrochemical industry.

OPTIMA will be a major game changer for the chemical industry as it is today. It could transform the petrochemical industry by valorizing methane and converting it to a platform molecule through OCM. Not only will this result in energy savings per ton olefin produced compared to the current state of the art, but it will also reduce the European dependence on crude oil because natural gas or biogas will be used instead. This will be driven by a unique modelling framework that will allow to go way beyond the considered applications.

Publications: Biblio