Joris Thybaut - SERENiTi

Description of the PI Joris Thybaut

Joris W. Thybaut (°1975, Ghent Belgium) is full professor in catalytic reaction engineering at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology at Ghent University since October 2014. He obtained his master's degree in chemical engineering in 1998 at the same university, where he continued his PhD studies on single-event microkinetic (SEMK) modeling of hydrocracking and hydrogenation. In 2003 he went to the 'Institut des Recherches sur la Catalyse' in Lyon, France, for a postdoc on high throughput experimentation, before being appointed in 2005 at Ghent University.

Today, prof. Thybaut is heading the Catalytic Reaction Engineering (CaRE) research group, comprising about 15 junior researchers and post-docs, within the Laboratory for Chemical Technology at Ghent University. Prof. Thybaut and his group actively investigate a variety of large-scale industrial reactions and more particularly, the rational design of the corresponding catalysts as well as of the reactors in which the corresponding reactions are exploited. Ideal gas phase reactions as well as strongly non-ideal liquid phase reactions are addressed. Research projects range from bilateral contracts with industry up to government funded large scale integrated projects. Prof. Thybaut holds an ERC consolidator grant to innovate the SEMK methodology and use it in the framework of renewable, oxygen containing feeds. The development of software supporting the automation of (micro)kinetic model development is one of the key aspects in this respect. More recently, as part of bilateral collaborations the scope of the investigated chemistry is further being extended towards inorganic reactions. Major efforts also go into VOC elimination using various oxidizing agents and conditions.


Description of the project SERENiTi

The microKinetic Engine (μKE), i.e., an existing user-friendly software for steady-state simulation purposes which is ready for commercialization, will find a totally new application area by incorporating the ability to account for important transient occurrences commonly encountered in industry, e.g., startup, shutdown and perturbations of the continuous flow reactor operation. The implementation of a transient solution strategy will also render the software more robust, even for steady-state simulations. It will allow a smoother, more ‘serene’ evolution towards the mathematical solution of the set of equations describing the simulated process/reaction. Regarding reaction kinetics determination, implementing the possibility of transient kinetic data analysis will provide a deeper insight into the underlying reaction mechanism. Catalyst deactivation, as an inevitable transient phenomenon, will be explained and addressed either in a global manner, or even in terms of microkinetics, i.e., elementary reaction steps.