Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action RISE - OPTIMAL


optimal.jpgMarie Skłodowska-Curie Action OPTIMAL


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action “Smart and CO2 neutral Olefin Production by arTificial Intelligence and MAchine Learning” (OPTIMAL) is a project is to develop and maintain long term collaborations between Europe and China towards CO2 neutral Olefin production. There are 12 partners involved in OPTIMAL with 3 industrial partners. These partners are world leading in their respective research areas. There will be 28 experienced and 35 early stage researchers participating in OPTIMAL with exchange visits of 262 person months. Funding of €772,800 will be requested from European Commission to support these planned secondments. The project is coordinated by prof. M. Wang (University of Sheffield, UK) and will run from January 2021 to January 2025.

Project description

The main aim of OPTIMAL is to exchange and develop the researchers, to build and strengthen long term collaborations between the universities and industries in the Europe and China and to train future research leaders and to increase Europe’s competiveness by carrying out joint researches in big data, artificial intelligence, carbon capture and CO2 utilisation for ethylene plants through individual mobility of researchers. This objective will be reached by carrying out joint research in big data and artificial intelligence (AI) for ethylene plants integrated with carbon capture and CO2 utilisation. Specifically this requires a universal set of skills and assets such as pilot scale experimental study, process modelling and analysis, optimisation, catalysis and reaction kinetics that will be strengthened by the individual mobility of researchers between Europe and China.

The European beneficiaries are experts at catalysis, CO2 utilisation, intensified carbon capture, reaction mechanism and kinetics & CFD studies, hybrid modelling, molecular simulation and dynamic optimisation, whilst the Chinese partners are experts at exergy analysis, process control and optimisation, solvent-based carbon capture & data-driven model development, deep reinforced learning based model free control, intelligent predictive control, physics-based reduced order model development, soft exergy sensor development and optimisation under uncertainty.


These are the objectives of OPTIMAL:

  • to develop and strengthen research partnership between the universities and industries in Europe and China through staff exchanges and networking activities;
  • to support the partners to establish and reinforce long-term research cooperation through a coordinated joint programme of exchanging researchers
  • to help attract the best researchers from China to Europe and to establish a balanced transfer of knowledge and skills between Europe and China
  • to enhance the training, mobility and career development of European and Chinese researchers

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University represented by Laboratory of Chemical Technology led by Prof. Van Geem will play a significant role in work packages 1, 3, 5 and is committed to:

  1. Perform CFD study of combustion inside thermal cracking furnace validated against experimental pilot scale and industrial data and determine coking trends and impact of high emissivity coatings on heat transfer efficiency and system energy balance
  2. Carry out experimental study of the super-dry reforming (SR) of CO2 with methane process at lab and pilot scale (LCT has a lab-scale experimental rig now and is also building a pilot scale experimental rig).


ContactKevin Van Geem1.png

Prof. Kevin Van Geem
Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Phone number: +32 9 264 55 97