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In the chemical industry the demand of more flexible apparatuses and innovative production concepts offering significant improvements in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability increased remarkably in recent years. To meet this demand different approaches basing on the application of alternative or additional forms of energy or on the change and improvement of structural parameters are investigated. Rotating packed beds (RPB) address both approaches by applying a centrifugal field to improve the performance of mass transfer processes. Advantages are modularity, high flexibility, intense mass transfer and very compact design resulting in potential savings in operation and investment costs.

In a counter-currently operated RPB gas flows through the annular rotating packing from the outside to the middle of the rotor. Liquid is sprayed into the eye of the rotor and flows counter-currently to the gas outwards driven by the centrifugal movement. The corresponding increase in buoyance force allows for higher gas velocities, causing higher turbulence and smaller droplets or gas bubbles with higher interfacial area without flooding, thereby intensifying the mass and energy transfer within and between the phases. Direct benefits are the increased performance, the enlargement of the operating window, the flexibility of the rotational speed and therefore of the separation efficiency, and the high capacity at a very compact design.

The aim of the ROTOR research group is to gain a fundamental understanding of RPBs by systematic and standardised characterisation experiments. On basis of the research results the equipment design is further developed and improved.










Counter-current Gas absorption/stripping



Characterisation of the RPB technology by quantifying of the influence of design and operational parameters on capacity and separation efficiency. The experimental results are compared and evaluated with literature data to understand machine and technology related effects.

Operational parameters: Gas and liquid loads, rotational speed

Design parameters: Rotor diameter, packing volume, packing type


Current research activities

  • Absorption/Stripping experiments
  • Development of new packings


Contact Person: M.Sc. Rouven Loll



Thermal management, Distillation & Evaporation



The thermal management in the compact design of RPBs is a challenge and demands innovative rotor and packing concepts. The objective of this research is to evaluate the influence of design and operational parameters on heat management in RPBs and to improve the performance of RPBs for distillation and evaporation applications. Therefore theoretical modelling and simulation of the operations will be done and experiments are planned and conducted to provide the required data for performance improvement.


Current research activities

  • Experimental investigation of evaporative cooling in RPBs
  • Preparation of distillation experiments in RPBs


Contact Person: M.Sc. Tobias Pyka