Process intensification is an engineering technique that aims to make conventional chemical processes greener, more productive and more cost-effective. Dr. Daria Camilla Boffito, Canada Research Chair in Engineering Process Intensification and Catalysis, is working to close the technology gap between process intensification and catalysis (the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a substance). She and her research team are trying to decrease the footprint and cost of chemical reactions and analyze the economic performance of these disruptive technologies.
To achieve these goals, they are looking for synergies between catalysts and intensified processes to minimize energy input and reactor size (and increase productivity); developing methods to measure the velocity of fluids; proposing a new approach to calculating process intensification factors; and developing realistic models that take into account the immaturity of electrical grid technology. They hope to speed up the adoption of process intensification technologies in the market. Ultimately, these technologies could be used by small-scale, renewable-based plants in developing countries.