We use microdevices to understand separation processes, and processes related to multi-phase products. The underlying mechanisms are explored at micro-meter scale, and novel technology that is intrinsically more energy efficient, and less raw material consuming, is designed from first principles, which special attention for (dynamic) interfaces (together with Claire Berton-Carabin).
Membranes (and other microstructures) can be used for various purposes, such as separation, which is the traditional application for membranes, but also for formation of emulsions, foams, and sprays. Within the food micro-technology group, all these aspects are investigated experimentally, and through modelling. In this way we are able to investigate various processes at the micrometer, and sometimes nanometer-scale, explore the underlying mechanisms, and build novel energy- and raw material efficient processing equipment. The resulting products show very well-controlled properties, that we investigate with various purpose-built microfluidic tools.
Within the food micro-technology group we have a dedicated lab for microfluidic investigations and high speed recording, which also includes interface characterization. Through a long standing collaboration with the physical chemistry and soft matter group, we also have access to fluorescence-based imaging tools that can be used to analyze processes at single particle level, and at micrometer scale. Besides we have all the tools to specifically design microfluidic tools, and do rapid prototyping. This puts the group in a unique position, which allows for optimal flexibility in the design of processes that are much lower in energy consumption, and make better products that use less raw materials.
For specific information on projects, please consult the current and complete project pages; the PhD thesis section which holds theses of completed projects.