Start of construction: 2014
Moving into NGP˛: 02/2017
Total area: 14.500 m˛
Office area: 2000 m2
Laboratory area (incl. technicum): 3500 m˛
Electronical and mechanical workshops: 330 m2
In spring 2017 the process engineering chairs of RWTH Aachen have moved to their new home, the Center for Next Generation Processes and Products (NGP˛). This research building is funded by the German federal and state government and is currently under construction at the RWTH research campus "Melaten".
NGP˛ consolidates the chairs of the "Aachener Verfahrenstechnik" (AVT) which have been spread over five different locations in Aachen up to now. The new building is situated in proximity to our most important academic partners from chemistry, biology and biotechnology. This multi-disciplinary environment will enhance academic exchange and cooperation, with external partners as well as between AVT chairs.
On 7000 m˛, NGP˛ offers a superb environment for excellent research for new and innovative processes.
Next to modern offices for scientific staff and students, the building houses multiple locations for academic courses, seminars and meetings. Additionally, a library is planned as well as a mechanical and electrical workshop for experimental equipment and measuring & control technology.
On 2800 m˛ of laboratory area, the AVT will use modern equipment and thus be able to cope with special requirements such as explosion-protected areas, work with biological hazardous materials (S1 & S2 laboratories) or vibration-free groundings.
The planned biorefinery will be the heart of NPG˛: a 680 m˛ large pilot plant area offers room for a modular set-up, which enables processes from 25 - 150 l batch volume.
Co-operations with partners from academia and industry are of high importance for the AVT. Therefore, around 20% of the main space of NGP˛ is dedicated to collaborations.
However, the Center for Next Generation Processes and Products is much more than a location enabling excellent research. It is also the guiding theme of the AVT research scope: offering solutions for fundamental questions concerning the development of sustainable processes for the efficient utilization of renewable carbon and raw material sources, which should lead the way to “green” bio-economy.
One of the core objectives for research activities in NGP˛ is the realization of preferably regional and climatic neutral value-chains.
Development of these value-chains not only requires new and enhanced processes and products but also improved process engineering principles, methods and systems. The NGP˛ in house biorefinery offers the opportunity to use a research platform along the value-chain and furthermore, improve scientific methods at the same time.AVT
The projected NGP˛ biorefinery will operate as an adaptable process for the conversion of biogenic raw material into tailor-made products. In the biorefinery, the unit operations pretreatment, conversion and separation are connected in a modular fashion. Solvents, catalysts and energy are supposed to be recirculated and integrated, preferably without any energetic losses (“zero liquid discharge”). Process optimization and process analysis for better insights can be carried out with on-line analytics.AVT
A lot of ideas and specifications for design and construction of NGP˛ were gained from the experience derived from seven years of intensive collaborations with our partners in the Cluster-of-Excellence “Tailor Made Fuels from Biomass” (TMFB). The integration of AVT in the Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC) also facilitates the choice of promising process routes and target products as well as orientation and positioning of NGP˛ in the bio economy.
NGP˛ offers a unique platform for cooperation and scientific exchange in process engineering, which will enable AVT to develop new and innovative processes in an even closer alliance with partners from other universities and industry. This can lead the way to more efficient use of renewable materials and better understanding of sustainable processes.