Module Description

Module: High Pressure Chemical Engineering


Advanced Separation ProcessesLecture2Summer Semester
High Pressure Technique for Apparatus EngineeringLecture2Summer Semester
Industrial Processes Under High PressureLecture2Summer Semester

Module Responsibility:

Dr. Monika Johannsen

Admission Requirements:


Recommended Previous Knowledge:

Fundamentals of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Fluid Process Engineering, Thermal Separation Processes, Thermodynamics, Heterogeneous Equilibria

Educational Objectives:

Professional Competence

Theoretical Knowledge

After a successful completion of this module, students can:

  • explain the influence of pressure on the properties of compounds, phase equilibria, and production processes,
  • describe the thermodynamic fundamentals of separation processes with supercritical fluids,
  • exemplify models for the description of solid extraction and countercurrent extraction,
  • discuss parameters for optimization of processes with supercritical fluids.

After successful completion of this module, students are able to:

  • compare separation processes with supercritical fluids and conventional solvents,
  • assess the application potential of high-pressure processes at a given separation task,
  • include high pressure methods in a given multistep industrial application,
  • estimate economics of high-pressure processes in terms of investment and operating costs,
  • perform an experiment with a high pressure apparatus under guidance,
  • evaluate experimental results,
  • prepare an experimental protocol.

Personal Competence

Social Competence

After successful completion of this module, students are able to:

  • present a scientific topic from an original publication in teams of 2 and defend the contents together.

ECTS-Credit Points Module:



Written exam

Workload in Hours:

Independent Study Time: 96, Study Time in Lecture: 84

Course: Advanced Separation Processes (Lecture)


Monika Johannsen




Summer Semester


  • Introduction/Overview on Properties of Supercritical Fluids (SCF)and their Application in Gas Extraction Processes
  • Solubility of Compounds in Supercritical Fluids and Phase Equilibrium with SCF
  • Extraction from Solid Substrates: Fundamentals, Hydrodynamics and Mass Transfer
  • Extraction from Solid Substrates: Applications and Processes (including Supercritical Water)
  • Countercurrent Multistage Extraction: Fundamentals and Methods, Hydrodynamics and Mass Transfer
  • Countercurrent Multistage Extraction: Applications and Processes
  • Solvent Cycle, Methods for Precipitation
  • Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC): Fundamentals and Application
  • Simulated Moving Bed Chromatography (SMB)
  • Membrane Separation of Gases at High Pressures
  • Separation by Reactions in Supercritical Fluids (Enzymes)


G. Brunner: Gas Extraction. An Introduction to Fundamentals of Supercritical Fluids and the Application to Separation Processes. Steinkopff, Darmstadt, Springer, New York, 1994.

Course: High Pressure Technique for Apparatus Engineering (Lecture)


Philip Jaeger


German & English


Summer Semester


  1. Basic laws and certification standards
  2. Basics for calculations of pressurized vessels
  3. Stress hypothesis
  4. Selection of materials and fabrication processes
  5. vessels with thin walls
  6. vessels with thick walls
  7. Safety installations
  8. Safety analysis
    - subsea technology (manned and unmanned vessels)
    - steam vessels
    - heat exchangers
    - LPG, LEG transport vessels


Apparate und Armaturen in der chemischen Hochdrucktechnik, Springer Verlag
Spain and Paauwe: High Pressure Technology, Vol. I und II, M. Dekker Verlag
AD-Merkblätter, Heumanns Verlag
Bertucco; Vetter: High Pressure Process Technology, Elsevier Verlag
Sherman; Stadtmuller: Experimental Techniques in High-Pressure Research, Wiley & Sons Verlag
Klapp: Apparate- und Anlagentechnik, Springer Verlag

Course: Industrial Processes Under High Pressure (Lecture)


Carsten Zetzl




Summer Semester


Part I : Physical Chemistry and Thermodynamics

1.      Introduction: Overview, achieving high pressure, range of parameters.

2.       Influence of pressure on properties of fluids: P,v,T-behaviour, enthalpy, internal energy,     entropy, heat capacity, viscosity, thermal conductivity, diffusion coefficients, interfacial tension.

3.      Influence of pressure on heterogeneous equilibria: Phenomenology of phase equilibria

4.      Overview on calculation methods for (high pressure) phase equilibria).
Influence of pressure on transport processes, heat and mass transfer.

Part II : High Pressure Processes

5.      Separation processes at elevated pressures: Absorption, adsorption (pressure swing adsorption), distillation (distillation of air), condensation (liquefaction of gases)

6.      Supercritical fluids as solvents: Gas extraction, cleaning, solvents in reacting systems, dyeing, impregnation, particle formation (formulation)

7.      Reactions at elevated pressures. Influence of elevated pressure on biochemical systems: Resistance against pressure

Part III :  Industrial production

8.      Reaction : Haber-Bosch-process, methanol-synthesis, polymerizations; Hydrations, pyrolysis, hydrocracking; Wet air oxidation, supercritical water oxidation (SCWO)

9.      Separation : Linde Process, De-Caffeination, Petrol and Bio-Refinery

10.  Industrial High Pressure Applications in Biofuel and Biodiesel Production

11.  Sterilization and Enzyme Catalysis

12.  Solids handling in high pressure processes, feeding and removal of solids, transport within the reactor.

13.   Supercritical fluids for materials processing.

14.  Cost Engineering

Learning Outcomes:  

After a successful completion of this module, the student should be able to

-         understand of the influences of pressure on properties of compounds, phase equilibria, and production processes.

-         Apply high pressure approches in the complex process design tasks

-         Estimate Efficiency of high pressure alternatives with respect to investment and operational costs

Performance Record:

1.  Presence  (28 h)

2. Oral presentation of original scientific article (15 min) with written summary

3. Written examination and Case study 

    ( 2+3 : 32 h Workload)


60 hours total



Script: High Pressure Chemical Engineering.
G. Brunner: Gas Extraction. An Introduction to Fundamentals of Supercritical Fluids and the Application to Separation Processes. Steinkopff, Darmstadt, Springer, New York, 1994.