English

GRADUATE PROGRAM IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (PPGEQ)

English Translation: Henrique Guerra, Madalena Lanner and Rafaela Rocha

INDEX

1. OVERVIEW

2. RESEARCH AREAS OF INTEREST

3. FACILITIES

4. ADMISSION

5. SUBJECTS

6. STAFF

7. LABORATORIES

8. RESEARCH AREAS

8.1 Applied Kinetics, Catalysis, Chemical Reactors and Bioreactors

8.2 Transport Phenomena and Unit Operations

8.3 Systems Engineering – Design, Simulation, Control and Optimization

8.4 Chemical Industry Materials: Polymers and Leather

8.4.1 Polymers

8.4.2 Leather

 

1. OVERVIEW

The Graduate Program in Chemical Engineering (PPGEQ) is offered by the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), and is located on the main University campus. Master of Science Degrees have been offered since March, 1995, and Doctoral Degrees since March, 2004.

Highly ranked by Brazilian educational authorities, our graduate program promotes advanced research and prepares professionals to address the local demand for new technologies. Both Master of Science and Doctoral Degrees aim to qualify human resources for industries, teaching and research, as well as to consolidate technical and scientific studies.

 

2. RESEARCH AREAS OF INTEREST

Nowadays our main research area of interest is Process Research and Development. It comprises the following lines of research:

  • Transport Phenomena and Unit Operations;
  • Applied Kinetics, Catalysis, Chemical Reactors and Bioreactors;
  • Design, Simulation, Control and Optimization of Chemical and Biotechnological Processes;
  • Chemical Industry Materials: Polymers and Leather.

 

3. FACILITIES

Chemical laboratories, computer laboratories and pilot plants provide the necessary resources to perform theoretical and experimental works. Graduate students also have access to several libraries, a supercomputing center and an analytical center.

The PPGEQ is highly integrated with industry, especially with CENPES and REFAP (petrochemical industries). It also has a strong partnership with the Foundation for Science and Technology of State of Rio Grande do Sul (CIENTEC).

More information: INTERNATIONAL CAMPUS

 

4. ADMISSION

The rules for application and selection of candidates for Master’s and Doctoral degree are made public through an Official Notice. The applications can be submitted via internet, but the required documentation must be sent by mail or delivered directly to the PPGEQ’s office. Each application is analyzed by a selection committee. The committee evaluates not only the graduate student’s academic success and professional performance, but also the potential to pursue research and advanced studies.

More information: TO DO LIST

 

5. SUBJECTS

Master’s and Doctoral degrees students are expected to complete four core subjects irrespective of the objective of the degree. They are expected to enroll in elective subjects, according to the dissertation themes. Students may enroll in up to two subjects in other graduate programs at UFRGS, according to recommendations from their advisor.

Grading Policy

  • 12 core credits
  • 24 elective credits
  • Semester Calendar

 

6. STAFF

Coordination Committee

  • Profª. Drª. Liliana Amaral Féris (Coordinator)
  • Profª. Dr. Rafael de Pelegrini Soares (Vice-Coordinator)
  • Profª. Drª. Isabel Cristina Tessaro
  • Profª. Drª. Lígia Damasceno Ferreira Marczak
  • Prof. Dr. Nilson Romeu Marcílio

Advisors

  • Álvaro Luiz de Bortoli (Dr., UFSC/ Brazil)
  • Argimiro Resende Secchi (Dr., COPPE/ UFRJ/ Brazil)
  • Celso Camilo Moro (Dr., UNS/ Argentina)
  • Isabel Cristina Tessaro (Dr. Sc., U. Denmark/ Denmark)
  • João Henrique Zimnoch dos Santos (Dr., McGill University/ Canada)
  • Jorge Otávio Trierweiler (Dr., Dortmund/ Germany)
  • Lígia Damasceno Ferreira Marczak (Dr. Eng., UFSC/ Brazil)
  • Liliana Amaral Féris (Dr. Eng., UFRGS/ Brazil)
  • Marco Antônio Záchia Ayub (Dr., Manchester/ England)
  • Marla Azário Lansarin (D.Sc, UNICAMP/ Brazil)
  • Mariliz Gutterres Soares (Dr. rer. nat., Freiberg/ Germany)
  • Nilo Sérgio Medeiros Cardozo (Dr., UNS/ Argentina)
  • Nilson Romeu Marcílio (Dr., U. Lyon/ France)
  • Oscar William Perez Lopez (Dr. Eng., UFSCar/ Brazil)
  • Rafael de Pelegrini Soares (Dr. UFRGS/ Brazil)

Office

  • Patrício José da Silva Freitas

 

7. LABORATORIES

  • BIOTECLAB - Laboratory of Biotech Processes and Food Biotechnology
  • CA - Analytical Center
  • LABEQ - Laboratory of Chemical Engineering
  • LACIP - Laboratory of Control and Process Integration
  • LACOMP - Laboratory of Computing for Undergraduates
  • LACOP - Laboratory of Computing for Graduates
  • LACOURO - Laboratory of Studies on Leather and Environment
  • LARET - Laboratory of Reactors
  • LASEM - Laboratory of Membrane Operation
  • LASEP - Laboratory of Separation Processes
  • LASIM - Laboratory of Process Simulators
  • LATEP - Laboratory of Polymer Technology and Processing
  • LATEQ - Laboratory of Chemical Engineering Technology
  • LPR - Laboratory of Waste Reprocessing
  • PROCAT - Laboratory of Catalytic Processes

 

8. RESEARCH AREAS

8.1 Applied Kinetics, Catalysis, Chemical Reactors and Bioreactors

Petrochemical industry has largely used catalytic reactors in order to increase the productiveness and profitability of its processes.  As a consequence, our program promotes research on new catalysts and on design, simulation, and control of existing reactors. The Laboratory of Reactors, Kinetics, and Catalysis addresses the demands of companies such as Oxiteno Nordeste S.A., COPESUL, and Alberto Pasqualini Refinery (REFAP).

Objectives

  • To evaluate commercial catalysts, and to develop new catalysts for the petrochemical industry.
  • To develop new catalytic processes based on renewable raw material and alternative processes.
  • To determine kinetic parameters of heterogeneous reactions in order to design and optimize reactors.
  • To design new reactors in partnership with other research institutions, from laboratories to pilot plants.

Dissertation Themes

  • Design, Simulation, and Optimization of Heterogeneous Reactors (Fixed-Bed Reactors, Trickle Beds, Bioreactors, Slurry Reactors, etc.)
  • Experimental Calculation of Heterogeneous Reactions Rates
  • Catalytic Conversion of Natural Gas
  • Creation of Value-Added Products from Bioethanol
  • Production of Hydrogen
  • Nanotechnology – Production of Carbon Nanotubes

Laboratories Involved

  • LARET - Laboratory of Reactors
  • LASIM - Laboratory of Process Simulators
  • PROCAT - Laboratory of Catalytic Processes

Professors

  • Prof. Dr. Nilson Romeu Marcílio
  • Profª. Drª. Marla Azário Lansarin
  • Prof. Dr. Oscar William Perez Lopez
  • Prof. Dr. Celso Camilo Moro

 

8.2 Transport Phenomena and Unit Operations

Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering share a high number of Unit Operations that represent specific applications of Transport Phenomena. Therefore, the line of research Transport Phenomena and Unit Operations covers two major areas of study: chemical processes and food processes.

During chemical processes, there is a high consumption of energy at the stages of purification and separation. This encourages research on the development of new technologies and the enhancement of existing technologies. The aim is to reduce costs by means of a number of strategies, such as lower consumption of resources and energy; added value; waste purification and reduction; and input reuse.

The ability of the food industry to supply reliable and high quality products depends on the improvement of the ongoing processes and on the studies of new food processes technologies. Since food is a complex material, whose properties can be modified by processing, the study of these properties and of their response to process variables takes on crucial importance.

Environmental awareness is present in every research of the group. The principles of environmental protection and sustainable development are applied to processes and techniques for the reduction, treatment and reuse of waste, sewage and greenhouse gas.

Objectives

  • To extend the knowledge of conventional liquid-gas separation technology for specific processes by searching for process parameters that will optimize the performance of the system for industrial application.
  • To develop non-conventional separation technology by increasing the value added to products (membrane operation and supercritical fluid extraction).
  • To develop non-conventional separation technology both for industrial waste water recovery and for water treatment.
  • To develop hybrid biotechnology/membrane processes for industrial waste and byproducts reuse by searching for new methods of obtaining products and processes.
  • To assess and reuse nutrients obtained from food industry waste and by-products.
  • To perform the analysis, extraction and purification of nutrients recovered from food industry waste and by-products.
  • To develop and evaluate foods with special nutritive qualities.
  • To study processing and storage effects on the stability of food nutrients.
  • To study the destruction kinetics of nutritional compounds – such as vitamins, provitamins and phenolic compounds – in response to food processing and storage.
  • To study the alteration of food components.
  • To formulate technology proposals for preserving macro and micronutrients.
  • To assess the functionality and application of proteins and other biopolymers in foods.
  • To perform microencapsulation of food additives (colorings, acidulants, flavor agents and microorganisms) and edible films.
  • To use advanced technologies (ozone and ohmic heating) for food processing and storage.
  • To develop technology in order to foster the use of Brazilian fruits and vegetables, as well as the production of new products.
  • To optimize processes.
  • To study physical separations:
  • Extractive and azeotropic distillation – obtaining pure substances (e.g., anhydrous ethanol).
  • Organic acid purification by solvent extraction.
  • Proteins recovery by precipitation.
  • To obtain and characterize natural colorings from Brazilian plants –extraction/purification and stability of natural pigment, and copigmentation.
  • To study the biochemistry of biologically active compounds in functional foods and in their natural environment, as well as their biological effects.
  • To develop new products and processes for process engineering in the food industry – economic feasibility of engineering and optimization.
  • To use supercritical extraction technology for natural products processing.
  • To study different aspects of processes for extracting, fractioning and purifying natural products (essential oils, flavors, pigments, vitamins and alike) by pressurized carbon dioxide.

Dissertation Themes

  • Membrane Separation Processes
  • Liquid-Gas Separation Processes
  • Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE)                  

Laboratories Involved

  • LASEM - Laboratory of Membrane Operation
  • LAFEN - Laboratory of Transport Phenomena
  • LATEPA - Laboratory of Technology and Food Process
  • LASEP - Laboratory of Separation Processes
  • LATEQ - Laboratory of Chemical Engineering Technology
  • CA - Analytical Center

Professors

  • Profª. Drª. Aline Schilling Cassini
  • Profª. Drª. Isabel Cristina Tessaro
  • Profª. Drª. Lígia Damasceno F. Marczak

 

8.3 Systems Engineering – Design, Simulation, Control and Optimization

Due to economic competition, to the preservation of natural resources, and to the need of decreasing risks of accident caused by toxic and explosive substances, industrial processes are gradually becoming more tightly integrated in terms of energy (e.g., heat exchanger networks) and mass (e. g., reactive distillation columns). This new attitude towards chemical processes underscores the need to propose control and optimization strategies that go beyond the simple analysis of each element of a complex industrial unit. The aim is to produce solutions in accordance with this new paradigm of development and control of industrial units.

Objectives

  • To apply a holistic approach to design and process operation, by developing and applying several tools, such as process modeling, process analysis, process optimization, and process control.
  • To combine those tools for research and development of more profitable, less polluting industrial units.
  • To optimize the operation of existing units by applying advanced control techniques. These techniques comprise: (a) choosing the correct control structure; (b) developing and identifying dynamic models; and (c) planning several types of controllers (e.g.: predictive control, multivariable control, non-linear control etc.).
  • To develop clean technologies for the reduction of industrial waste and by-products, not only diminishing the environmental impact but also improving the cost effectiveness of the unit. By-products reduction is accomplished through optimizing the operation conditions and through properly controlling the existing units.

Dissertation Themes

  • Plant Wide Control
  • Development of Virtual Analyzers
  • Closed-Loop System Identification Techniques
  • Dynamic Modeling and Simulation of Processes
  • Modeling and Simulation of Transfer Processes
  • Modeling, Simulation and Optimization of Chemical Reactors
  • Classification of Process Variables
  • Identification of Faults (Leakage) in Process Networks
  • Modeling and Simulation of Combining Molecules through Chemical Reactions and Combustion

Laboratories Involved

  • LASIM - Laboratory of Process Simulators
  • LACIP - Laboratory of Control and Process Integration

Professors

  • Prof. Dr. Argimiro Rezende Secchi
  • Prof. Dr. Álvaro Luiz de Bortoli
  • Prof. Dr. Nilo Sérgio Medeiros Cardozo
  • Prof. Dr. Jorge Otávio Trierweiler
  • Prof. Dr. Rafael de Pelegrini

 

8.4 Chemical Industry Materials: Polymers and Leather

8.4.1 Polymers

The Polymer Technology Group of the Department of Chemistry has been working on three evolving research areas: Polymer Rheology and Processing, Polymer Blends and Polymer Recycling.

Besides promoting local polymer industry, the area of Polymer Rheology and Processing is very important for industries of second and third generation in Rio Grande do Sul. Our research group is the pioneer in our state in this area.

The synthetic production of polymer blends is essential to technology. It has allowed graduate students to achieve one of the primary objectives – to collaboratively work with other groups at UFRGS who are also researching Polymers. This area is being developed in cooperation with professors from the Chemistry Institute who are experts in polymer synthesis and modification.

The study of new technologies for collecting, sorting and reprocessing polymer waste addresses the environmental issue. Thus, alternative strategies for minimizing the impact of polymer waste from the production process should rely on new mechanisms. The search for those mechanisms would also enable the local polymer industry to achieve steady growth and effective competition.

Objectives

To educate professionals who are able to:

  • Apply the principles of Rheology to the distinct stages of polymer processing in order to improve it.
  • Analyze the morphological data of blends, and identify them with theories that describe their mechanical and rheological behavior.
  • Broaden the perspective on the environmental issue of sewage and waste, and adapt or develop new technologies for minimizing polymer waste.

Dissertation Themes

  • Rheology and Polymer Processing
  • Blend Production
  • Polymer Recycling

Laboratories Involved

  • LATEP - Laboratory of Polymer Technology and Processing
  • LATEQ - Laboratory of Chemical Engineering Technology
  • CA - Analytical Center

Professors

  • Prof. Dr. Nilo Sérgio Medeiros Cardozo

 

8.4.2 Leather

Brazilian leather tanning industry has grown in both the domestic and international markets. Such growth can be identified in different stages of the process – specially manufactured outputs, such as footwear. On the account of that, the Chemical Engineering Department of UFRGS has a long tradition on the research and development of leather tanning technologies.

The group of researchers at the Laboratory of Studies on Leather and Environment (LACOURO) are internationally renowned and the laboratory constitutes a center of academic excellence in Brazil.

Research for both Master’s and Doctoral Degrees focuses on various subjects that cover the study of hides and skins, changes in collagen matrix, and innovative and optimized technologies for leather tanning. Research applies evaluative systems and analytical methodologies that are special or conventional.

An industrial production concerned with environmental issues demands the development of clean technologies for water reuse and for sewage recycling and recuperation. The losses of raw material and inputs are identified by mass balance. The purpose is to reduce the losses and to add value to its by-products.

In the field of raw material use and waste reuse, the most valuable are protein-based materials, extracted oils and recovered chrome. These materials are characterized and evaluated in terms of final disposal methods.

More recent works have focused on the analysis of atmospheric emissions, the use of energy in tanneries and the development of biotechnology.

Together with the chemical industry or independently, research may work on the development of chemical inputs and enzymes for leather tanning.

There are strong interactions among tanneries, chemical industry, national and international research institutes, and related institutions. There is also participation in various committees, as well as organization of congresses, lectures and events in the area.

In 2008, the book A Ciência Rumo à Tecnologia do Couro was released. It is a collection of the research findings up to that year.

Objectives

  • To develop and improve scientific knowledge of collagen-based materials obtained from different animal skins.
  • To enhance detailed knowledge of natural skin structures and transformation.
  • To characterize leather outputs and byproducts based on theories and experiments which relate traditional to new analytical techniques.
  • To value the availability of existing raw material and expertise in the national industry.
  • To encourage sustainable production in the competitive and oscillatory global market.
  • To rigorously and efficiently apply well-known technology.
  • To investigate innovative up-to-date technologies.
  • To transfer engineering knowledge to the analysis of operational, unit, thermal, mechanical and energetic processes in leather tanning.
  • To individually study the influence of kinetic parameters and of physical and chemical properties on related operations.
  • To promote environmental management to tanneries through the adaptation and application of clean technologies, through the assessment of environmental effects of processes and products, and through the management and treatment of sewage and waste – specially chromed leather waste.
  • To develop chemical inputs for leather and others.

Dissertation Themes

  • Analysis, Characterization and Development of Collagen Materials
  • New Technological Processes for Leather Tanning
  • Clean Technology for Industries
  • Advanced Treatment of Industrial Sewage
  • Analysis of Atmospheric Emissions from Industrial Waste Landfills and Companies
  • Treatment and Reuse of Industrial Waste
  • Environmental Management in Industries

Laboratories Involved

  • LACOURO - Laboratory of Studies on Leather and Environment
  • LATEQ - Laboratory of Chemical Engineering Technology
  • CA - Analytical Center

Professors

  • Profª. Drª.Mariliz Gutterres
  • Prof. Dr.Nilson Romeu Marcílio
  • Co-advisor and invited professors