To meet the goals of the Dutch climate agreement the industry will need to greatly reduce their greenhouse emissions. One way of doing this is by reducing the energy requirements for the different industrial processes. Of these processes, the drying process is especially energy intensive. A method that is often used in the food industry is spray-drying. This is a method where the fluid is sprayed through hot air in order for it to dry. It is used to turn, for example, fluid milk products into functional powders. By developing a fundamental understanding of the complex fluid dynamics inside the nozzle as well as in the liquid sheet breakup, the EEMS project aims to formulate recommendations for design and operational principles to optimise the spray drying process. "EEMS”, which stands for Energy Efficient Milky Sprays, is a collaboration of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology, Friesland Campina, Danone/Nutricia, DSM and TU/e. Together they will study the effects of high solids content and of the main constituent components of model liquids on atomization efficiency of the nozzle. Ultimately this will lead to recommendations for design and operational principles to optimise the spray drying process.
Spray drying is a very energy intensive process to dry amongst others milk products into functional powders. A liquid with typically 50% solids content (absolute level highly depending on composition) is atomized in a high pressure atomizer and dried under the influence of hot air. The internal liquid flow in a high pressure swirl nozzle largely influences the liquid sheet breakup and hence determines droplet size distribution, which in turn determine spray drying efficiency and product quality. High solid content liquids, are typically highly viscous and depending on composition can exhibit non-Newtonian flow behavior. Currently the level of understanding is not yet sufficient to allow for a higher solids loading, which has the potential to lead to a 20% energy reduction, because more of the liquid can be evaporated in the more efficient evaporator or by reconstituting at a higher solids content.
This project aims to develop fundamental understanding of the complex fluid dynamics inside the nozzle as well as the liquid sheet breakup, through non-invasive experimental techniques. The aim is to study the effects of solids content and main constituent components of model liquids on atomization efficiency of the nozzle. In close collaboration with a numerical project, the project will lead to recommendations for design and operational principles for the swirl nozzle.
We are looking for an experienced candidate with a background in chemical, mechanical, thermal engineering, physics or a related field. The prospective researcher is expected to have experience in non-invasive measurement techniques for fluids or fluid-structure interactions. An affinity with the process industry is preferred. The ideal candidate has good scientific skills as well as excellent soft skills related to verbal and written communication.
We offer a challenging job for four years in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. You will work with innovative analytic equipment and you will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world en part of the European technology hotspot ‘Brainport Eindhoven’; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!
The gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), starts with € 2.325,- in the first year to € 2.972,- in the fourth year. Besides this the TU/e has holiday- and end-of the year allowances, an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees and a modern sports complex. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given. Especially for PhD students the TU/e also offers opportunities for personal development. We do this by offering every PhD student a series of courses that are part of the Proof program as an excellent addition to your scientific education.
More information is available on the website of Eindhoven University of Technology: www.tue.nl
More information about the project can be obtained from Dr. M.W. Baltussen email: M.W.Baltussen(at)tue.nl. Personnel information can be obtained from Mrs. P.J. van de Weijer, HR Advisor, email: p.j.v.d.weijer(at)tue.nl
Please send your application via the apply-now button including:
Both national and international applications to this advertisement are appreciated. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Promising candidates will be contacted by email.