Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Schembecker



department: BCI, Laboratory of Plant and Process Design


TU Dortmund University, Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering, Laboratory of Plant and Process Design (Head of the Laboratory)

Research interests

The research performed at the Laboratory of Plant and Process Design deals with challenges encountered during process development and plant design. The main targets are issues in the fields of biotechnology, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

The research topics cover three domains:

Development of biotechnological processes
During the process development performed at the Laboratory of Plant and Process Design, approaches and methods successfully applied in the chemical industry are employed. A particular challenge is the transfer of these techniques to the development and scale-up of bioprocesses. This is due to the higher complexity of the process streams involved. Also, the process operations of bioprocesses can in part only be described macroscopically. The applied approaches encompass all steps of a biotechnological process, such as media preparation, biocatalytical conversions, purification and formulation.

Innovative downstream processes
Recovery steps usually suffer from low product yields. These can be well below 50%. The development of more efficient, innovative downstream processes is one of the research topics at the Laboratory of Plant and Process Design. Focus lies on classical separation steps, like chromatography and crystallization. For these unit operations, innovative solutions are investigated. Furthermore, special attention is paid towards unit operations that allow a gentle treatment of the components to be separated. These unit operations are e.g. foam fractionation or centrifugal partition chromatography.

Modul based plant design
The goal of this research topic is to find advantages of a consequent modularization of plant design compared to conventional approaches. Nowadays, chemical processes are custom-designed, as can be seen in piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID’s), and either run on a large-scale or - especially for comparatively small amounts - in flexible multi-product facilities.

To find out more, visit the website of the Laboratory of Plant and Process Design.

Students (co-)supervised

Ivana Barackov
Stefanie Schuldt
Kai Stückenschneider
Fatma Alexia van Winssen
Julia Sieberz
Martin Stoffers