Thermodynamics is a key discipline for addressing urgent technological questions of our society, such as questions about energy supply and storage, development of new materials and optimization of chemical and biological processes. The ITT is engaged in four fields of research:
Models from Molecular Thermodynamics
We are engaged in developing fluid theories for correlating and predicting thermodynamic properties and phase equilibria. We apply theories from Statistical Mechanics to derive engineering models, such as the PC-SAFT equation of state.
Thermodynamics of Interfaces
The prediction and design of interfacial properties between fluid phases and of fluid-interfaces towards micro- and mesoporous materials are essential for many technological and biological problems. We use classical density functional theory for predicting interfacial properties, such as interfacial tensions, adsorption and interfacial transport resistivities.
Simultaneous Process and Solvent Design
Optimizing materials and solvents simultaneously with process variables is an important challenge in many fields of chemical engineering and energy technology. We apply models from molecular thermodynamics to optimize materials or solvents, and develop methods for predicting transport properties, such as viscosity, thermal conductivity or diffusion coefficients.
Measurements of Thermodynamic Properties
Our group measures thermodynamics properties, including phase equilibria of fluid phases with various methods and at pressures up to 200 bar. Phase transitions of biological systems, such as protein folding transitions, are determined through caloric measurements.