(7ip) Multiscale Processes Intensification and Optimization of Process Systems

da Cruz, F. - Presenter, University of California, Los Angeles
Research Interests:

For years, industrial and manufacturing processes have relied on scaling-up to reduce production costs and increase competitiveness. Advances in Process Intensification, which aims to substantially reduce capital cost, energy consumption, environmental footprint, while increasing safety and production output, have the potential to change the industrial and manufacturing landscape in the upcoming years.

My research aims to systematically search for intensification opportunities – enhancement of intrinsic effects, combination of synergetic processes, novel equipment designs, among others – by using rigorous mathematical approaches, fundamental laws, modeling, and computational simulation to explore a wide range of scales (multiscale-integrated) in which process intensification opportunities can be sought, from molecular, to equipment, to the systems level.

During my Ph.D. I have developed research projects that involved rigorous mathematical modeling and simulation of reaction-diffusion processes in porous media in a multiscale fashion. In addition, I have developed models to systematically intensify reactive separation processes that guarantee global optimality. The set of skills I have learned includes the development of mathematical models from fundamental principles – mass, momentum, and energy balances; reaction kinetics, thermodynamic principles, and advanced transport models such as Stefan-Maxwell and Dusty-Gas Model – for multiscale, multiphase physical systems. In addition, I had formal training in optimization of large-scale process networks and process synthesis, which gives me the ability to find innovative conceptual designs. This combined with my previous industry experience as a senior mechanical engineer in designing and implementing large-scale industrial projects, in which I performed several activities from proposal writing to conceptual design. I am sure that my background and experience qualifies me to develop a strong research program in intensified chemical/manufacturing processes and novel equipment designs.

Proposal experience: NSF-EAGER, EERE-Industrial Assessment Centers, CEC L.A. Regional Energy Innovation Cluster.

Awards: UCLA Graduate Division Doctoral Dissertation Year Fellowship; UCLA JP Lemann Fellowship.

Ph.D. Dissertation: “Multiscale performance limits quantification of chemical processes networks”

Supervised by Prof. Vasilios I. Manousiouthakis, University of California, Los Angeles.

Teaching Interests:

I have over three years of experience as a teaching fellow for chemical engineering courses in both classroom and laboratory settings. I am prepared to teach general undergraduate and advanced graduate level courses in Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, such as transport phenomena, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, controls, separations, numerical and mathematical methods, and process design. My previous experience as a senior engineer at a project design company can be beneficial to students of all levels, enriching the learning processes of cross-disciplinary classes such as process economics, process design, and entrepreneurship. I am also excited to teach graduate courses in optimization and process design, and look forward to developing new courses related to energy systems and process intensification.

Future direction:

As a faculty, I would like to apply my research efforts on the development of novel processes, equipment design, and production schemes that will help to shape an intensified, safer, greener, data-driven process industry. Through a combination of rigorous modeling, multiscale computational simulation, and optimization/control techniques, a diverse range of both traditional and new processes/manufacturing systems (reactive distillation, membrane reactors, additive manufacturing, among others) can be analyzed, modified, and/or synthesized in order to maximize performance. I envision myself collaborating closely with smart manufacturing/process intensification research centers, as well as companies in the manufacturing and processing industries.

Additional details are available at www.flaviodacruz.com


da Cruz, F. E., and Manousiouthakis, V.I. "Process intensification of reactive separator networks through the IDEAS conceptual framework." Computers & Chemical Engineering (2016).

da Cruz, F. E., and Manousiouthakis V.I. "Parametric studies of steam methane reforming using a multiscale reactor model." Ind. and Eng. Chemistry Research (Submitted).

Karagöz, S., da Cruz, F. E., Tsotsis, T. T., and Manousiouthakis, V.I. " The multiscale (pellet-reactor scale) membrane reactor (MR) modeling and simulation: Molecular sieve MR for hydrogen production by low-temperature water gas shift reaction." Ind. and Eng. Chemistry Research (Submitted).

da Cruz, F. E., and Silvio de Oliveira Junior. "Petroleum refinery hydrogen production unit: exergy and production cost evaluation." International Journal of Thermodynamics 11, no. 4 (2008): 187-193.