Micro process engineering

Micro process engineering

Micro process engineering is the science of conducting chemical or physical processes (unit operations) inside small volumina, typically inside channels with diameters of less than 1 mm (microchannels) or other structures with sub-millimeter dimensions. These processes are usually carried out in continuous flow mode, as opposed to batch production, allowing a throughput high enough to make micro process engineering a tool for chemical production. Micro process engineering is therefore not to be confused with microchemistry, which deals with very small overall quantities of matter.

The subfield of micro process engineering that deals with chemical reactions, carried out in microstructured reactors or "microreactors", is also known as microreaction technology.

The unique advantages of microstructured reactors or microreactors are enhanced heat transfer due to the large surface area-to-volume ratio, and enhanced mass transfer. For example, the length scale of diffusion processes is comparable to that of microchannels or even shorter, and efficient mixing of reactants can be achieved during very short times (typically milliseconds). The good heat transfer properties allow a precise temperature control of reactions. For example, highly exothermic reactions can be conducted almost isothermally when the microstructured reactor contains a second set of microchannels ("cooling passage"), fluidically separated from the reaction channels ("reaction passage"), through which a flow of cold fluid with sufficiently high heat capacity is maintained. It is also possible to change the temperature of microstructured reactors very rapidly to intentionally achieve a non-isothermal behaviour.

Process Intensification

 While the dimensions of the individual channels are small, a micro process engineering device ("microstructured reactor") can contain many thousands of such channels, and the overall size of a microstructured reactor can be on the scale of meters. The objective of micro process engineering is not primarily to miniaturize production plants, but to increase yields and selectivities of chemical reactions, thus reducing the cost of chemical production. This goal can be achieved by either using chemical reactions that cannot be conducted in larger volumina, or by running chemical reactions at parameters (temperatures, pressures, concentrations) that are inaccessible in larger volumina due to safety constraints. For example, the detonation of the stoichiometric mixture of two volume unit of hydrogen gas and one volume unit of oxygen gas does not propagate in microchannels with a sufficiently small diameter. This property is referred to as the "intrinsic safety" of microstructured reactors. The improvement of yields and selectivities by using novel reactions or running reactions at more extreme parameters is known as "process intensification".


Historically, micro process engineering originated around the 1980s, when mechanical micromachining methods developed for the fabrication of uranium isotope separation nozzles were first applied to the manufacturing of compact heat exchangers at the Karlsruhe (Nuclear) Research Center.


Engineering technology

An engineering technologist, is a specialist devoted to the development and implementation of existing technology within a field of engineering. Engineering technology education is more applied than the more theoretical science based engineering degree education. Technologists often work with engineers in a wide variety of projects by applying basic engineering principles and technical skills. It is not unusual for Engineering Technologists to assume senior management positions in industry or to become entrepreneurs. The work of technologists is usually focused on the portion of the technological spectrum closest to product improvement, manufacturing, construction, and engineering operational functions. Engineering technology deals with the same topics as engineering, but is more applied knowledge rather than a purely theoretical knowledge. The mathematics and basic sciences as well as the technical courses in technology programs are taught with more applications and less theory than the related engineering courses. Engineering courses also typically require a higher level of knowledge of mathematics, natural and engineering sciences and prepare a student to continue studies and perform research at the graduate levels. Engineering technology courses generally have labs associated with the courses that require applied or "hands-on" applications of the topics being studied.

Volvo Shows Off Self Parking Car

Volvo Shows Off Self Parking Car

 Welcome to the world of wonderful engineering. Here, engineers are working 24/7 to get you the latest technology and to make your life easier and safer. Science is the basic tools that these engineers rely on. It is the advancement in science that is making these wonders a possibility and making dreams reality. There has been a lot of hype about automatic cars; Google car being the center of highlight. The next in line are the self parking cars! Yes, that’s right. Enough with the self driving cars, let’s focus on self parking cars. The catch; the technology is still in development phase and we might not be seeing it anytime before 2015.

 In a recent press release, Volvo has promptly stated about their new concept car which is amazing because of what it can do; park itself on its own and come out of the parking as well. As per Volvo, the car will find a vacant space and park itself without a driver and will be able to interact safely with people and other cars. 

 The procedure is quite simple; the service is turned on via mobile app and will be initiated by the driver once he is out of the vehicle, the smart car will use sensors to locate and navigate itself to a free parking space. The procedure is reversed when the driver returns to get his car back. However, this technology is only applicable with parking lots that are compatible with infrastructure to vehicle technology.

As mentioned earlier, the technology won’t be available soon. Senior Safety Advisor, Thomas Broberg, at Volvo said; ‘Technologies are still being developed. However, we will take the first steps towards our leadership aim by introducing the first features with autonomous steering in the all-new Volvo XC90, which will be revealed at the end of 2014.’


Still, the prospect of having a car that can park and ‘un-park’ automatically sure does sound exciting and promising. This is as exciting as UK testing pilotless passenger drone aircrafts but much safer.

UK Tests It’s First Passenger Drone – Goodbye Pilots?

UK Tests It’s First Passenger Drone – Goodbye Pilots?

 Science and its wonders are truly amazing. What was considered impossible before was made possible by Wright Brothers; such is the way in which science works. Always evolving and explaining phenomena and providing us with working models, theories and laws. In today’s age, the technological advancements are setting new records.  From 3D printed fingers to wearable tech; one may find wonders of science everywhere. Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment or better known as Astraea apparently thought unmanned drones were not enough and they needed to bring something more to the table. What did they do? In a one liner; they did something remarkably bold and gutsy. Going into details; they have managed to fly a jet stream aircraft across UK airspace, which is shared, during the last month. Wait a second, what’s so bold and gutsy about that? The answer; the particular flight was unmanned!

 Only the take-off and landing was performed by an on-board pilot. Take-off occurred from Warton, near Preston in Lancashire and landing was executed at Inverness. However, the 500 mile long journey was controlled by a pilot on ground who was being assisted by National Air Traffic Services. There were no passengers. However, the airspace in which this unmanned aircraft flew was shared by passenger carrying aircrafts. The 16-seater aircraft is known as ‘The Flying Test bed’ and has been equipped with a series of sensors and robotics to prevent any hazard from taking place. The unmanned air vehicle (UAV) expert, Andrew Chapman, from National Air Traffic Service (NATS) said; ‘NATS ensured that this test flight was held without any impact on the safety of other users of airspace at the time. Although there is still work to be done, it would seem that on the basis of the success of this flight, a UAV could operate in different classes of airspace.’ The flight is not the first of its kind. Astraea has orchestrated a series of such flights and has already received £62 million in the form of funding to research how UAV can be used in shared airspace by UK government and commercial airlines. A representative from BAE Systems (one of the stakeholder companies) said; ‘The flights were part of a series of tests helping flight regulators and NATS to understand how these flights work, and what they need to do were they to go ahead and put a regulatory framework in place for the unmanned flights in manned airspace. It’s still very early days in terms of that regulation taking place.’ Michael Fallon, Business and Energy Minister, has labeled these flights as ‘Pioneering’ and said; ‘Astraea has made significant achievements, placing the UK industry in a good position globally on unmanned aircraft and the development of regulations for their civil use.’

Astraea project director Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal is worried about more than just technological challenge as he was quoted saying; ‘It’s not just the technology, we’re trying to think about the social impact of this and the ethical and legal things associated with it. You’ve got to solve all this lot, if you’re going to make it happen, enable it to happen affordably.’

Gumball 3000 Batman Tumbler from Team Galag - First moving shots!

Guys Build $1.6 Million Batman Tumbler Replica

 We are living in an age inspired by the cinema and science. All that which we only saw in animated movies is becoming real thanks to science. You can see superheroes taking off in flight to fight off crime in movies and thanks to the technological advancement it all seems as real as it can get. We all are fans of Christopher Nolan’s Batman; do you remember the Epic’s EV TORQ; The Roadster straight out of Batman’s movie? Yes, we covered that too because like most of the readers we too are huge, die-hard, fans of Batman. Things keep getting better and better for us fans, believe us! Have you all heard about the Gumball 3000 race? Traditionally, the race was about unique cars just out there on the road completing the rally.

 However, nowadays it’s more about Ferrari, Lamborghini and expensive cars like that. Amongst all such expensive cars, the international racing crew; Team Galag have introduced one of their unique cars for the Gumball 3000 race set for 2013. What is so surprising about this car? Well, yes it has something to do with the Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. But this is much more than what you were expecting; this is an exact replica of ‘does this come in black-tank’ driven by our Dark Knight on the streets of Gotham. As mentioned earlier, the Gumball race 3000 is not like the traditional racing competitions. There is neither time record to break nor any prizes to be given to fastest cars. This is more like a road trip through Europe on flashy and expensive cars. An exotic trip if you will. The event was inspired by movies such as The Cannonball Run and The Gumball Rally. The event, traditionally, used to have both types; the expensive sort and the unique ones. However, it has somewhat turned into a ‘let’s see who’s the richest one out there’ rally sort. The members of Team Galag wanted to reignite the old spirit of the rally and therefore commissioned Parker Brothers Concepts, in Florida, to create a replica of Batman Tumbler which was street legal. The other than obvious task was to come up with something that would be able to compete with other cars in the rally during this 3,000 m rally. An investment of $1.6 million was made for this awesome crime fighting ride.

Let’s have a look at some of the specs of this cool ride; it weighs about 2.5 tons and is about 2 ft higher than a Hummer H1. We have a 400lb, 6.2 liter V8 engine which is surrounded by a bespoke tubular chassis. The car is not lightning fast but considering its weight and size, we would say its ability to achieve 100 mph is definitely something worth appreciating. Hats off to the manufacturing team!  One can even track this car during rally by signing onto Team Galag’s website. They have a pretty slick GPS tracking system just for this purpose. Rest assured the car is bound to get quite an appraisal at the rally!

Nissan ZEOD RC Launch

Nissan ZEOD – The World’s Fastest Electric Car

 We are car fans, as you can already deduce after seeing the number of articles we have dedicated to cars. They inspire us, aesthetically speaking and from engineering perspective as well. A lot of effort goes into coming up with a new car that can compete with the beasts already on the roads. That is why we always commend companies that are able to bring something new to the table.

 Today, we want to dedicate this writing to Nissan for the wonderful job they’ve done in creating ZEOD. ZEOD stands for Zero Emissions on Demand and this supercar from Nissan runs on batteries. The DeltaWing style construction of this supercar sure does tell that this car was built for speed and so have the Nissan Engineers gone on record to say that ZEOD can achieve 186 Mph thus rendering itself the fastest electric car. The surprise list is still not over folks, Nissan has decided to put their EV to good use; Le Mans. Yes, you read that right. Nissan’s EV ZEOD will be taking part in the next year’s Le Mans which is a twenty four hour race, quite an enduring one, against some of the most powerful and fastest cars from all around the globe. Oh and those cars are gas powered.

 Ben Bowlby, the guy who designed the DeltaWing race car (initial design) says; ‘At the end of Le Mans 2014, we will have changed people’s perceptions of electric vehicles.’ Keeping his past expertise in mind, we can very well say that Ben knows what he is talking about. However, let’s just wait and see what happens. Once the next year’s Le Mans is over we’ll know what ZEOD is really worth.

We shall know what Nissan has got under its sleeve and we just might be able to point in the direction that EVs are going. So far, we’d say they are doing quite good. Don’t you agree?

The JET Bicycle - The most dangerous unsafe bike EVER

World’s Most Dangerous Jet Powered Bicycle – Norah

 While science and technology are busy in bringing new and innovating gadgets to the market, there is another line of production at work too; Do it yourself projects! These are the people who enjoy doing what they do as their hobby. What we have for you today is yet another story of such a person who is known for building with tools that an engineer would laugh at. Meet Colin Furze, a British garage inventor who has a series of inventions to his name! For his recent invention he says; ‘It is as Mad as it looks!’ The invention is known by her name; Norah and is a jet powered bicycle whose safety one can question.

 The bicycle has been made just the way it says in its name; a homemade jet engine has been strapped to an old bike and our inventor has made the most dangerous bike, perhaps ever made! His list of inventions may lead one to believe that our crazy inventor here is an engineer who has a passion for coming up with crazy ideas and executing them, however, you will be surprised to know that he is a plumber who loves to create such dangerous DIY in his home workshop. A few of his inventions include; world’s longest motorbike, gas powered stroller and the fastest mobility scooter.

 Colin Fruze is a living proof that one need not have an expensive laboratory and tools at one’s disposal to produce something amazing. Norah can reach speeds of 50 Mph and as anyone can imagine, it is quite dangerous yet pretty much fun to ride it. The engine exhaust gets  flaming red hot at full throttle rendering this DIY a really ‘hot’ vehicle! Our crazy inventor decided not to use a heat shield and instead managed to put in some distance between the engine and rider’s butt. But the heat is going to be least of your worries once you’re on this bike! From pleasing ride to hard to control ride and finally near death ride, this experience will definitely leave you amazed and thrilled.

Colin survived his trial ride and is looking forward to riding the bike at even higher speeds