Objective of the programme

The MULTIPHASE programme proposes an Erasmus Mundus master in the booming field of Multiphase Systems, with the ambition of educating a new generation of industrial experts, engineers, and researchers, to bring the Chemical Industry into a new age based on sustainable processes, circular economy and all the potential of digital tools.

The consortium of MULTIPHASE is composed of three highly experienced partners in the field of advanced Chemical Engineering both in research and educational aspects: Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne (France), Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy) and Technical University of Munich (Germany). It has been designed to integrate their complementary strengths supplemented by numerous associated partners (19 industrial companies, from SMEs to international groups, and 12 universities worlwide).

The programme is based on the established pillars: physico-chemistry of multiphase systems, eco-efficient chemical technologies and modelling (High Performance Computing and Machine Learning) towards innovation. It addresses aspects and applications ranging from basic research in physics and chemistry and beyond to major grand challenges as energy, materials, health and environment, to which multiphase systems bring a lot. 

The MULTIPHASE programme will help filling the skill shortage gap via the combination of strong research, excellent teaching, novel didactics concepts, and intersectorality via a strong industrial involvement. High level students with multifaceted qualification will be trained and accompanied so that they can (i) be recruited in private companies active in the field of innovative chemical industry, (ii) embark on a top-class PhD programme to later work in private companies or academia, or (iii) create a start-up.

The curriculum includes lectures, but also Application Seminars, Winter Schools, a Green-Line research Project and master thesis internships.

What are multiphase systems ?

A multiphase system is composed of a large number of small objects (solid particles, liquid droplets, gas bubbles) called the “dispersed phase” surrounded by a “continuous phase” (liquid or gas in most cases). The table below shows some examples of multiphase systems encountered in industry.

Multiphase systems are very attractive because of the large area [m²] of the interface between the suspending fluid and all the small objects. This high area is a key advantage in thermal, chemical and physical phenomena because it leads to increased heat and mass transfer rates from one phase to another. The benefits are multiple: processes can run faster (smaller OPEX), in smaller reactors (smaller CAPEX) and with a greater spatial homogeneity (better product quality).

As an illustration, the list below shows examples of industrial processes involving multiphase systems and which demonstrates the high attractiveness of our EMJM to the industrial sector:

  • Fossil fuels: a fluidized bed with solid catalyst particles used to crack oil in light compounds like ethylene, gasoline,
    diesel, ...
  • Polymers: a fluidized bed for producing polyethylene particles later extruded
  • Biotechnology: biomass particles injected with air in a combustion chamber to generate heat or in a gasification unit
    to generate syngas later converted to liquid biofuel
  • H2 production: H2 bubbles generated in an electrolyser
  • CO2 capture: packed bed columns with a falling amine liquid film used to absorb gas
  • Cement industry: concrete is a mixture of particles and additives in water that undergo hydration reaction
  • Hydrometallurgy: extraction of metals contained needs crushing ore in small particles, transport and mixing with liquid
    water for separation (flotation or leaching, dissolution-recrystallization)
  • Healthcare, pharmaceutics: most tablets produced from solid particles synthesized by crystallization
  • Detergent: washing powder for clothes
  • Food industry: a lot of particles: soup or coffee powder, sugar, flour, cereals, ...
  • Electricity production: boilers heated by solar energy, geotherm, fission or combustion generate steam from liquid to
    entrain a turbogenerator (bubbles in water)

Fluidized bed. Source NETL

Bubble column. Source Youtube.

Cyclopentane hydrate growth

Three degrees awarded

Successful students will receive the three following diploma:

  • Diplome National de Master in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering delivered by Mines Saint-Etienne
  • Laurea Magistrale in Chemical and Sustainable Processes Engineering, Chemical Engineering degree class delivered by Politecnico di Torino
  • MSc. In Materials Science and Engineering delivered by Technische Universität München