Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Arlt

The Institute of Separation Science & Technology performs research in problems that stem mainly from chemical engineering and from life sciences based on sound thermodynamics.

Thermodynamics. Because an equation-of-state with a sufficient quality was not available for long chain molecules, the PC-SAFT EoS was developed. In 1995, the a-priori prediction methods of thermophysical data called COSMO-RS was applied to chemical engineering and is today an industrial standard. Todays research aims at the prediction of phase equilibria including retention times in HPLC and the suitability of biomass for energetic applications.

Separation processes. Separation technology is researched in unit operations such as technical chromatography, membrane separations, and crystallization. The target compounds of these operations are organic substances from chemistry, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. On the basis of sound thermodynamics, mass transfer models are applied to solve mass balances aiming at process design. The flow inside the apparatus is probed by non-invasive measurement techniques based on X-ray or H-NMR. The chair installs an upright CT-measurement for chromatography and distillation. In chromatography the stationary phase is either solid or liquid.

Entrainer. The chair emphasizes the unit operations using additional compounds. These can be membrane materials, polymers or entrainers in crystallization or distillation. The application of ionic liquids in unit operations is an especially important topic.

Energy. The application of chemical engineering and thermodynamics is a growing field of research. We aim to improve existing technologies (heat pump, CO2 separation from flue gas, set-up in power stations) and new energies systems called “energy carrying compounds (ETS)”.


Prof. Arlt is a former co-worker of Bayer Technology Services (formerly Bayer Engineering). He was a “Fachkollegiat” (chief reviewer) for chemical engineering in the German National Science Foundation DFG. He is one of the “curators” (editors) of the German journal “Chemie-Ingenieur-Technik”. He headed for a long time the working parties of distillation, adsorption and of engineering data in GVC and Dechema, respectively. He is the German representative in the European working party on distillation. He is named as an inventor on more than 40 patents, one of them was sold to “Grüner Punkt Deutschland” for the highest price ever paid in the history of the Technical University of Berlin. Prof. Arlt is the head of Bavaria’s biggest energy research institute, the Energy Campus Nürnberg. In his academic career he started at TU Berlin, refused an offer to go to TU Dresden and accepted an offer in 2004 by the university of Erlangen.