Period January 2021 – September 2022

For newsletter and agenda website Harmsen Consultancy BV

Several congresses and courses for 2021 have been changed into virtual online events or postponed. Here is a list, updated 6th of Jan. 2021.

My experiences so far with online meetings is better than expected. Due to break-out sessions even personal contact is feasible to some extent. So try it.

CHISA, 17-20 March 2021 virtual online meeting. This conference covers all area of chemical engineering and always has several contributions on education. Maarten Verkerk and I will have a keynote lecture on Process Intensification – Design, Industrial Innovation Practices, and Education. This covers important elements of our book with the same title.

AIChE 2021 Spring Meeting and 17th Global Congress on Process Safety, April 18-22, Virtual online meeting. This meeting has a relatively high percentage of industry contributions. The atmosphere is informal.

Sustainable Minerals ’21 — 6th International Symposium on Sustainable Minerals

23 Jun 2021 – 24 Jun 2021 •  Virtual online meeting

This could be an interesting symposium for people looking for circular economy solutions.

13th European Congress of Chemical Engineering and 6th European Congress of Applied Biotechnology, ECCE13 & ECAB6, 19 – 23 September 2021 City Cube Berlin.

This is a very large event covering all chemical engineering topics with participants from all over the world both from academia and industry. Berlin is a very interesting city with formal and informal places to visit.

Achema is postponed to 4 – 8 April 2022, Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

This is a very large process industries event. It not only has a large technical programme, but also has a very large exhibition for industries and institutes. Book a hotel early.

WCCE11 — 11th World Congress of Chemical Engineering and XXX Inter-America Congress of Chemical Engineering. It is postponed to  2022, June 19 – 23,  Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This is a very large event. It is likely that many contributions will be from the Americas, covering many biomass and minerals conversion technologies.

Online Courses by lecturer Jan Harmsen via Symmetric first half 2021

 February 3-5 2021, Course Sustainable Product and Process Concept Design

March 24 – 26, 2021 Advanced Course Industrial Process scale-up

May 19 – 21, 2021 Process intensification concept design

Detailed information about the courses is found at the Symmetric website.


 cale-up bubble columns

Martin Obligado of Univ. Grenoble presented experimental results of bubble columns with diameters respectively of 0.15, 0.4, 1.0, and 3.0 m. It appears that the liquid circulation flow rate increases proportional with the diameter to the power 2.5. This experimental work settles the dispute for 40 years about the diameter scale effect on liquid circulation rates, bubble sizes and mass transfer. The complete experimental work is available as PhD thesis by P.M. Raimundo,

 Project auditing experiences of Jan Harmsen

 Here is some information on three of my technical audit experiences for companies. These three audits cover the innovation trajectory from idea to commercial scale implementation. One audit was on a project in the early concept stage, one audit was on a project in the development stage and one audit was on processes already started-up for commercial scale operation.

The early concept stage project was about auditing on the following items: A) whether the whole field of potential process options was covered by the company findings. I searched and found additional options.  B) How to fairly select options very different in research reporting. I made for each option a simple process concept design to the same level of detail to facilitate a fair selection. C) How to select the best option? To that end I defined selection criteria indicating feedstock (product yield on feedstock) and investment cost (number of process steps), and a simple check on Health Safety, Environment, and social acceptance issues. With these criteria that the selection was quickly made and highly valued by the customer.

The development project was about auditing whether the development plan missed important items related to risks. I found 19 missing items. 16 items could be covered by additional desk studies, and 3 items needed experimental work. For the latter I also provided advice on finding outside specialized companies to execute this additional experimental work. The audit results were highly valued.

The commercial scale processes of the company were audited on why several of them had a very long start-up time, while others were started up rapidly. The processes were audited on their actual development, design, and start-up history. For all processes with a long start-up time the reasons could be identified using development, design and start-up preparation methods now described in my book on Industrial Process Scale-up.

Reasons for an external technical audit by an independent consultant on projects can be that the budget provider want such an audit. It can also be that the project team wants to make sure that they do not forget items critical to the project success. In a case of a single person start-up company the entrepreneur may just want to have a sparring partner to bounce of his ideas.

3D catalyst printed and tested

Jean-Luc Dubois, head of R&D, Arkema, presented  results of selective hydrogenation of an unsaturated functionalized nitrile catalyzed by a 3D printed foam structure impregnated with a ruthenium. The selectivity appeared to be superior to a 3D printed SiC foam impregnated with the catalyst and to a conventional cylindrical catalyst.  The project belongs to the EU SPIRE programme and information can be found in

The presentation was a plenary lecture at the international Process Intensification Conference no 2 (IPCI2), at Leuven, Belgium, 27-29 May 2019.  I attended this conference together with 160 attendees from over 20 countries from Asia, America’s and Europe.