16th Global Congress on Process Safety (online)

on Sunday August 16, 2020  at the Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010, USA

This workshop was organized by the IMPROOF consortium, connected to the (delayed) 2020 AIChE Spring Meeting. 

  • Video of the IMPROOF Stakeholder workshop



  • IMPROOF Workshop presentations (pdf)


IMPROOF Workshop and DOW Open day

January 27-29 2020 ( Laboratory for Chemical Technology – Ghent, Belgium)

The goal of the workshop was to provide the attendants with a broad overview of the state-of-the-art and emerging technologies in the steam cracking industry.



Speakers on January 27, 2020 – “Computational Fluid Dynamics assisted Process Intensification”

  • Prof. Thierry Poinsot from CERFACS was the first invited speaker. His presentation focused on Large Eddy Simulations (LES) of turbulent reacting flows. The introduction focussed on the implementation of LES in the CERFACS software AVBP. He showed work performed both on turbulent premixed flames and related to explosions. At the end, Prof. Poinsot gave some insights into ongoing work related to deep learning for turbulence combustion interaction. (pdf)
  • Dr. Victor Francia (Heriot-Watt University) presented the work he performed in the first years of his academic career related to spray drying and the agglomeration of laundry granular detergents. (pdf)
  • Prof. Alberto Cuoci (POLIMI) focussed his talk on chemistry acceleration methods in CFD. He showed examples ranging from combustion to heterogeneous catalysis.
  • Prof. Tony Arts (von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics) presented slides comparing aerodynamic and convective heat transfer experiments to computations. He showed work performed on high pressure turbine blades, rotating flows and helically corrugated tubes.
  • Prof. Kevin Van Geem (Ghent University) presented the work performed at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology related to steam cracking. The presentation showed the broad research scope of the group. Throughout the years the focus has shifted from experimental work and 1D simulations to 3D CFD.
  • Prof. Patrice Perreault highlighted his research theme at the University of Antwerp. He also discussed the work he performed during his postdoc stay at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology, where he worked on the scale-up and proof-of-concept study of the so-called gas-solid vortex reactor setup.

Speakers on January 28, 2020 – “Novel Technologies in Steam Cracking Furnaces”

  • Dr. Marco van Goethem introduced the audience to various technologies commercialized by TechnipFMC ranging from the triple-lane layout for an enhanced cracking coil performance to the implementation of the Swirl Flow Tube (SFT). He explained how TechnipFMC went from acquiring the patent to industrial implementation with all the obstacles along the way.
  • The Senior R&D manager of AVGI, Dr. David Brown, gave a presentation on cracking furnace developments. Based on his 44 years of experience in the petrochemical industry, he discussed various projects he was involved with and how different technologies have emerged over time.
  • Dr. John Olver, the CEO of Emisshield, gave a presentation on the effect of high emissivity coatings on the energy efficiency of a stream cracking firebox. He showed how NASA originally invented the technology and how Emisshield transferred their insights to the chemical industry. He also disseminated results related to spectral normal emissivity and pilot plant energy savings obtained within the IMPROOF project.
  • Dr. David Van Cauwenberge works as technology manager for the BASF Antwerp steam cracker. He showed the work he performed during his PhD which led to the patent of dimpled reactor coils. He also disseminated the preliminary results obtained during a collaboration of BASF with John Zink where they installed multiplexed tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) which measures real time oxygen concentrations and temperature inside the firebox. Analysis of the obtained data allows BASF to improve the furnace energy efficiency and process safety.
  • Dr. Dietlinde Jakobi and Steffen Heyland showed some insights into the R&D work performed at Schmidt & Clemens which led to the developments of alumina containing alloys and the 3D reactor technology SCOPE. These technologies are already implemented in industry so Schmidt & Clemens was able to show some promising results on the run length increase.
  • Dr. Ahmed Kadi showed the results obtained by John Zink Hamworthy Combustion obtained within the IMPROOF project. Biogas and oxy-fuel combustion experiments on an industrial scale have been performed showing that both implementations are a viable alternative to conventional combustion. However, various changes have to be made to the existing furnace.

Speakers on January 29, 2020 – ” DOW Open Day”

  • Dr. Michael de Graaf opened the event. He gave a presentation with regards to the Dow Industry Park in Terneuzen, the 2025 Sustainability Goals, and presented the agenda for the event.
  • A keynote lecture was presented by Rafael Cayuela, Chief Economist at Dow. The presentation illustrated scenarios about the future of the chemical industry by 2050.
  • Dr. Georgios Bellos and Prof. Kevin van Geem gave a joint presentation about the IMPROOF overview and the objectives of all work packages.
  • Prof. Tiziano Faravelli gave a presentation on oxycombustion and bio-based fuels combustion.
  •  Lecture from Dr. Ahmed Kadi (John Zink) who presented combustion experiments at large-scale.
  • Ir. Stijn Vangaever and Joost van Thielen presented an overview of their activities in terms of high emissivity coatings evaluation. This work is covered in work package 2.
  • Dr. Marko Djokic and Steffen Heyland presented their work in the matter of coils technology evaluation which includes advanced metallurgy as well as 3D shaped coils.
  • Dr. Georgios Bellos (Dow) presented together with Peter Oud (TechnipFMC) the concept of the low-emission cracking furnace design. This presentation included an aspect of Life Cycle Analysis.


Gas-phase Reaction Kinetics of Biofuels Oxygenated Molecules (pdf)

April 23 – 24 2018 ( Politecnico di Milano, Italy)



                                                                                “Conference Participants”

The workshop aimed at providing an overview of the current research and the most recent advancements in the investigation of the oxygenated classes of molecules involved in biofuels conversion chemistry. Organized as a joint meeting between SMARTCATs WG1 and IMPROOF, it provided a key contribution to the discussion on the advancement and critical issues in the field.

Invited Speakers

Eliseo RANZI (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) – “Detailed kinetics of vanillin as reference component of pyrolysis bio-oil”

Heinz PITSCH (Institute for Combustion Technology, RWTH Aachen, Germany) – ‘Chemistry Matters: Advanced Biofuels for Internal Combustion Engines’

Roger CRACKNELL (Shell Global Solutions, UK) – “Ethanol and other bio-oxygenates: their role in high octane fuels”


Prof. Faravelli, head of the CRECK Modeling group at POLIMI

Dr. Stagni, Assistant Professor at POLIMi

Dr. Pelucchi, Assistant Professor at POLIMI


“33rd Ethylene Producers Conference” – April 18-22, 2021, Dallas-TX (USA)

5 November 2020

The European Federation of Chemical Engineers (EFCE) Spotlight Talks

27 October 2020

Kevin Van Geem (UGENT), coordinator of IMPROOF, will give a talk for the European Federation of Chemical Engineering on 26 November (10h30-11h30) on the Electrification of the chemical industry. The exchanges will cover the benefits of applying industrial innovation practices and the many applications of electrification and process intensification in process industries. Detailed programme and free registration:  Read more

IMPROOF Workshop “32nd Ethylene Producers Conference” – Sunday 16 August 2020

12 February 2020

The IMPROOF consortium is pleased to announce the  IMPROOF workshop that will be held at Houston (USA) on Sunday 16 August 2020 online,  connected to the 2020 Spring Meeting and 16th Global Congress on Process Safety. Registration is open for all stakeholders from both industry and academia. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required on : We will share to the registered people the link to access to the webinar later on . The link will be available until 19th august, 2020.Read more

Discover the integrated model for energy optimization of steam cracking furnace

16 December 2019

Dow is organizing an Open Day with regards to the optimization of steam cracking furnaces. Therefore we are sharing with you an invitation to visit us at an Open Day event on January 29 in Terneuzen, The Netherlands. During the event, we will feature a newly expanded portfolio of innovative studies to meet future industry requirements in terms of energy optimization and CO2 emissions. We are presenting the developments of the EU funded IMPROOF project. Experts from European Universities and leading technology developers will present their contributions towards the future ethylene furnace. The experts will be present at the event to address your questions. •                   Event opening from Jamie Cohen, Dow EMEA R&D Director •                   Keynote presentation on the Chemical Industry under the 4th Industrial Revolution, Rafael Cayuela, Dow Chief Economist •                   Overview of IMPROOF, G. Bellos and Prof. K. van Geem •                   Lectures on biofuel firing kinetics, oxy-fuel combustion, high emissivity coatings, radiant coil technology advancements and low emission furnace design will be given by IMPROOF partners from Politecnico di Milano, John Zink, Cress BV, Gent University, Schmidt and Clemens, Technip and Dow •                   Plant tour by bus •                   Event closure Register, no later than 20th December in order to attend our sessions during the event: Read more

IMPROOF Workshop – 27-28 january 2020 and DOW Open Day 29 january 2020

8 October 2019

The IMPROOF consortium is pleased to announce the two-day IMPROOF workshop that will be held on 27-28 January 2020 at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology in Ghent, Belgium. Registration is open for all stakeholders from both industry and academia. Participants can register for one or two days: Day 1: Computational Fluid Dynamics assisted Process Intensification (27 January 2020) Day 2: Novel Technologies in Steam Cracking Furnaces (28 January 2020) Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required: : However, due to the limited capacity of the event, participants who register but fail to attend will be charged a no show fee of € 50 (except for valid reasons).  Read more