Sorption Systems Engineering


Engelpracht, Mirko © Copyright: Lehrstuhl fuer Technische Thermodynamik der RWTH Aachen


Mirko Engelpracht

Group Leader Sorption Systems Engineering


+49 241 80 98176


  picture of adsorber module Copyright: © Chair of Technical Thermodynamics

The research group of sorption systems engineering studies the application of sorption phenomena in energy systems. „Sorption“ is the physical or chemical bonding of a gaseous substance with a liquid (absorption) or a solid (adsorption). During sorption, heat is released and can be used for heating purposes. The process is reversible by heat input.

The group currently focuses on the research of adsorption phenomenon and the development of technical applications, mainly using commercially available adsorbents like zeolite or silica gel and water as non toxic sorptiv with excellent thermal characteristics. Furthermore sorbents such as SWS (selective water sorbents“) and activated carbon are investigated as well.

There is a wide range of different applications possible for sorption systems like e.g. using renewable energy for cooling, drying, heating or air conditioning. Adsorption systems can be used as heat pumps, chillers and thermal storages to make heat or cold available.

The research work consists of conceptual design including design of components and development of concepts, as well as modeling and simulation including validation of experimental models and dynamic modelling. Finally experimental work which includes prototyping and building up experimental setups is a main expertise of the research group. Our ongoing projects deal with the use of adsorpion process especially for thermal storage or cooling. Project work is characterized by close collaboration to industry partners.

Further ambitions of our research are broadening the knowledge of caloric and thermodynamic properties of available and new developed sorbents, in combination with different sorptive materials. Therefore self-made setups are used in order to test the sorbents and afterwards store the results in material databases.


Laboratory Facilities


Current Projects

MoGaTEx: Model-based design of adsorption columns for gas separation based on small-scale experiments
Open Adsorption Systems: Experimental Investigation of Adsorber-Designs and Sorbents
SorpLib: Dynamic simulation of adsorption energy systems

Completed Projects

2-bed Adsorption Heat Pump
Capillary assisted vaporization of water for thermal heat pumps
Dynamic hydrogen storage: Integrated model of electrolysis and gas conditioning
Experimental and Model-based Analysis of Adsorption Thermal Energy Storage
INTAS Study of solar assisted adsorption cooling unit using new adsorbent materials
Integrating cogeneration and thermal energy storage for an energy-efficient industrial batch process
Sorption-based air conditioning for battery-driven electric busses
TailorSorb: Tailored adsorbents for stationary adsorption thermal energy transformation