Reaction Systems


Control of modern grape wine fermentation

Climate change is fundamentally altering the growth and metabolism of plants, fruit ripening and quality. Over the last decade, the sugar content in ripe wine grapes has increased significantly leading to wines with high and often excessive alcohol concentrations. In addition, high sugar grape musts prompt yeast to produce more by-products, such as acetic acid, during fermentations which may further reduce quality.

The application of innovative fed-batch bio-processes that rely on accurate and continuous quantification of fermentation parameters as well as efficient control of fermentation kinetics offers interesting opportunities. CHANGINS, the Swiss National Engineering College for Grape and Wine research in Nyon has developed a FT-NIR based system to continuously monitor sugar and ethanol concentrations during wine fermentations. The objective of the collaboration of CHANGINS with the Automatic Control Laboratory of EPFL is to ensure efficient interpretation and integration of process parameters to enhance fermentation control.

Within the frame of this MSc project, the candidate will get acquainted with grape wine fermentations and modern bioprocess analysis technology, and contribute to the elaboration of suitable control algorithms.

Professor: Colin Jones
Type of project: Semester
Contact: Altug Bitlislioglu





Demand response with chemical production plants

Large scale decentralized power generation from renewable sources increases the difficulty of maintaining the power grid within desired operational states, due to the increased uncertainty in the power demand and generation.As an alternative to constructing new power plants to cope with this issue, a viable option is demand response programs targeted at consumers. Demand response means consuming less power on the request from the grid as it is over burdened and the power demand can not be met by the production side. The grid provides incentives in terms of lower power costs or rewards for the consumers participating in the program.

In this project, we will consider chemical production plants with high electrical heating/cooling demand, and develop methods to assess and exploit their demand response potential by shifting the power consumption profile of a batch production. In particular, we will explore the effect of demand response on the optimal operation of the chemical plant and investigate the economic feasibility.

Requirements: Background in MATLAB programming, modelling of chemical reactors, control theory and optimization.

Professor: Dominique Bonvin 
Type of project: Semester or Master
Contact: Altug BitlisliogluMartand Singhal