The European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) has bestowed its 2021 Excellence Award in Process Intensification on Evangelos Delikonstantis for work done for his PhD thesis on methane-to-ethylene conversion.
His thesis, “Plasma-Assisted Non-Oxidative Methane Coupling to Olefins,” focused on conversion of methane to ethylene using a nanosecond-pulsed plasma. He attained by far the highest ethylene yield ever achieved from atmospheric plasma (≈20 %) without the use of any catalyst, noted one of the external evaluators of the thesis. Testifying to the scientific impact of Delikonstantis’ research, it so far has been the subject of ten peer-reviewed articles that have been cited over 150 times.
Judges from the EFCE Working Party on Process Intensification commented: “The most impressive aspect of his PhD thesis is the holistic approach [Delikonstantis] applied in his research, ranging from plasma reactors design, realization and optimization to reaction mechanism investigation and plasma-assisted processes evaluation at a plantwide scale. This is very rare for just a single PhD project as multi-disciplinary knowledge, thinking and capabilities are needed.”
The award, which also includes a €1,500 prize, was presented September 23rd during the 13th European Congress of Chemical Engineering and 6th European Congress of Applied Biotechnology.
Delikonstantis worked on his thesis from June 2010 to February 2015 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. He now is at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, where he focuses on creating CO2-based chemicals via electrified processes.