Transport Phenomena - Delft University of Technology

Rita Costa Basto

Rita Sousa Pires da Costa Basto (photo)

Hydrodynamics for the Integration of Fermentation and Separation in the Production of Diesel and Jet Biofuels

Contact details

Research interests

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (Fluent);
  • Reactor scale up/scale down;
  • Coalescence, gas bubble induced oil recovery;
  • Emulsions;
  • Mixing, transport phenomena, mass and heat transfer.

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Student projects

Soon there will be projects on modelling of multiphasic mixtures with and/or without experimental work. Those projects will be performed with the bioprocess engineering group at the biotechnology department.

Research description

In present days, industries are becoming more aware of the necessity to develop renewable biofuels and move away from fossil fuels. In the last decade, genetic engineering tools have enabled rapid developments in the microbial production of hydrocarbons, such as sequiterpenes, for its incorporation in the biofuel market as diesel and jet fuel replacements. However, the introduction of these advanced biofuels in such a competitive market requires a low production cost and more efficient equipment.

The projects will contain modelling of the behaviour of four component mixtures (aqueous medium, gas, oil product and microbial cells) to guide the design of industrial production systems and to be able to scale up integrated reactors. Fluent will be used as a tool together with experimental work at lab or pilot scale.


  • Prof. Dr. Luuk van der Wielen (TUD - BPE group, BT department)
  • Prof. Dr. R.F. Mudde (TUD - TP group, ChemE department)
  • Dr. Maria Cuellar Soares (TUD - BPE group, BT department)

Personal education

  • Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) Designer in Bioprocess Engineering at biotechnology department, Delft University of Technology (2015)
    Individual Design Project on "Microbial production of diesel and jet biofuels" at DAB bv with partnership of TU Delft.
  • MSc in Biological Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal (2012)
    MSc thesis on "Expanded Bed Chromatography to purify enzymes from cells homogenates", at DSM, Delft, Netherlands.
Last modified: January 24 2017. © Delft University of Technology - TP group 2012