Filtration, Separation and Reactive Transport

The optimization of products and processes in separation technology and chemical reaction engineering (e.g. filter devices, fixed bed reactors) is challenging, among other reasons because the fluid flow and the physical/chemical processes interact with each other at various length scales. To assist scientists and engineers in their work, we offer problem-adapted simulation software, services and consulting in the following fields:


FiltEST (Filter Element Simulation Tool) is a ready-to-use simulation software for filtration. Users can create digital twins of multilayered filter media, filter pleats and entire filter elements to study their performance in terms of efficiency, lifetime, and dust holding capacity. 

In addition, we offer services for the computer-aided optimization of pleated filters with regard to pressure drop and service life. 

In more and more fields of application, the deformation of filter media during operation is not negligible. For such cases, we develop models and coupled simulation methods for the Fluid-Porous-Structure Interaction (FPSI). In addition, our simulations can take into account the impact of the compression of the nonwoven material during manufacturing (e.g. due to the pleating process) on filter performance and lifetime.

For a more reliable prediction of the protection level provided by filtering facepieces, we have intensified our research and development activities on the computer-aided prediction of the aerosol dispersion for typical indoor scenarios. Furthermore, we create computer models for the entire process chain from nonwoven production to the final product, such that quality and availability of personal protection equipment can be improved.


We develop models and methods for the simulation and optimization of several separation processes such as the sedimentation of solid particles in dilute suspensions.

A very versatile and gentle separation technique is the field-flow fractionation. Based on problem-adapted models for industrial applications, we performed simulations for the asymmetric flow and the electrical field-flow fractionation (AF4, EFFF).

Another field of our activities is the modelling and simulation of chromatographic separation processes. We offer services for the investigation of different process variants such as bead chromatography or cell chromatography.

Reactive Transport

Our software tool PoreChem simulates the reactive transport on the pore scale. It computes the transport of substances and their deposition, (chemical) reaction, or adsorption inside the porous material. An interesting application is the computer-aided prediction of reaction kinetics in reservoir rock.

The coupled simulations can take into account relevant influencing factors (e.g. the temperature) and enable the users to study and improve processes with regard to efficiency, conversion, or selectivity. In many cases, the results of the simulation allow for the upscaling to component and part level.

Example Projects


MaTBiZ: Simulating Biological Cell Separation

In the project »MaTBiZ«, we simulate biological cell separation processes in order to optimise filter media which are manufactured additively.



In the project "AVATOR" – Anti-Virus Aerosol: Testing, Operation, Reduction, we are collaborating with several Fraunhofer institutes to investigate ways of reducing the risk of infection by aerosol-borne viruses in enclosed rooms. 


ResKin – Simulation of Processes in Reservoir Rock

The prediction of chemical reactions and their kinetics in reservoir rocks is the focus of the project. We support the simulation of these processes with our software tools.


Chromatography with Spherical Beads

In the BMBF joint research project AMSCHA, we develop models for the simulation of separation processes of protein and cell suspensions.


Simulation of Diesel Particulate Filter

Fraunhofer ITWM cooperates with Robert Bosch GmbH to develop innovative particle filtering systems for the exhaust gas system of diesel vehicles.


Computer-Aided Optimization of Filter Pleats

Pleated filters are a widely used and intensively studied design concept in filtration.


Nano Meltblown Fibers

The project NaBlo aims to reduce the exposure to fine dust particles by new filter systems based on nano fiber meltblown media. 


Deformation of Filter Media

We have been working on the adequate modeling and simulation of the deformation of filter materials for many years.


Simulation of asymmetrical Flow Field-Flow Fractionation

Separation of nano- and microparticles in solutions and dispersions.