BERGOUGNOU, Maurice

Adjunct Research Professor
Department Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

P.Eng., FCIC
B. Chem. Eng., (U. of Nancy, France) (1953)
Ph.D. Chem. Eng. (U. of Minnesota) (1958)


The PROREACTOR (Processes and Reactors) laboratory was founded in 1967 in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario. Numerous graduate students, research engineers and colleagues from UWO, Canada and abroad, have contributed to its success. The main objective was to do research in large-scale (pilot plant size) experimental equipment so that data would be applicable to industrial systems. The overall goal was to help the development of processes in the chemical, petroleum, petrochemical and Para chemical industries, and more specifically, to develop appropriate fluidized reactors for these processes.

The TECHNOLOGY OF PROREACTOR was transferred worldwide to a number of companies (Shell-Canada, Alcan, Stelco, Hydro-Quebec, Biosyn, Syncrude) in Canada and abroad (Dupont, Monsanto, Sohio, Lummus-Crest, Rhone-Poulenc, BP, Dutch State Mines, IFP, TotalFinaElf …).

The research work done in the important area of jets in fluidized systems led to the pioneering of an entirely new revolutionary concept, the JET IMPACT REACTOR, for fast, multiphase reactions. Multiphase reacting systems will be the advanced systems of the 21st century. A consortium of Canadian, U.S. and French companies and universities was created and subsequently applied the JET IMPACT REACTOR to the fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) of petroleum. The new process is now up for licensing and can be used by more than 300 FCC plants around the world.

THE JET IMPACT REACTOR was also applied to the ultra-fast pyrolysis (decomposition by heat in the absence of oxygen) of biomass to give, at a high temperature (650 to 900˚C) and short reactor residence times (100 to 600 milliseconds), a variety of petroleum-like products called BIOPETROLEUM. The JET IMPACT REACTOR does in a few hundreds of milliseconds what nature has done over a span of hundred of millions of years.

A Canadian receptor company was not available for the transfer of the technology for the production of BIOPETROLEUM. A company, ENSYN Ltd., of Ottawa, was created by PROREACTOR’S graduate students to commercialize BIOPETROLEUM. The first commercial plant was built in 1989. Four plants are now operating and two more plants have been sold. Right now ENSYN Ltd. has 100 percent of the world market, establishing Canadian technological supremacy in that area. ENSYN Ltd. is producing liquid BIOPETROLEUM for fuel and fine chemicals for the food and other industries.

The Jet research work was also used by Syncrude Canada to considerably improve the quality of the products of their giant fluidized cokers (the biggest in the world) and to plan for an advanced form of cokers based on PROREACTOR’S JET IMPACT REACTOR. It is anticipated that in a few years Syncrude will produce about 30 percent of all the petroleum used in Canada.

PROREACTOR was a founding member of the Applied Electrostatic Research Center (AERC) specializing in the use of fine and ultrafine powders for coating, pharmaceutical and other applications. A new process to generate ozone in-situ in wastewaters is also being developed.

KEYWORDS: fluidization, jet-impact reactor, fluidized beds, ultra-rapid reactors.

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Contact Info

Western Engineering

Bio-Engineering Building,
Room number 109
Telephone: 519-661-2143
Fax: 519-661-3498