Phone:+31 6438 56016 E-mail: info@nielsflach.nl
Graphendo, Graphene oxide

Niels Flach PhD, expert in materials and polymers

I am creating value for your organization...

...by finding, designing, manufacturing and testing materials for you

...by optimising your production process and formulations

...by solving unexpected issues in your product(ion) quality and ...

...while doing this, keeping an eye on all safety and quality aspects known in chemistry and life science, like SIL classification of processes, ISO 9001, ISO 22000, GMP, HACCP...

...and building on knowledge in polymer chemistry, colloid and surface chemistry, modification of surfaces and experience with adhesives, coatings and composites!

An important aspect of product innovation is the human factor. Committed people, with heart for your product, are the only acceptable resource to innovate successfully. For your company, and your specialists, I will be a dedicated and competent sparring partner, with a highly useful network that is just as committed to your success as your own R&D team. I will share my knowledge generously with your company in order to give the maximal boost to your projects and team. 

Case 1 (zie picture on the left). Surface modification

The request was to create a basis for a water insoluble catalyst, that however was able to catalyse a chemical reaction in water. It was so far usual to dissolve the catalyst in an organic solvent, but this has a cost and environmental disadvantage.

The configuration developed consists of an existing porous material, like an ion exchanger, onto which chemically a soap-like agent was grafted. The picture shows the water soluble part of the "soap" as C-C-O- units. The fat soluble soap moiety is pictured as a tail, that forms a microstructure mutually in which the catalyst can dissolve, and that is located directly adjacent to the water phase. It was proven that the catalyst can indeed enhance chemical reactions of components dissolve in water in this setting. This was the topic of my PhD thesis at the University of Rostock. 

Case 2. Optimisation of the production of polyurethane resins

The production process of a polyurethane resin at a certain company used to be the dosage of a diol in the reactor, after which the reactant, isocyanate, was added.  The process automation was laid out to facilitate this process. A new product, however, required another mode: to start with the isocyanate, and to add the diol. A potential issue with this mode of working was that the diol would be added to fast, in which case the heat of reaction could cause issues with the product quality, or, worse, an inherent safety risk. 
The conditions under which could be worked in this order were explored and operators schooled in the new production process. 

Case 3. Use the waste of a company in order to create value in another sector of business

In the production of elektricity, but also in the recycling of buildings, large amounts of waste gypsum originate. Would it be possible to make a strong material with gypsum, bringing its properties to a next level? Insight at a molecular scale in the interaction between polymers and inorganic compounds resulted in a direction to develop a new composite material. See also the page on Gypsum (Dutch).

Case 4. Where does that oil in the carbon dioxide gas come from?

A production company of fast moving consumer goods used gasous carbon dioxide, that was generated from the liquid phase in a vessel with supercritical carbon dioxide. The technicians were surprised to find that, if the flow became too high and notevaporated material came out of the vessel, an oily compound appeared to have contaminated the raw material.  
Careful an dminitious investigation of the supply chain resulted in the finding that we tend to imagine us carbon deioxide too much as a "gas". However, in liquid or supercritical form, it is also an outstanding solvent! The use of tubings and pipings approved for gases (buyt not for solvents) appeared to be the cause of the issue. An analysis of the oily substance using chromatography showed that is was a plasticizer. Replacement of the tubings by equivalent tubings of rubber resolved the issue.

My expertise is in the fields of polymeer chemistry, colloïd and surface chemistry, organic cehmistry and chemistry applied to daily products. Products that I am notably experienced in, are chemical formulations, resins and coatings, adhesives and polymeric materials. 

Troubleshooting or innovations to be started Why not call me right now?

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