14th PPEPPD 2016                                            May 22-26 | Porto | Portugal 

International Conference on Properties and Phase Equilibria for Product and Process Design


History of PPEPPD

The origin of the PPEPPD Conferences can be traced back to the recognition in the early 1970's that a severe communication gap existed between fundamental and applied aspects of product and process design, namely in the area of properties and phase equilibrium. The first meeting —supported by the US Engineering Foundation and National Science Foundation— was convened to address such issue.

The conference was held at Asilomar, California, in January, 1977. It was organized by Truman Storvick and Stanley Sandler, both US professors of chemical engineering. Only 3 of the more than 100 participants were not from the US. The contributions and discussions produced at Asilomar were subsequently published by the American Chemical Society (T.S. Storvick and S.I. Sandler, "Phase Equilibria and Fluid Properties in the Chemical Industry," ACS Symp. Ser. 60, Washington, D.C., 1977, 537 pp). The volume reveals the depth and breadth of the material covered. Also of note was the mood of enthusiasm and collaboration which was established, and the mutual respect of the researchers who participated.

In this spirit, the second Conference was held in Berlin, in March, 1980, organized by Professors Helmut Knapp and Stanley Sandler and the German chemical engineering society, DECHEMA. Professor Knapp had a few years earlier initiated a series of informal "Seminars on Applied Thermodynamics," still held annually in Europe. Hence, Berlin was a natural choice for the second conference.

This second conference was highly successful, to a large extent because of the balance in terms of geography (Europe/North America/Asia) and profession (industry/academia) of the participants. Publication of the proceedings was by DECHEMA (DECHEMA, "Phase Equilibria and Fluid Properties in the Chemical Industry," EFCE Publications Series No. 11, Frankfurt, 1980, 1012 pp).

It was concluded at that time that future conferences should have a three-year periodicity, with locations alternating between North America and Europe. The Chairs for the next two conferences, John O'Connell (U. of Florida, USA, 1983) and Aage Fredenslund (The Technical University of Denmark, 1986) were to work together.

The 3rd conference was held in Callaway Gardens, Georgia, USA, in April 1983. The number of participants was 196, a little more than half of which came from universities, the rest from industry or governmental agencies.

With Callaway Gardens, the conference found a format which was especially suitable for the area of Fluid Properties and Phase Equilibria for Chemical Process Design, an area characterized by its large degree of international collaboration and openness, rather than competition and secrecy. The main elements of the format were: relatively few, but longer, contributions instead of many, shorter papers; no parallel sessions; poster-sessions with a limited number of contributions preceded by well-prepared introductions from rapporteurs; sessions scheduled for the mornings and evenings, with afternoons free for unscheduled, individual interactions; publication (after review) of the proceedings in the international journal Fluid Phase Equilibria" (Volume 13 with 394 pp and 14 with 416 pp, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1983); participation, with financial support, of some "young research workers" in the field; housing, meals and meetings at one location only.

The motivation and spirit of these first PPEPPD conferences have been kept for more than 30 years of uninterrupted triennial editions:



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