COBRA pursues the excellence in scientific research and technological applications in multiphase processes utilising oscillatory baffled reactors/crystallisers. The central themes of the strategic research in COBRA are to understand what controls particle/crystal/droplet/bubble/cell size in a given reactor/bioreactor environment and to facilitate best fluid mechanical conditions/regimes in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

The oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR) offers more uniform fluids mixing at low shear rate; excellent particle suspension and superior mass/heat transfer than conventional reactor systems. The scientific research tackles the fundamental aspects of the OBR and processes, such as mixing characteristics, velocity and shear profiles, macro and micro mixing length, RTD, liquid-liquid dispersion, gas-liquid mass transfer, solid particle suspension and transportation, droplet breakage and coalescence rate; and attempts to establish the link between fluid mechanical conditions and particle behaviours, so that particles of desirable specifications could be designed and made.

The technological research applies the scientific understanding to real industrial processes to demonstrate significant process intensification benefits in reactions, crystallisation, suspension and emulsion polymerisation, phase transfer catalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, waste water treatment, organic synthesis, flocculation, coagulation, membrane oxygenation, photosynthesis, hydrogenation, oxidation, fermentation and so on.