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Terra Quantum Develops Hybrid Quantum Computing Prototype for Evonik

  • Terra Quantum and Evonik investigated the potential use of hybrid quantum computing for improving the design of a specific class of unit operations in chemicals production

  • Terra Quantum’s hybrid quantum technology was applied to improve fluid mixing simulations and shape optimization for production parts

  • Terra Quantum’s hybrid quantum optimizer achieves a superior result against the existing classical approach with a 45 percent lower cost function for the benchmark case of designing a T-shaped mixer

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, April 25, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Terra Quantum, a globally leading quantum technology company focused on providing an end-to-end technology platform delivering real commercial advantage to its customers already today, provided support to Evonik in exploring how one of the world leaders in speciality chemicals could take advantage of quantum technologies to unlock operational benefits. As quantum technology continues to develop and disrupt industries, organisations that adopt these technologies early will have the competitive edge both now and in the future.

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Evonik and Terra Quantum use hybrid quantum computing for specialty chemicals (Graphic: Business Wire)

The joint project focused on the simulation and design optimization of a T-shaped mixer, as a simplified stand-in for more complex manufacturing unit operations. These types of parts are commonly used in the chemicals manufacturing process, however their specific shape parameters need to be finely tuned and adjusted depending on the reaction they will be used for.

The current process of designing the optimal mixer involves a lot of trial and error together with real and virtual prototyping. This results in long development times & high development costs. Terra Quantum has developed a software prototype for Evonik that exceeds the current performance for the simplified case of a T-mixer shape: "The tensor train approach we developed is useful for high-dimensional black box optimisation problems and works like a smart grid search. Specifically for the mixer shape optimisation, it approaches a superior cost function, faster in comparison to the existing Bayesian approach." Explains Karan Pinto, Director of Growth at Terra Quantum. Shape optimization and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation, as Terra Quantum has now carried out for Evonik, are not only used in chemical production, but also in mechanical engineering, aerospace, automotive, material science and other industries.

"This simulation and optimization work is another significant development in the application of quantum computing to the chemical industry. The results already illustrate the enormous potential of quantum technology that we can expect to unfold in the decade ahead as its power to redefine performance will change all aspects of this industry," says Markus Pflitsch, CEO and Chairman at Terra Quantum, summarizing the project with Evonik. He adds, "Our joint work with Evonik is also breaking new ground. The Tensor Networks and Machine Learning approaches are novel and have not been applied in this context before." That, he says, is also why the Terra Quantum research team has written three scientific papers on the subject following their work with Evonik on this use case. (Study 1 | Study 2 | Study 3 to be published)

Henrik Hahn, Evonik's Chief Digital Officer, adds, "The cooperation with Terra Quantum has allowed us to understand the potential current and future benefit of Quantum Computing for a specific class of Evonik use cases. The software prototype that has now been developed is promising with not only faster but also better results. We are now exploring how we could work towards realizing the business benefits of these efforts for multiple use cases." The Terra Quantum prototype is compatible with the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software used by Evonik. Terra Quantum and Evonik are currently exploring potential joint next steps.

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About Terra Quantum

Terra Quantum Group is a leading quantum technology company based in Germany and Switzerland. It provides "Quantum as a Service (QaaS)" in three core areas, the first one being "Quantum Algorithms as a Service". Here, customers are provided access to an extensive library of algorithms, such as hybrid quantum optimization and hybrid quantum neural networks, which can be used for solving complex logistics problems or pattern recognition, among other things. Terra Quantum also develops new quantum algorithms for its customers or adapts existing algorithms to their specific needs. Secondly, through "Quantum Computing as a Service", Terra Quantum offers its customers access to its proprietary high-performance simulated quantum processing units (QPU), the quantum ecosystem’s physical QPUs, while also developing native QPUs. The third division is "Quantum Security as a Service," through which Terra Quantum offers its unique solutions for secure quantum and post-quantum communications worldwide. Visit us on LinkedIn and our website.

About Evonik

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €18.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.49 billion in FY2022. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 34,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.

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