Chemical Reaction Engineering

Eyal Spier | February 13, 2014

Chemical reaction engineering is an interesting modeling challenge. At first glance, describing a reacting system seems to be very manageable. There remain, however, countless complications and pitfalls that make chemical simulations both challenging and rewarding. In this first post of a new blog series, we will introduce chemical kinetics in general and walk you through how you can use COMSOL software in chemical reaction engineering.

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Fanny Littmarck | November 8, 2013

There were many interesting posters at this year’s COMSOL Conference in Boston. A couple that caught my eye involved microwave heating and chemical applications. One of them showcases the use of microwave irradiation to speed up chemical reactions. Another — one of the recipients of the Best Poster award — used simulations to optimize their microreactor design with respect to microwave propagation.

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Fanny Littmarck | March 15, 2013

The beauty of COMSOL is that it provides a unified modeling platform no matter what type of simulations you are performing. This is almost unique to the CAE market. Recently we showed you how to model chemical reactions using a monolith reactor as our example. First we walked you through solving the reaction kinetics and then involving plug flow, next we created a full-scale 3D model of the reactor. A chemical engineer may feel comfortable using a software optimized for […]

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Valerio Marra | March 13, 2013

I love trees and my favorite is definitely the ficus, all varieties included. A few weeks ago I had the chance to admire a stately ficus microcarpa (see figure below). What struck me above all were its aerial roots. Roots are designed to absorb water and nutrients, sustaining the tree and synthesizing substances responsible for its growth. A thought crossed my mind right away: the shape of those roots and the way they coalesce have surely been optimized by Mother […]

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Fanny Littmarck | March 5, 2013

In a previous blog post we dealt with the reaction kinetics and modeled plug flow of a monolithic reactor in the exhaust system of a car. The goal was to determine the ideal dosage of ammonia to reduce the nitrogen oxide levels emitted into the air. After understanding the chemistry of our problem, it is now time for the second part in our “Modeling Chemical Reactions” blog series. Here, we will go through the steps of generating a 3D model […]

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Fanny Littmarck | March 1, 2013

In chemical reaction engineering, simulations are useful for investigating and optimizing a particular reaction process or system. Modeling chemical reactions helps engineers virtually understand the chemistry, optimal size and design of the system, and how it interacts with other physics that may come into play. This is the first of a series of blog posts on chemical reaction engineering, and here we will have a look at the initial stages of modeling the application: the chemical reaction kinetics.

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Fanny Littmarck | February 1, 2013

Microbubbles filled with oxygen can be injected into contaminated lakes to restore the water quality. Typically, water is purified via water-treatment plants, but this microbubble technique is both inexpensive and more environmentally-friendly in comparison. As seen in a COMSOL News 2011 article, oxygen microbubbles are a researcher’s way of copying nature’s own self-restoration mechanism for cleaning contaminated lakes.

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Fanny Littmarck | November 9, 2012

A mixer that doesn’t move may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. Used in various chemical species transport applications, static mixers are inexpensive, accurate, and versatile. Still, there is always room for improvement. Optimizing the design of static mixers calls for computer modeling, but traditional CFD methods may not be the best way to model these mixers. How do these motionless mixers work and how can their performance be simulated?

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Phil Kinnane | May 21, 2012

I was just reading one of my favorite sites, phys.org, about the difficulties of working with nanostructures. In the world of batteries, you want to maximize charge, while minimizing volume and weight. This means that the nano-world is starting to take hold, but, as has been discovered with many other applications where nanotechnology is being applied, it is very difficult to control the material properties in this world.

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