Chemical

Edmund Dickinson | May 27, 2013

If you’re not an electrochemist, chances are you’ve never come across cyclic voltammetry. But look at any electrochemical journal, conference proceedings, or company website for manufacturers of electrochemical sensors. Somewhere near the front, you’ll see a distinctive “double-peaked” graph.

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Phil Kinnane | April 18, 2013

It’s always been hard to place the field of electrochemistry into a more traditional engineering field. Departments and institutions that focus on electrochemical applications can be found within the faculties of Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science, Physical Chemistry, and even Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering. I believe this is because electrochemistry is heavily involved in applications that are quite varied — and in some ways quite new. Electrochemical applications need to be studied before they can be understood and optimized, […]

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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 4, 2013

Electrodeposition is the process of making a substance adhere to an object through electrochemical reactions. Sometimes the substance is available in the solution form and other times it is a solid object too, and needs to undergo electrochemical reactions in order to dissolve into solution; often as part of the electrodeposition process. Electrodeposition can be an important part of the refining process of certain metals, such as copper, silver, and gold and is often referred to as electrorefining or electrowinning. […]

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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 | January 21, 2013

On Friday I wrote about designing safer lithium-ion batteries, and showed you a few resources for helping people do just that. Now I’d like to show you a lithium-ion battery model and briefly run through how it can be created in COMSOL Multiphysics in three sequential studies.

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Fanny Littmarck | January 18, 2013

Unless you live under a rock, you’ll have heard lithium-ion batteries mentioned a lot lately. Last week in Boston, a lithium-ion battery caught fire in the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, forcing them to ground all Dreamliner planes until further notice. This type of battery makes it possible to pack lots of power into a small package. What can be done to make it operate safely?

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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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