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Chemical Reaction Engineering Blog Posts

Studying the Migration of Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons in Food Packaging

November 17, 2016

Food packaging is often composed of recycled materials, like newspapers or plastic, which may contain residual mineral oil inks. Traces of these potentially hazardous substances leftover from the recycled materials can migrate from the packaging to the stored food. To account for this, one research team developed a numerical model to analyze the migration patterns of mineral oil hydrocarbons for various packaging situations. Compared to experimental studies, their approach offers a more efficient and cost-effective way of optimizing food safety.

Analyze a Vacuum Dryer’s Speed with Multiphysics Modeling

October 19, 2016

In certain food and pharmaceutical industries, different types of dryers are used to dry heat-sensitive products. Vacuum dryers offer one solution for removing water and organic solvents from these sensitive substances. For optimal vacuum dryer design performance, engineers need to balance the dual needs of a rapid drying time and high-quality end products. To achieve this, you can study the vacuum drying process with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

Model Methane HCCI Combustion to Optimize Engine Ignition Control

October 4, 2016

Environmental demands for greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions have sparked an interest in finding an alternative to traditional spark- and compression-ignition engines. While homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines offer a viable solution, significant challenges like maintaining control of ignition timing still remain. With simulation tools like the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can analyze the combustion process of an HCCI engine and gain deeper insight into ways to advance ignition control.

New Reacting Flow Multiphysics Interface Delivers Greater Flexibility

September 9, 2016

In recent versions of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we’ve added several new multiphysics interfaces that include the constituent interfaces as separate physics interfaces, with the couplings predefined in the model tree’s Multiphysics node. This provides you with the best of both worlds, combining the flexibility of the constituent physics interfaces and the user-friendly nature of the predefined multiphysics couplings. The latest version of COMSOL Multiphysics® — version 5.2a — is no exception with the new Reacting Flow multiphysics interface.

Studying Bioreactor Landfills to Solve a Growing Trash Problem

August 26, 2016

Around the world, trash is added to landfills at an increasingly rapid rate. Since these landfills take up large areas of land and can cause environmental issues, researchers are looking for safer, space-saving solutions. One option is to convert traditional anaerobic landfills into aerobic bioreactor landfills. This conversion process needs to be studied further, which could take years experimentally. For faster results, researchers at the University of Western Ontario used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to efficiently analyze this process.

Analyzing the Dissociation Process in a Tubular Reactor

May 17, 2016

Tubular reactors are commonly used in the chemical industry, where they help with continuous large-scale production. To accurately analyze these devices, we can simulate the tubular reactor’s dissociation process. In this blog post, we compare isothermal and nonisothermal simulation studies. Such studies showcase multiple helpful features from the Chemical Reaction Engineering Module that you can use in your own simulations.

Modeling Fermentation in Beer Brewing Yields a Better Product

April 25, 2016

Behind every glass of beer is a series of steps that deliver its unique taste. Fermentation, the process during which sugars are converted into alcohol, is one of these important steps. With the help of COMSOL Multiphysics, we can study the fermentation process, identifying ways to optimize its efficiency and serve up a better-tasting beer.

Protein Adsorption: Batch and Space-Dependent Modeling

January 19, 2016

When studying a system’s chemical kinetics, it’s common to use perfectly mixed batch reactor assumptions and design experiments that keep mixing conditions ideal. Such assumptions include perfectly mixed (ideal tank reactors) and perfectly unmixed (ideal plug flow reactors). In reality, however, it’s rare that all of the reactor’s parts behave the same way. Space-dependent modeling is thus essential in understanding and optimizing chemical reactors. Let’s explore the development of a detailed reactor model, starting with a simple perfectly mixed example.