Why Car Batteries Perform Poorly in Cold Weather

Ed Fontes | February 5, 2015

Starting the car on a cold winter morning can be unpleasant if you have not been proactive the night before. When you are unable to start an engine, it is often the battery’s fault. Why is a battery more sensitive than other processes in a car? The answer lies in the battery’s ability to convert chemical energy into electrical energy, with a minimum of heat generation, and the relatively small amounts of thermal energy available at low temperatures.

Read More

Ed Fontes | February 3, 2015

Modeling of heterogeneous catalysis traditionally attracts great interest from the chemical engineering community, due to the many industrial processes that utilize this type of catalysis. Here, we discuss the procedure of starting with detailed micro-geometries and then proceeding with approximations through homogenization. By following this procedure, from the microscopic particle level to the macroscopic reactor level, we can design the catalyst in detail and study the influence of this design on the total reactor performance.

Read More

Mikael Fredenberg | December 17, 2014

The printed circuit board (PCB) is the heart of almost any electronic product, carrying the components and copper wires supporting its functionality. The manufacture often involves electroplating, a process that can vary between designs. This leaves you, the engineer behind its simulation and optimization, constantly creating new models. What if you could push much of this work onto the designers, engineers, and technicians behind its design and manufacture, having them run their own electroplating simulations for PCBs? See how here.

Read More

Ed Fontes | November 21, 2014

The Tubular Reactor application is a tool where students can model a nonideal tubular reactor, including radial and axial variations in temperature and composition, and investigate the impact of different operating conditions. It also exemplifies how teachers can build tailored interfaces for problems that challenge the students’ imagination. The model and exercise are originally described in Scott Fogler’s book Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering. I wish I had access to this type of tool when I was a student!

Read More

Niklas Rom | November 3, 2014

Probably the most common reactor in the chemical industry is the packed bed reactor. This reactor is used in chemical synthesis and for effluent treatment and catalytic combustion. Oftentimes, heterogeneous catalysis requires packed beds. A common design is a cylindrical column filled with catalyst pellets. The pellets can be contained within supporting structures, like tubes or channels, or packed in a single compartment in the column. The latter is called dumped packing.

Read More

Bridget Cunningham | October 27, 2014

The design of the reactor used in hydrodealkylation can have a significant impact on the overall yield and selectivity of the conversion product. In this blog post, we use modeling and simulation to investigate the advantages of using a membrane reactor.

Read More

Andrew Griesmer | October 15, 2014

For anyone interested in modeling chemical reactions and/or flow through porous media, we have created a video to demonstrate how COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software handles such applications. Consider this your interactive tour of the model documentation for our porous reactor model.

Read More

Bridget Cunningham | October 9, 2014

In the performance of lithium-ion batteries, thermal management is an important element to consider. Through modeling and simulation, you can improve the design process by analyzing how heat is transferred within the energy source.

Read More

Ed Fontes | September 10, 2014

As a chemical engineer, I can’t just smoke a cigar and leave it at that. Here, I investigate the anatomy, structure, and chemical process zones of a cigar and show you a simple model of the temperature distribution of the smoke in a cigar as well as the concentration of oxygen.

Read More

Jennifer Segui | September 3, 2014

Billions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. to repair corrosion damage. To help reduce the high cost of corrosion, engineers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. are using multiphysics simulation to gain a better understanding of the fundamental mechanism. A successful research outcome at NRL will establish the correlation between metal microstructure, corrosion, and mechanical strength. Material designers could then develop stronger, corrosion-resistant materials using this new information.

Read More

Edmund Dickinson | August 14, 2014

Diabetes is an incurable global killer: the World Health Organization estimates 350 million diabetics worldwide, with an average annual fatality rate close to 1%. Fortunately, modern medical science enables diabetics to manage their glucose levels and intake, so many countries have seen greatly reduced danger of the disease. Many diabetics must track their glucose levels throughout the day, requiring an accurate method for measuring the concentration of glucose in blood. For modern sensor designs, the method of choice is electrochemistry.

Read More



1 2 3 4 5 6 8