Chemical Reaction Engineering Blog Posts
Simulating an Ideal Stirred Tank Reactor System
Continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTRs), or ideal stirred tank reactors, are frequently used in the chemical and biochemical industries. This reactor type operates at steady state and because of its good mixing properties, it is assumed that the composition throughout the reactor is uniform. Using a new model in the Reaction Engineering interface, we can visualize the dynamics within an ideal system of tank reactors.
New and Revamped Chemical Engineering Interfaces
Many exciting features for chemical engineering modeling were introduced in COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.0. In this blog post, I will discuss the most important updates. There are some new modeling interfaces, such as the Chemistry interface, and some that have been revamped and improved, like the Reaction Engineering interface. To begin with, I will recap the modeling interfaces for reaction engineering and mass transport.
Modeling Approaches in Heterogeneous Catalysis
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.
Apps for Teaching Mathematical Modeling of Tubular Reactors
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!
Multiscale Reactors: Cleaning the Flows
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.
Modeling Hydrodealkylation in a Membrane Reactor
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.
Modeling Reacting Flow in Porous Media
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.
Sometimes a Cigar Is More Than Just a Cigar
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.
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