Chemical Reaction Engineering

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bridget Cunningham | July 21, 2014

In chemistry, separation using differences in migration patterns plays an important role in understanding the properties of different chemical species. To help identify small chemical differences between molecules, researchers use a type of electrophoresis known as isoelectric focusing. With the use of an applied electric potential, this technique helps to define and separate molecules based on their varying isoelectric points. Let’s take a closer look at this separation method.

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Fanny Littmarck | June 13, 2014

Some chemical applications call for identification and quantification of the components in a chemical mixture. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a versatile separation technology for chemical species. To learn more about the separation process, we can model it with simulation software.

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Eyal Spier | May 8, 2014

In this final installment of our Chemical Kinetics series, we will look at one of the major chemical syntheses of the modern era. This is a process that every single one of us has benefited from, whether we know it or not: ammonia synthesis. It has become one of the most studied reactions in history, its intricacies and complexities are the subject of several textbooks, and its history is a complex tale of good and evil.

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Eyal Spier | April 10, 2014

The last two blog posts in the Chemical Kinetics series were concerned with modeling chemical reactions based on a particular set of parameters. While this is important and of great academic and industrial interest, the relevant parameters were assumed. Now, let’s find out how to estimate the chemical parameters using COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Eyal Spier | March 13, 2014

While the mathematical study of chemical reactions has been performed for more than a century, it is only fairly recently that the computational tools for numeric integration of rate equations have been widely available. The old adage of “necessity is the mother of all invention” holds true in this instance. Here, you will find a classical analysis of a non-trivial reaction system, and learn how the simplified solution compares with the “real” one.

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Ahsan Munir | February 26, 2014

DNA is a complex molecule that contains instructions for life and often referred to as a “digital fingerprint” or code telling a cell what to do. DNA is often the only means for accurate testing and identification of biomolecules, cells, or even an entire person during forensic investigations. The need to be able to test for DNA, as quickly as possible, and even at the site where the sample is taken, is becoming more and more important.

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