Chemical Reaction Engineering

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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Eyal Spier | February 13, 2014

Chemical reaction engineering is an interesting modeling challenge. At first glance, describing a reacting system seems to be very manageable. There remain, however, countless complications and pitfalls that make chemical simulations both challenging and rewarding. In this first post of a new blog series, we will introduce chemical kinetics in general and walk you through how you can use COMSOL software in chemical reaction engineering.

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Fanny Littmarck | November 8, 2013

There were many interesting posters at this year’s COMSOL Conference in Boston. A couple that caught my eye involved microwave heating and chemical applications. One of them showcases the use of microwave irradiation to speed up chemical reactions. Another — one of the recipients of the Best Poster award — used simulations to optimize their microreactor design with respect to microwave propagation.

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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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