Dixon, Anthony G.
The field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) revolutionized research in the field of fluid dynamics because of its ability to numerically solve difficult systems of equations. Recently CFD has been applied to chemical reaction engineering problems. The reaction investigated in this study is the esterification of methanol and acetic acid over a B-zeolite catalyst. First, kinetic parameters describing this reaction were determined via experimentation. Then both 3D CFD simulations and 1D multiphysics simulations of diffusion and reaction were conducted and compared. Diffusion and reaction limitations were characterized and observed intra-pellet concentration gradients were examined. Qualitative comparisons between the 3D CFD results and H-NMR analysis are also discussed.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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