Direct numerical simulation of a non-isothermal non-adiabatic packed bed reactor

V. Chandra, E. A.J.F. Peters (Corresponding author), J. A.M. Kuipers

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A fundamental continuum-based numerical model was developed to simulate a non-isothermal non-adiabatic reactor which does not employ any empirical closures. The model was able to capture unique features of an exothermic catalytic reactor such as parametric sensitivity, hot-spot formations and multiplicity of steady states. Furthermore, the model inherently accounts for the various aspects of classical phenomenological models such as axial and radial dispersion of heat and mass and the intrinsic coupling of heat and mass transport between the fluid phase and the solid phase. The numerical procedure was validated with existing literature data before moving on to the simulation of a bed consisting of 340 spherical particles packed using the Discrete Element Method. Five simulations were performed by varying the rate of reaction and keeping all other parameters constant to capture the ignition/extinction phenomena exhibited by exothermic packed bed reactors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123641
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Heat and mass transfer
  • Hot-spot
  • Immersed Boundary Method
  • Packed bed reactors


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