Coupling mesoscale transport to catalytic surface reactions in a hybrid model

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Abstract

In heterogeneous catalysis, reactivity and selectivity are not only influenced by chemical processes occurring on catalytic surfaces but also by physical transport phenomena in the bulk fluid and fluid near the reactive surfaces. Because these processes take place at a large range of time and length scales, it is a challenge to model catalytic reactors, especially when dealing with complex surface reactions that cannot be reduced to simple mean-field boundary conditions. As a particle-based mesoscale method, Stochastic Rotation Dynamics (SRD) is well suited for studying problems that include both microscale effects on surfaces and transport phenomena in fluids. In this work, we demonstrate how to simulate heterogeneous catalytic reactors by coupling an SRD fluid with a catalytic surface on which complex surface reactions are explicitly modeled. We provide a theoretical background for modeling different stages of heterogeneous surface reactions. After validating the simulation method for surface reactions with mean-field assumptions, we apply the method to non-mean-field reactions in which surface species interact with each other through a Monte Carlo scheme, leading to island formation on the catalytic surface. We show the potential of the method by simulating a more complex three-step reaction mechanism with reactant dissociation.

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