Date of Completion

Spring 5-9-2010

Thesis Advisor(s)

Benjamin A. Wilhite

Honors Major

Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering


This thesis presents a numerical study of reaction and diffusion phenomena in wall-coated heat-exchanger microreactors. Specifically, the interactions between an endothermic and exothermic catalyst layer separated by an impermeable wall is studied to understand the inherent behavior of the system. Two modeling approaches are presented, the first under the assumption of a constant thermal gradient and neglecting heat of reaction and the second considering both catalyst layers and reaction heat. Both studies found that thicker, more thermally insulating catalyst layers increase the effectiveness of the exothermic reaction by allowing for accumulation of reaction heat while thinner catalyst layers for the endothermic catalyst allow for direct access of the reactant to higher wall temperatures.