Intense transformations are changing the chemical industry. Development of mathematical models describing physic-chemical interaction and availability of high performance computing resources have boosted Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) diffusion. It can answer the challenging questions left after the initial design phase of process simulation, resolving in 3D space the underlying physics and coupled chemistry in a more detailed manner, focusing on the local effects of flow and heat transfer on mass transfer and chemical reactions.
A lot of sector can exploit this approach: from cement, glass, steel to refining, from pharmaceutical to food and beverage, pulp & paper. Other examples can be found when dealing with multi-phase flows: cases like bubble columns, stirred tank reactors, fluidized bed reactors and many other processing equipment present flows with two or more phases and concomitant inter phase mass exchange and heat transfer. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation applied on these context is very challenging as well as very promising: different approaches are available, such as:
- Discrete Element Model (DEM)
- Lagrangian multi-phase model (LMP)
- Eulerian multi-phase model (EMP)
- Volume of Fluid (VOF)
To accurately model chemical reactions the inherent coupling with other transport phenomena like fluid flow and mass & heat transfer has to be taken into account. A good understanding of these interactions is essential in design of flow and batch reactors, burners, furnaces, flares etc.
Finally, also pollution/contaminant monitoring and control is becoming more and more important, since of relevant environmental concern.