Semi-analytical source method for reaction⇓diffusion problems

K. D. Cole, B. Cetin, Y. Demirel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Estimation of thermal properties, diffusion properties, or chemical–reaction rates from transient data requires that a model is available that is physically meaningful and suitably precise. The model must also produce numerical values rapidly enough to accommodate iterative regression, inverse methods, or other estimation procedures during which the model is evaluated again and again. Applications that motivate the present work include process control of microreactors, measurement of diffusion properties in microfuel cells, and measurement of reaction kinetics in biological systems. This study introduces a solution method for nonisothermal reaction–diffusion (RD) problems that provides numerical results at high precision and low computation time, especially for calculations of a repetitive nature. Here, the coupled heat and mass balance equations are solved by treating the coupling terms as source terms, so that the solution for concentration and temperature may be cast as integral equations using Green’s functions (GF). This new method requires far fewer discretization elements in space and time than fully numeric methods at comparable accuracy. The method is validated by comparison with a benchmark heat transfer solution and a commercial code. Results are presented for a first-order chemical reaction that represents synthesis of vinyl chloride.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061301
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Cross-dependence
  • Exact green’s function
  • Heat transfer
  • Mass transfer
  • Nonlinear partial differential equation
  • Piecewise-constant source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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