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  1. Chemics-Reactors: A Preliminary Python Program for Implementing Network Models of Multiphase Reactors

    We discuss the design and implementation of a preliminary software package written in Python 3 that is intended to represent complex multiphase reactors as networks of ideal continuous stirred tank reactors. This software also implements statistical design of experiments, uncertainty quantification, and global sensitivity analysis. These advanced features can provide important qualitative and quantitative insights into the effect of operating conditions and model parameters on predicted reactor performance. We demonstrate the utility of the program by modeling the vapor phase catalytic upgrading of bio-oil in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor.
  2. SQERT-T: alleviating kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC)-stiffness in transient KMC simulations [SQERT-T: Alleviating KMC-stiffness in Transient Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations]

    Lattice based kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) is often used for simulating the dynamics of systems at a supramolecular scale, based on molecular scale transitions. A common challenge in KMC simulations is rapid 'back-and-forth' reactions, which dominate the events executed during simulations and inhibit the ability for simulations to reach longer time scales. Such processes are fast frivolous processes (FFPs) and are one manifestation of a phenomenon referred to as KMC-stiffness. Here, an algorithm for staggered quasi-equilibrium rank-based throttling geared towards transient kinetics (SQERT-T) is presented. Within the SQERT-T methodology, a pace-restrictor reaction and an FFP floor are utilized along withmore » throttling of the process transition rate constants to accelerate the KMC simulations while still retaining sufficient time resolution for sampling of the data. KMC simulations were performed for CO oxidation over RuO 2(1 1 0) and over RuO 2(1 1 1), and the results were compared to experimental data obtained using RuO 2 powders. The experiments and simulations were for transient conditions: the system was subjected to a temperature program which included temperatures in the range of 363 to 453 K. Furthermore, the timescales that were achieved during the KMC simulations in this study would not have been accessible without KMC acceleration, and were enabled by the use of SQERT-T.« less
  3. Electrons to Reactors Multiscale Modeling: Catalytic CO Oxidation over RuO 2

    First-principles kinetic Monte Carlo (1p-kMC) simulations for CO oxidation on two RuO 2 facets, RuO 2(110) and RuO 2(111), were coupled to the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations package MFIX, and reactor-scale simulations were then performed. 1p-kMC coupled with CFD has recently been shown as a feasible method for translating molecular scale mechanistic knowledge to the reactor scale, enabling comparisons to in situ and online experimental measurements. Only a few studies with such coupling have been published. This work incorporates multiple catalytic surface facets into the scale-coupled simulation, and three possibilities were investigated: the two possibilities of each facet individuallymore » being the dominant phase in the reactor, and also the possibility that both facets were present on the catalyst particles in the ratio predicted by an ab initio thermodynamics-based Wulff construction. When lateral interactions between adsorbates were included in the 1p-kMC simulations, the two surfaces, RuO 2(110) and RuO 2(111), were found to be of similar order-of-magnitude in activity for the pressure range of 1 × 10 –4 bar to 1 bar, with the RuO 2(110) surface-termination showing more simulated activity than the RuO 2(111) surface-termination. Coupling between the 1p-kMC and CFD was achieved with a lookup table generated by the error-based modified Shepard interpolation scheme. Isothermal reactor scale simulations were performed and compared to two separate experimental studies, conducted with reactant partial pressures of ≤0.1 bar. Simulations without an isothermality restriction were also conducted and showed that the simulated temperature gradient across the catalytic reactor bed is <0.5 K, which validated the use of the isothermality restriction for investigating the reactor-scale phenomenological temperature dependences. The approach with the Wulff construction based reactor simulations reproduced a trend similar to one experimental data set relatively well, with the (110) surface being more active at higher temperaures; in contrast, for the other experimental data set, our reactor simulations achieve surprisingly and perhaps fortuitously good agreement with the activity and phenomenological pressure dependence when it is assumed that the (111) facet is the only active facet present. Lastly, the active phase of catalytic CO oxidation over RuO 2 remains unsettled, but the present study presents proof of principle (and progress) toward more accurate multiscale modeling from electrons to reactors and new simulation results.« less
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  4. Below-Room-Temperature C–H Bond Breaking on an Inexpensive Metal Oxide: Methanol to Formaldehyde on CeO 2(111)

    C-H bond breaking is important for industrial commodity and specialty chemical transformations, including the upgrading of alcohols. Small primary alcohols – methanol and ethanol – are used industrially as precursors for the corresponding aldehydes at industrial scales. However, upgrading these primary alcohols involves C-H bond breaking and the processes are run at elevated temperatures (> 200 °C). In this work, new understanding from temperature programmed reaction (TPR) studies with methanol over a CeO 2(111) surface show the C-H bond breaking and the subsequent desorption of formaldehyde, even below room temperature. This is of particular interests because CeO 2 is amore » naturally abundant, inexpensive metal oxide. We combine density functional theory (DFT) and kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) to simulate the TPR of methanol on CeO2. Our simulations show that the low temperature C H bond breaking occurs via disproportionation of adjacent methoxy species to form methanol and formaldehyde which each then desorb. We further show from DFT calculations that the same transition state with comparably low activation energies should be possible for other sustainable primary alcohols, with ethanol, 1-propanol, and 1-butanol having been explicitly calculated. In conclusion, these findings point out a new class of transition states to search for in seeking low temperature C-H bond breaking over inexpensive metal oxides.« less

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