Excitable waves in a fixed bed reactor: ethylene oxidation on platinum

Moshe Sheintuch*, John Adjaye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Fronts of excitable media are induced by perturbing an adiabatic fixed bed reactor catalyzing ethylene oxidation: the front always travels downstream while a new front is re-established at the inlet. The fixed bed may admit up to three stable steady states and consequently multiple fronts may be realized. The front may lead from a unique stable state to itself or from an ignited to an extinguished state. The fronts travel at constant shape and speed. Step changes or perturbations in inlet conditions applied while the front is in motion cause adjustment of the local state but do not arrest the front.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1897-1903
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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