Pattern formation in models of fixed-bed reactors

Moshe Sheintuch*, Olga Nekhamkina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This work reviews and compares spatiotemporal patterns in three models of adiabatic fixed catalytic beds for reactions with oscillatory kinetics: homogeneous and heterogeneous models, which are studied using generic first-order kinetics, and a detailed model of CO oxidation in the monolithic reactor. These three models describe reactors with one, two or all three phases (fluid-, solid- and adsorbed-phases), respectively. Pattern selection is based on the oscillatory or bistable nature of the kinetics and on the nature of fronts. The heterogenous and detailed models may exhibit local bistability while the homogeneous model does not admit this property: a simple conversion between the parameters of the homogeneous and heterogeneous models is suggested. The spatiotemporal patterns in the reactor can be predicted from the sequence of phase planes spanned by the reactor. Stationary or oscillatory front solutions, oscillatory states that sweep the whole surface or excitation fronts may be realized in the homogeneous and heterogeneous models. The detailed model of the converter may exhibit oscillatory motion, which may be periodic or chaotic, in which typically a hot domain enters the reactor exit and moves quickly upstream; the following extinction occurs almost simultaneously due to strong coupling by convection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-382
Number of pages14
JournalCatalysis Today
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventSpatiotemporal Catalytic Patterns (SHEINTUCH S.I.) - Haifa, Israel
Duration: 15 Oct 200015 Oct 2000


  • Fixed-bed reactors
  • Heterogeneous model
  • Homogeneous model
  • Spatiotemporal patterns


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