Pattern formation in homogeneous and heterogeneous reactor models

Moshe Sheintuch*, Olga Nekhamkina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This work qualitatively and quantitatively compares spatiotemporal patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous models of a fixed catalytic bed for reactions with oscillatory kinetics. Pattern selection is based on the oscillatory or bistable nature of the kinetics and on the nature of fronts. The heterogenous model can exhibit local bistability while the homogeneous model does not admit this property: when flow terms are accounted for both models can be approximated by a cell-model suggesting a simple conversion between the parameters of both models. The parameter-conversion approximation (1/Pe,(eff) = 1/Pe + 1/β, where β is the external transport parameter) can predict quite well the dynamics of the heterogenous model with a pseudohomogeneous one when β>> Pe, but it fails when both parameters are comparable. The dynamic behavior is sensitive to the boundary conditions applied. Several qualitative differences between the two models are pointed out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4535-4546
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1998 3rd International Conference on Unsteady State Processes in Catalysis (USPC-3) - St. Petersburg, Russia
Duration: 28 Jun 19983 Jul 1998


  • Fixed bed catalytic reactor
  • Front motion
  • Heterogeneous and homogeneous models
  • Oscillatory kinetics
  • Pattern formation


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