Modeling of the interplay between single-file diffusion and conversion reaction in mesoporous systems

by Jing Wang

Institution: Iowa State University
Year: 2013
Keywords: hydrodynamic; reaction diffusion equations; single-file diffusion; Applied Mathematics
Record ID: 2009617
Full text PDF: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/13375



We analyze the spatiotemporal behavior of species concentrations in a diffusion-mediated conversion reaction which occurs at catalytic sites within linear pores of nanometer diameter. A strict single-file (no passing) constraint occurs in the diffusion within such narrow pores. Both transient and steady-state behavior is precisely characterized by kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of a spatially discrete lattice-gas model for this reaction-diffusion process considering various distributions of catalytic sites. Exact hierarchical master equations can also be developed for this model. Their analysis, after application of mean-field type truncation approximations, produces discrete reaction-diffusion type equations (mf-RDE). For slowly varying concentrations, we further develop coarse-grained continuum hydrodynamic reaction-diffusion equations (h-RDE) incorporating a precise treatment of single-file diffusion (SFD) in this multispecies system. Noting the shortcomings of mf-RDE and h-RDE, we then develop a generalized hydrodynamic (GH) formulation of appropriate gh-RDE which incorporates an unconventional description of chemical diffusion in mixed-component quasi-single-file systems based on a refined picture of tracer diffusion for finite-length pores. The gh-RDE elucidate the non-exponential decay of the steady-state reactant concentration into the pore and the non-mean-field scaling of the reactant penetration depth. Then an extended model of a catalytic conversion reaction within a functionalized nanoporous material is developed to assess the effect of varying the reaction product - pore interior interaction from attractive to repulsive. The analysis is performed utilizing the generalized hydrodynamic formulation of the reaction-diffusion equations which can reliably capture the complex interplay between reaction and restricted transport for both irreversible and reversible reactions.