Dual Control Cell Reaction Ensemble Molecular Dynamics:A Method for Simulations of Reactions and Adsorption in Porous Materials

Report No. ARL-RP-146
Authors: Martin Lisal; John K. Brennan; William R. Smith; Flor R. Siperstein
Date/Pages: September 2006; 18 pages
Abstract: We present a simulation tool to study fluid mixtures that are simultaneously chemically reacting and adsorbing in a porous material. The method is a combination of the reaction ensemble Monte Carlo method and the dual control volume grand canonical molecular dynamics technique. The method, termed the dual control cell reaction ensemble molecular dynamics method, allows for the calculation of both equilibrium and nonequilibrium transport properties in porous materials such as diffusion coefficients, permeability, and mass flux. Control cells, which are in direct physical contact with the porous solid, are used to maintain the desired reaction and flow conditions for the system. The simulation setup closely mimics an actual experimental system in which the thermodynamic and flow parameters are precisely controlled. We present an application of the method to the dry reforming of methane reaction within a nanoscale reactor model in the presence of a semipermeable membrane that was modeled as a porous material similar to silicalite. We studied the effects of the membrane structure and porosity on the reaction species permeability by considering three different membrane models. We also studied the effects of an imposed pressure gradient across the membrane on the mass flux of the reaction species. Conversion of syngas (H2/CO) increased significantly in all the nanoscale membrane reactor models considered. A brief discussion of further potential applications is also presented.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2006