How to Model Heat and Moisture Transport in Porous Media with COMSOL®

Claire Bost June 14, 2017

When ambient air flows through porous media, it carries moisture. In this process, temperature and moisture are coupled: The vapor saturates depending on the temperature conditions, while latent heat effects due to evaporation and condensation modify the temperature. We discussed heat and moisture transport in air in a previous blog post. Let’s address the specific transport processes we need to consider in pores and how to model heat and moisture transport in porous media with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Cunningham April 26, 2017

Sometimes when you bake a cake, it doesn’t turn out how you expected. Part of this is due to the underlying heat and mass transfer phenomena that occur within the baking process, which affect the end result. With tools like the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can study and predict how these mechanisms work and use this knowledge to bake a better cake.

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Edmund Dickinson March 14, 2017

In corrosion analysis, we often want to study corroding surfaces whose electrical connectivity is not as simple as a controlled current or voltage. Instead, an electrode surface might be short circuited to another electrode through a direct connection, such as the electrical connection between a monopile and transition piece. Here, we look at how to describe these electrodes and external short circuits using the appropriate boundary conditions in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Cunningham March 10, 2017

While reverse electrodialysis (RED) is a promising source of renewable energy, it can be a challenging process to analyze. The performance of RED units is affected by the physical phenomena that occur when converting salinity gradient energy into electric current. To address this, one team of researchers used a novel approach to model such systems in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Their multiphysics model and subsequent simulation studies provide further insight into designing and optimizing RED units.

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Caty Fairclough March 6, 2017

One way to design utility boilers with high thermal efficiency is to improve their furnaces — the most important part in their energy conversion process. Studying furnaces in utility boilers requires engineers to account for radiation, which can be difficult to solve for analytically and expensive to study experimentally. As an alternative, we can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to analyze radiative heat transfer in utility boiler furnaces and improve their designs.

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Edmund Dickinson February 9, 2017

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy is a versatile experimental technique that provides information about an electrochemical cell’s different physical and chemical phenomena. By modeling the physical processes involved, we can constructively interpret the experiment’s results and assess the magnitudes of the physical quantities controlling the cell. We can then turn this model into an app, making electrochemical modeling accessible to more researchers and engineers. Here, we will look at three different ways of analyzing EIS: experiment, model, and simulation app.

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Ed Fontes February 2, 2017

Fat-washing cocktails has become popular in the last decade. This technique has made it possible for bartenders to create drinks such as the Benton’s Old-Fashioned, a bacon-infused bourbon cocktail, and a milder pecan-butter-infused bourbon. In this blog post, we discuss this innovative cocktail technique and how it can be transferred to an industrial scale. In fact, many chemical processes in a variety of industries already use similar methods.

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Bridget Cunningham January 13, 2017

For automotive designers, developing effective evaporative emission control systems in vehicles is an important task. Without these systems, volatile hydrocarbons can escape from a vehicle’s fuel tank, producing air pollution and smog. The COMSOL Multiphysics® software provides the features and functionality needed to model these systems in order to understand their operations and improve their performance. Here’s a look at one research team’s analysis of an evaporative emission control system for bioethanol-blend fuels.

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Caty Fairclough December 15, 2016

For patients with renal failure, efficient dialysis treatment is vital. One point of focus is designing high-performance dialysis equipment that increases contaminant removal, improving treatments like hemodialysis. To accomplish this, you can study aspects of the hemodialysis process, such as membrane dialysis devices, with numerical modeling apps. These apps, like the one discussed here, enable users to more quickly analyze the effects of different inputs and improve designs.

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Bridget Cunningham December 7, 2016

Traditional lithium-ion batteries use an electrolyte based on a flammable liquid solvent, which can cause them to catch fire if they overheat. In recent years, nonflammable solid electrolytes have been investigated as an alternative to improve battery design and safety. Optimizing this technology for industrial applications, however, requires a better understanding of the electrochemical processes inside the device. Simulation serves as a valuable tool for this purpose, helping to realize the use of solid-state lithium-ion batteries in the near future.

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Bridget Paulus November 29, 2016

Transdermal drug delivery (TDD) patches continuously deliver drugs into the body for a certain amount of time. However, the skin is designed to keep out foreign substances, like drugs. To create a TDD patch that successfully bypasses this barrier, simulation can be used to study drug release and absorption into the skin. To analyze this process, Veryst Engineering created a TDD patch model with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and compared the results to experimental data.

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