CFD-MRI Reactions – A Combined Measurement-Simulation Approach for Reactive Flow Characterization

Catalytic processes are of tremendous importance: many everyday life products and technologies require the use of a catalyst. Up to 90% of all processes in the chemical technology sector make use of a catalyst with 80% of them being heterogeneous catalysis. Knowledge of concentration, velocity, and temperature distribution in a chemical reactor are essential for a detailed understanding of the reaction. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can measure spatially resolved temperature, concentration, local velocities, and many other quantities. The technique, however, suffers from low resolution, high noise, and long measurement times, which is especially true for gas phase applications. The CFD-MRI method applies numerical post-processing on MRI data to reduce noise and increase the resolution. That is, an inverse problem is solved utilizing methods of CFD combined with optimization in order to characterize the underlying reactive flow, e.g., identifying the geometry or reaction kinetics parameters.

Aim of the CFD-MRI Reactions project is to develop the CFD-MRI method together with the MRI measurements to make it applicable for reactive flows in complex geometries. While solving inverse problem, we also obtain images of the velocity and species concentration without noise and at a significantly higher resolution. The results from this project bring us one step closer to a full characterization of heterogeneously catalyzed gas phase reactions.

This project is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Project number 517581625


Ito, S., Jeßberger, J., Simonis, S., Bukreev, F., Kummerländer, A., Zimmermann, A., Thäter, G., Pesch, G., Thöming, J., Krause, M.J. (2023). Identification of Reaction Rate Parameters from Uncertain Spatially Distributed Concentration Data Using Gradient-Based PDE Constrained Optimization. Preprint at SSRN.
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.4616949