Precipitation in small systems-II. Mean field equations more effective than population balance

Manjunath, S. ; Gandhi, K. S. ; Kumar, R. ; Ramkrishna, Doraiswami (1996) Precipitation in small systems-II. Mean field equations more effective than population balance Chemical Engineering Science, 51 (19). pp. 4423-4436. ISSN 0009-2509

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Part I (Manjunath et al., 1994, Chem. Engng Sci. 49, 1451-1463) of this paper showed that the random particle numbers and size distributions in precipitation processes in very small drops obtained by stochastic simulation techniques deviate substantially from the predictions of conventional population balance. The foregoing problem is considered in this paper in terms of a mean field approximation obtained by applying a first-order closure to an unclosed set of mean field equations presented in Part I. The mean field approximation consists of two mutually coupled partial differential equations featuring (i) the probability distribution for residual supersaturation and (ii) the mean number density of particles for each size and supersaturation from which all average properties and fluctuations can be calculated. The mean field equations have been solved by finite difference methods for (i) crystallization and (ii) precipitation of a metal hydroxide both occurring in a single drop of specified initial supersaturation. The results for the average number of particles, average residual supersaturation, the average size distribution, and fluctuations about the average values have been compared with those obtained by stochastic simulation techniques and by population balance. This comparison shows that the mean field predictions are substantially superior to those of population balance as judged by the close proximity of results from the former to those from stochastic simulations. The agreement is excellent for broad initial supersaturations at short times but deteriorates progressively at larger times. For steep initial supersaturation distributions, predictions of the mean field theory are not satisfactory thus calling for higher-order approximations. The merit of the mean field approximation over stochastic simulation lies in its potential to reduce expensive computation times involved in simulation. More effective computational techniques could not only enhance this advantage of the mean field approximation but also make it possible to use higher-order approximations eliminating the constraints under which the stochastic dynamics of the process can be predicted accurately.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Precipitation Stochastic Population; Closure Hypothesis; Fluctuations
ID Code:11464
Deposited On:16 Nov 2010 13:56
Last Modified:02 Jun 2011 05:06

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