Special Seminar – Bob Hayes – Nov. 25

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering as part of its Departmental Seminar Series announces the upcoming Special Seminar:

  • Topic: Multi-Scale Modelling of Structured Catalytic Reactors
  • Speaker: Professor R. E. (Bob) Hayes, University of Alberta
  • Host: Dr. Kevin Smith
  • Time & Date: 1:00pm-2:00pm; November 25, 2016
  • Location: Chemical and Biological Engineering Building Room 101


Advanced computational modelling is used for heterogeneous catalytic reactors. A reactor model requires the solution of the conservation equations (PDE). The phenomenon in a catalytic reactor happen at several length scales, leading to a multi-scale model. The smallest scale is the molecular scale. A typical porous catalyst has a pore scale on the dimensions of nano-metres, and the catalyst may consist of particles ranging in size from microns to millimetres. The void space inside the reactor is also typically on the millimetre scale, and the reactor may have dimensions of metres. To solve the governing PDE for the reactor requires the spatial discretization of the solution domain, however, a complete discretization of all scales is either extremely time consuming or not possible at all. Usually only the largest scale is discretized. The challenge is to incorporate the smaller scale information in the large scale model. This is usually done using sub-models (scale bridges). Scale bridges can be an algebraic equation or require the solution of a complex set of PDE. The efficient choice of a scale bridge is crucial to achieving a solution.

This talk will discuss some methodologies for hierarchical multi-scale model reduction. It will focus on the use of pre-computed data stored in look-up tables as a means of achieving said computational efficiency. Some practical examples used in the modelling of structured reactors will be illustrated.



Prof. Bob Hayes (image provided)

Professor R.E. (Bob) Hayes is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He has been active in Catalysis since his undergraduate years. Following a B. Eng. earned at the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS), he pursued a PhD with Professor John Thomas at the University of Bath, UK. He continued his work on catalysis at TUNS as an Assistant Professor, studying the methanation reaction, before moving to the University of Alberta in 1985. Since 1990, he has worked in the area of catalytic combustion in structured catalytic reactors, both for the mitigation of fugitive methane emissions and in the development of automotive catalytic converters. The research work has been conducted in collaboration with both industrial and governmental laboratories, as well as with colleagues and other Canadian and International Universities. He is the author or co-author of over 100 scientific papers and six textbooks, including the reference work, Introduction to Catalytic Combustion, published in 1997, and co-author of the historical fiction novel Riot and Retribution.
His current research interests include catalyst development for the low temperature oxidation of methane in lean and wet gas streams, kinetic and reactor modelling of automotive exhaust gas after treatment systems and catalytic distillation for the production of biofuels.