Heat and mass transfer in a square microchannel with asymmetric heating

P. van Male, M.H.J.M. de Croon, Roald M. Tiggelaar, Albert van den Berg, J.C. Schouten

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    This paper describes the heat and mass transfer in a square microchannel that is heated from one side. This microchannel represents a reaction channel in a microreactor that is used to study the kinetics of the catalytic partial oxidation of methane. The microchannel is contained in a silicon wafer and is covered by a thin silicon sheet. At the top side of this sheet, heating elements are present which mimic the heat that is produced as a result of the exothermic chemical reaction. Correlations for Nusselt and Sherwood numbers as a function of the Graetz number are derived for laminar and plug flow conditions. These correlations describe the heat and mass transport at the covering top sheet of the microchannel as well as at its side and bottom walls. By means of computational fluid dynamic simulations, the laminar flow is studied. To determine an approximate laminar flow Nusselt correlation, the heat transport was solved analytically for plug flow conditions to describe the influence of changes in the thermal boundaries of the system. The laminar flow case is experimentally validated by measuring the actual temperature distribution in a 500 μm square, 3 cm long, microchannel that is covered by a 1 μm and by a 1.9 μm thick silicon sheet with heating elements and temperature sensors on top. The Nusselt and Sherwood correlations can be used to readily quantify the heat and mass transport to support kinetic studies of catalytic reactions in this type of microreactor.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)87-99
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational journal of heat and mass transfer
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • METIS-222274
    • IR-49637

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