- Chemical Engineering
The program in multiphase transport phenomena is directed toward the fundamental understanding of heat, mass, and momentum transfer in multiphase systems. Examples are heat and mass transfer in porous catalyst pellets and packed bed reactors, two-phase flow in oil reservoirs, ground water transport of toxic chemicals, drying grains and other cellular materials, electromagnetic properties of composites, filtration. Analysis of these systems is based on the method of volume averaging. This is a formal mathematical procedure for deriving spatially smoothed transport equations that can be used to predict local volume averaged temperature, concentration, and velocity fields. In addition to providing the governing differential equations for multiphase systems, the method of volume averaging allows one to predict the effective transport coefficients that appear in the transport equations. This leads to a comparison between theory and experiment in the absence of adjustable parameters.