Magnetic resonance imaging of flow-distributed oscillations

Melanie Britton, AJ Sederman, AF Taylor, SK Scott, LF Gladden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of stationary concentration patterns in a packed-bed reactor (PBR), using a manganese-catalyzed Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction in a mixed sulfuric-phosphoric acid medium, was studied using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The PBR was composed of a column filled with glass beads, which was fed by a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). As the reactor is optically opaque, investigation of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of these reaction-diffusion-advection waves is not possible using conventional image capture techniques. MRI has been used to probe this system and the formation, 3D structure, and development of these waves has been studied. At reactor startup, traveling waves were observed. After this initial period the waves stabilized and became stationary. Once fixed, they were found to be remarkably stable. There was significant heterogeneity of the reaction fronts, which were not flat, as would be expected from a plug-flow reactor. Instead, the reaction wave fronts were observed to be conical in shape due to the local hydrodynamics of the bed and specifically the higher velocities and therefore lower residence times close to the wall of the reactor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8306-8313
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2005


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