Magnetic actuation of catalytic microparticles for the enhancement of mass transfer rate in a flow reactor

Philip Lisk, Erell Bonnot, Md Taifur Rahman, Robert Pollard, Robert Bowman, Volkan Degirmenci, Evgeny V. Rebrov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of periodic changes in particle velocity on mass transfer to the reacting surface of a magnetic particle with a diameter 225 μm in laminar flow has been investigated in a microfluidic reactor. The periodic particle motion in a fluid was investigated under a sinusoidal magnetic field generated by a quadrupole arrangement of electromagnets around the reactor. The effect of operating frequency of the rotating magnetic field, intensity of the magnetic field, and phase shift between the two sets of magnets on particle dynamics has been studied. Three particle motion modes have been observed depending on the frequency of the applied field. The mass transfer rate was estimated under steady velocity and variable velocity of the particle using a mass transfer correlation by Feng and Michaelides (2001). The validity of this correlation for the case of variable particle velocity has been confirmed with a 2D numerical model, describing actual hydrodynamics and mass transfer towards the particle surface. The mass transfer coefficient depends both on the mean particle velocity and the deviation of velocity from the mean value. The periodic movement with variable particle velocity reduces the mass transfer coefficient by 7.6% as compared to steady state motion with the same mean velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-361
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016


  • Magnetic actuation
  • Magnetic particle
  • Mass transfer
  • Micro reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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