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The application of the method of lines to chemical engineering problems

Shastri, S. Srinivas (1999) The application of the method of lines to chemical engineering problems. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The thesis has addressed three very different problems unified by the application of the method of lines to their solution. The relevance of the thesis lies in the industrial nature of the research that has been carried out.

The moving boundary problem was discussed in the light of industrial applications of induction melting and welding and later extended to the melting of ice. A literature survey suggested that the enthalpy method was well suited to solve moving boundary problems associated with heat transfer. The reduction of a complex moving boundary problem into a sequence of ordinary differential equations is a major contribution of this research to moving boundary problems.

The combination of the method of lines and enthalpy method allows the solution to follow the natural flow of the process. As the solution is time based, it is well suited for the implementation of control strategies.

The work on optimal control has presented a simple strategy to implement a heating trajectory for the heat treatment of aluminium billets. The heater duty compensated for any variation in the furnace air temperature to maintain the billet temperature at the optimal trajectory. The numerical method of lines technique was successful in solving the partial differential equations that described the system.

The hydrogen reduction of nickel has two parts - transport phenomena and particle dynamics. A methodology has been presented to unify these two streams. The high pressure hydrogen reduction process at the Kwinana Nickel Refinery was successfully modelled. There is an excellent agreement between the simulation results and refinery data, to within five percent.

This thesis has clearly demonstrated the applicability of the method of lines to complex engineering problems. In each case a simple and easy to implement methodology has been developed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Allen, Maurice and Cole, Graeme
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