Analytical asymptotic solutions of nA+mB→C reaction-diffusion equations in two-layer systems: A general study

Philip Michael Joseph Trevelyan, D.E. Strier, Anne De Wit

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Large time evolution of concentration profiles is studied analytically for reaction-diffusion systems where the reactants A and B are each initially separately contained in two immiscible solutions and react upon contact and transfer across the interface according to a general nA+mB?C reaction scheme. This study generalizes to immiscible two-layer systems the large time analytical asymptotic limits of concentrations derived by Koza [J. Stat. Phys. 85, 179 (1996)] for miscible fluids and for reaction rates of the form AnBm with arbitrary diffusion coefficients and homogeneous initial concentrations. In addition to a dependence on the parameters already characterizing the miscible case, the asymptotic concentration profiles in immiscible systems depend now also on the partition coefficients of the chemical species between the two solution layers and on the ratio of diffusion coefficients of a given species in the two fluids. The miscible time scalings are found to remain valid for the immiscible fluids case. However, for immiscible systems, the reaction front speed is enhanced by increasing the stoichiometry of the invading species over that of the species being invaded. The direction of the front propagation is found to depend on the diffusion coefficient of the invading species in its initial fluid but not on its value in the invading fluid. Hence, a reaction front in immiscible fluids can travel in the opposite direction to the reaction front formed in miscible fluids for a range of parameter values. The value of the invading species partition coefficient affects the magnitude of the front speed but it cannot alter the direction of the front. For sufficiently large times, the total amount of product produced in time is independent of the rate of the reaction. The centre of mass of the product can move in the opposite direction to the center of mass of the reaction rate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number026122
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2008


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