Microfluidic modeling and simulation of flow in membrane microreactors

Khaled Ali Alfadhel, Mayuresh V. Kothare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the development of a mathematical model that describes isothermal microfluidic steady flow in a membrane microreactor, i.e., a silicon microreactor that houses a permeable membrane in one wall. The model employs the Navier-Stokes equation with appropriate boundary conditions for fluid permeation through the membrane and velocity slip at the walls to account for high Knudsen number. The model equations are solved analytically using finite Fourier transforms. The model solution is used to evaluate the effect of fluid permeation through the membrane and the Knudsen number on the velocity profile and pressure drop. For the simplified cases of no permeation and/or no slip, the derived solution is in excellent agreement with published experimental and theoretical results available in the literature. The utility of the model is illustrated by applying the results to a membrane microseparator used to separate hydrogen from the other effluents in a microreformer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2911-2926
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical solution
  • Integral transform
  • Microchemical system
  • Microfluidics
  • Micromembrane
  • Microreactor
  • Transport phenomena
  • Velocity slip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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