Exploring complex systems in chemical engineering --- the multi-scale methodology


Exploring complex systems in chemical engineering --- the multi-scale methodology


Chemical Engineering Science, 2003, 58(3-6): 521-535


Jinghai Li*, Mooson Kwauk


Challenges in quantitative design of chemical processes mainly reside in their complex structures, which are usually multi-scale in nature, and are difficult to analyze by the average approach as commonly used. The multi-scale methodology has thus received more and more attention in recent years. There are three kinds of multi-scale methodology: descriptive for distinguishing the phenomenological difference of structures at different scales; and correlative for formulating phenomena at higher scales by analyzing the mechanisms at lower scales; and variational for revealing the dominant mechanisms of the structure and the relationship between the scales. This paper presents an overview of multi-scale methodologies with emphasis on the variational methodology, and proposes the possibility of establishing a generalized multi-scale methodology, effective for analyzing single-phase turbulent flow in pipe, gas-solid two-phase fluidization, and gas-solid-liquid three-phase fluidization. The variational multi-scale methodology consists of the following steps:

• Phenomenological resolution with respect to scales of structures.

• Identification of dominant mechanisms.

• Establishment of conservation conditions with respect to different scales and correlation between different scales.

• Formulation of variational criterion to identify what dominates the stability of structure and what compromise exists between different dominant mechanisms.

• Integration between conservation conditions with stability conditions.


Multi-scale complex system, Structure, Multi-phase flow, Variational criterion



DATE 2019-08-21 17:03:45
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