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Finite Element Modules For Enhancing Undergraduate Transport Courses: Applications To Fuel Cell Fundamentals

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

ChE: Computers and Simulation in the Classroom

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

28

Page Numbers

12.746.1 - 12.746.28

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1700

Permanent URL

https://www.jee.org/1700

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

biography

Jason Keith Michigan Technological University

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Jason Keith is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. He recieved his PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2000. Jason teaches the required Transport / Unit Operations 2 course and an elective in fuel cell fundamentals.

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Faith Morrison Michigan Technological University

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Faith Morrison is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. She recieved her PhD from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. Faith teaches the required Transport / Unit Operations 1 course and electives in polymer rheology. She is author of the textbook Understanding Rheology.

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Julia King Michigan Technological University

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Julia King is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. She recieved her PhD from the University of Wyoming in 1989. Julie teaches the required Transport / Unit Operations 1 and Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering 1 courses.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Finite Element Modules for Enhancing Undergraduate Transport Courses: Application to Fuel Cell Fundamentals Abstract

The transport phenomena courses (momentum, heat, and mass transfer) in chemical engineering typically contain many mathematical derivations and may often lack practical applications. The use of finite element software can help students visualize solutions and see how parameter changes affect velocity, temperature, and concentration profiles and their corresponding fluxes for design of practical systems.

Alternative energy is a rapidly growing research area yet is lacking in available course content for chemical engineering transport phenomena. In this paper we illustrate the use of the finite element method using Comsol Multiphysics1 (formerly known as FEMLAB) for problems related to the design of fuel cells and their components. As such, we present ready-made tutorials for use in undergraduate transport courses.

Introduction and Motivation: The Typical Transport Course

As is the case with many core courses in the undergraduate curriculum, courses in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and mass transfer can be categorized into three generic classifications:

1. Transport phenomena approach – a highly theoretical approach focusing on the derivation of microscopic conservation equations and their solutions, such as that contained in the text of Bird, Stewart, and Lightfoot2. 2. Unit operations approach – a highly practical approach focusing on macroscopic balance equations and using them for the design of pumps, heat exchangers, and membranes, such as that contained in the text of McCabe, Smith, and Harriott3. 3. A balance between the transport phenomena and unit operations, such as that contained in the text of Geankoplis4.

At Michigan Technological University, students must complete a two-semester sequence of lecture courses (CM 3110 Transport / Unit Operations 1; CM 3120 Transport / Unit Operations 2). Based upon the title of the course we typically follow the third classification; however, content can vary depending on the instructor.

In a recent ASEE paper, Krantz discussed that the above textbooks often focus on simple problems with analytical or numerical solutions, but the development of software for performing computational analysis has allowed instructors of transport phenomena to focus on model development by introducing more complex problems5. An additional advantage of the software is that it allows the students to visualize the transport processes taking place.

Other studies have also used computers to help students learn concepts in chemical engineering education. This includes that of Thompson6, who has used the partial

Keith, J., & Morrison, F., & King, J. (2007, June), Finite Element Modules For Enhancing Undergraduate Transport Courses: Applications To Fuel Cell Fundamentals Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1700

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