Gas phase reaction effects in the catalytic oxidation of hydrogen on platinum-coated minichannels and microchannels are investigated numerically in planar geometry. The main objective of this work is to identify the relative importance of the gas phase and surface reactions under different operating conditions. A collocated finite-volume method is used to solve the governing equations. Detailed gas phase and surface reaction mechanisms along with a multi-component diffusion model are used. As the channel size is reduced, heat and radical losses to the walls can significantly alter the combustion behavior. While catalytic walls help in sustaining the gas phase reactions at very small length scales by reducing the heat losses to the walls owing to heat release associated with the surface reactions, they may inhibit homogeneous reactions by extracting radicals due to typically high absorption rates of such species at the walls. Thus, the radical chain mechanisms can be significantly altered by the presence of wall reactions, and the build-up of radical pools in the gas phase, which lead to homogeneous ignition, can be suppressed as a consequence. In the present study, the effects of two key parameters, i.e. channel height and the inlet mass flux on the interaction of gas phase and surface reactions will be explored. In each case, the limiting values beyond which the gas-phase reactions become relatively negligible compared to surface reactions will be identified for hydrogen/air mixtures.

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