New Frontiers in Multiphase CFD for the 21st Century Energy Mix (18w5139)


(University of British Columbia)

(Ohio University)

(University of Colorado)

Sreekanth Pannala (SABIC)


Advanced numerical models and High Performance Computing are changing the way engineers are designing and operating new facilities and production processes. Although many industries have already incorporated multiphase Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as a reliable tool in their practices, the process industry is trailing behind. This is both due to a presumably higher level of complexity in these flows as well as a somehow more conservative operational governance. However, the next generational breakthrough in the process industry will not happen without multiphase CFD. As one of the main goals of the process industry is to secure clean and sustainable energy sources, the necessity of success in this endeavor has extremely important societal implications. The process industry is also a key component of North American economies and a large provider of jobs. In the current time of energy transition over which the energy mix is progressively enriched with solar, wind and biomass sources, there is an urgent need to enhance the existing modeling and computational techniques for multiphase flows at the fundamental level and to translate this newly acquired knowledge into tangible technological innovation that the industry can use to better serve societal needs. Supercomputers become ever faster, giving scientists and engineers the computing resources they always craved for. So the scenery is set: crucial societal needs, expected benefits from a more effective academia-industry partnership, unprecedented computing resources. It constitutes a strong vector of incentives and creates great opportunities for fluid mechanicists, chemical engineers, computational scientists, applied mathematicians and decision makers to make a significant step towards shaping the future of sustainable and clean processes.

The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). The research station in Oaxaca is funded by CONACYT.