Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

June 2005


Copyright (2005) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. Reprinted in Physics of Fluids, Volume 17, Article 067105, 12 pages.
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Magnetohydrodynamic MHD flow of a RedOx electrolyte in a straight conduit is investigated theoretically. Inert electrodes are deposited along segments of the opposing walls of a straight conduit that is filled with a RedOx electrolyte solution. The conduit is positioned in a uniform magnetic field. When a potential difference is applied across the opposing electrodes, the resulting current interacts with the magnetic field to induce Lorentz forces. The species' mass transport and the momentum equation are coupled and must be solved simultaneously. We compute the various species' concentration distributions, the current flux distribution, and the liquid's motion in the absence and presence of pressure gradients. The pressure gradients may either assist or oppose the MHD flow. At low potential differences, the current and the induced MHD flow increase nearly linearly as the potential difference increases. When the potential difference exceeds a certain critical value, the current and the flow rate saturate. We demonstrate that it is advantageous to use multiple electrode pairs with dielectric gaps between adjacent electrodes rather than a single electrode pair with an equivalent length. Finally, MHD flow with RedOx solution in the presence of abundant supporting electrolyte under limiting current conditions is analyzed using boundary layer theory. The approximate analytical solutions for the ions concentrations and the current agree well with the numerical solutions.


magnetohydrodynamics, reduction (chemical), oxidation, electrolytes, chemically reactive flow, confined flow, electrodes, mass transfer, boundary layers



Date Posted: 18 October 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.