Convection-Induced Fingering Fronts in the Chlorite-Trithionate Reaction

Yang Liu, Wenxiu Zhou, Ting Zheng, Yuemin Zhao, Qingyu Gao, Changwei Pan, A. Horváth

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Abstract

Based upon a former study, the chlorite-trithionate reaction can avoid the side reactions arising from the well-known alkaline decomposition of polythionates, making it a suitable candidate for investigating spatial front instabilities in a reaction-diffusion-convection system. In this work, the chlorite-trithionate reaction was investigated in a Hele-Shaw cell, in which fingering patterns were observed over a wide range of reactant concentrations. A significant density increment crossing the propagating front indicates that the fingering pattern is generated as a consequence of the buoyancy-driven instability due to the density changes of solute when the gap thickness is less than 4 mm. The velocity of the steepest descent in the propagating front depends almost linearly on the gap thickness but displays a saturation-like profile on the trithionate concentration as well as a maximum on the chlorite concentration. Numerical simulation using the Stokes-Brinkman Equation coupled to the reaction-diffusion processes, including hydrogen ion autocatalysis and consumption, reproduces the observed fingering fronts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2514-2520
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume120
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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