Reverse traveling microwave reactor – Modelling and design considerations

Farnaz Eghbal Sarabi*, J. Liu, Andrzej I. Stankiewicz, Hakan Nigar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Microwave heating presents a potentially green alternative for energy supply to chemical and catalytic reactors as it can be based on the electricity from renewable sources. The Reverse Traveling Microwave Reactor (RTMR) is a novel heterogeneous catalytic reactor concept, based on the coaxial waveguide structure. The reactor has two microwave ports on both ends, and microwave irradiation is periodically switched between those ports to minimize the temperature gradients along the catalyst bed. In the current paper, COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS® simulation environment has been used to develop a 3D multiphysics model of the RTMR. Based on the model, operational characteristics of the reactor including electric field distribution and transient temperature profiles have been studied. Simulation results show that periodically reversed microwave irradiation improves the homogeneity of the temperature distribution inside the catalyst bed. The study provides new insights into the design and scale-up of microwave-assisted catalytic flow processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116862
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Microwave heating
  • Reverse traveling microwave reactor
  • Scale-up
  • Temperature homogeneity
  • Traveling microwave reactor


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