An Examination and proposal of reaction control methods in aqueous solutions via altered local reactant concentration by use of electric fields


  • James William Van Dijk Engineering Physics, McMaster University


During the synthesis and processing of many commercial chemical products, strict reaction monitoring and property control is necessary to successfully create complex molecules. Most reactions cannot be halted once the reaction has begun without severely contaminating or destroying the current batch. In this paper, we propose that a process of localized concentration control of particular chemical species by electric fields during a given reaction would allow for a non-destructive shutdown procedure as well as numerous other enhancements to process speed, quality, and resource efficiency. Furthermore, drawing from applications within biology, chemistry, and plasma physics, this paper proposes a series of preliminary tests to determine the dominant limiting phenomenon within aqueous solutions and other dilute solutions. These methods, if successful, range from low flow static containment, to constant flow and oscillatory methods that would allow reactants to be quickly drawn out of or injected into a test volume. This paper is limited to the proposal of methods, and thus requires a simulation study or physical experimentation to validate or disprove these hypotheses.

Author Biography

James William Van Dijk, Engineering Physics, McMaster University

Undergraduate Student, Engineering Physics and Management.