Heat effects in photocatalytic reactor applications are discussed and a case study is analyzed where sunlight is used to activate a chemical reaction to degrade water pollutants. Heat is produced in the light-capturing process, and heat effects need to be better understood during the device design process. Radiative transfer equation (RTE) is the guiding equation used to calculate radiation proliferation in participating media, and it is used to describe the balance of radiative energy transport in the participating media including the interactions caused by different processes such as absorption, scattering, and emission, which also are subject to additional phenomena like weakening and magnification. This equation plays an important role in the design process since it may be included in the simulation process to represent the sunlight heat effects in the different photocatalytic reactor components. In this chapter, it is explained how to build a simplified algorithm to incorporate the RTE in a numerical calculation during the design of a photocatalytic reactor using the commercial software ANSYS®. In addition, simplifications are explained that enable the program to coordinate some coefficients such as absorption and dispersion so their effects are included within the numerical calculation. A user-defined function is presented in the end of the chapter as a usable algorithm in ANSYS® program with acceptable results for photocatalytic reactors.
Part of the book: Concepts of Semiconductor Photocatalysis