Effect of convection on a propagating front with a solid product: Comparison of theory and experiments

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We studied ascending fronts of acrylamide polymerization in dimethyl sulfoxide in which the reactants in solution are converted to a gel at a higher temperature than the solution. We have calculated the stability boundary (the critical viscosity at which convection occurs) as a function of the front velocity. We found that in a two-dimensional system the presence of walls does stabilize the front compared to an infinite plane, but the shape of the boundary is not affected. Experimental fronts exhibited antisymmetric convection for low viscosities and low front velocities, as predicted by our calculations. However, the experimentally determined boundary differed significantly from the calculated ones, the experimental fronts being more stable. The shapes of the boundaries differ, and we propose this is caused by the temperature dependence of the viscosity, which is not treated in our analysis.

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Journal of Physical Chemistry B

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