Asymptotics of reaction-diffusion fronts with one static and one diffusing reactant

Martin Z. Bazant, H. A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The long-time behavior of a reaction-diffusion front between one static (e.g. porous solid) reactant A and one initially separated diffusing reactant B is analyzed for the mean-field reaction-rate density R(ρAB)=kρAmρ Bn. A uniformly valid asymptotic approximation is constructed from matched self-similar solutions in a "reaction front" (of width w~tα, where R~tβ enters the dominant balance) and a "diffusion layer" (of width W~t1/2, where R is negligible). The limiting solution exists if and only if m,n≥1, in which case the scaling exponents are uniquely given by α=(m-1)/2(m+1) and β=m/(m+1). In the diffusion layer, the common ad hoc approximation of neglecting reactions is given mathematical justification, and the exact transient decay of the reaction rate is derived. The physical effects of higher-order kinetics (m,n>1), such as the broadening of the reaction front and the slowing of transients, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-121
Number of pages27
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • 02.30.Jr
  • 05.40+j
  • 82.20. - w
  • Asymptotic analysis
  • Diffusion
  • Partial differential equations
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Similarity solutions


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