A Galekin finite-element approach combined with an error estimator and automatic mesh refinement has been used to provide a flexible numerical solution of the Poisson-Boltzmann equation. A Newton sequence technique was used to solve the nonlinear equations arising from the finite-element discretization procedure. Errors arising from the finite-element solution due to mesh refinement were calculated using the Zienkiewicz-Zhu error estimator, and an automatic remeshing strategy was adopted to achieve a solution satisfying a preset quality. Examples of the performance of the error estimator in adaptive mesh refinement are presented. The adaptive finite-element scheme presented in this study has proved to he an effective technique in minimizing errors in finite-element solutions for a given problem, in particular those of complex geometries. As an example, numerical solutions are presented for the case of a charged spherical particle at various distances from a charged cylindrical pore in a charged planar surface. Such a scheme provides a quantification of the significance of electrostatic interactions for an important industrial technology-membrane separation processes.
- Boltzman equation
- Finite element
- Sphere-pore interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces and Interfaces