Electrophoresis is the motion of charged particles relative to the surrounding liquid under the influence of an external electric field. This electrochemical transport process is used in many scientific and technological areas to separate chemical species. Modeling and simulation of electrophoretic transport enables a better understanding of the physicochemical processes developed during the electrophoretic separations and the optimization of various parameters of the electrophoresis devices and their performance. Electrophoretic transport is a multiphysics and multiscale problem. Mass transport, fluid mechanics, electric problems, and their interactions have to be solved in domains with length scales ranging from nanometers to centimeters. We use a finite element method for the computations. Without proper numerical stabilization, computation of coupled fluid mechanics, electrophoretic transport, and electric problems would suffer from spurious oscillations that are related to the high values of the local Péclet and Reynolds numbers and the nonzero divergence of the migration field. To overcome these computational challenges, we propose a stabilized finite element method based on the Streamline-Upwind/Petrov-Galerkin (SUPG) formulation and discontinuity-capturing techniques. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the stabilized formulation, we present test computations with 1D, 2D, and 3D electrophoretic transport problems of technological interest.
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