CHEMKIN is a software tool for solving complex chemical kinetics problems. It is used worldwide in the microelectronics, automotive, combustion, and chemical processing industries. It was originally developed at Sandia National Laboratories and is now developed at Reaction Design.
CHEMKIN solves thousands of reaction combinations to develop a comprehensive understanding of a particular process, which might involve multiple chemical species, concentration ranges, and gas temperatures. The computational capabilities of CHEMKIN allow for a complex chemical process to be studied in detail, including intermediate compounds and trace compounds.
Using CHEMKIN allows for a more time-efficient investigation of a potential new process compared to direct laboratory investigation.
One important driver for the development and use of CHEMKIN is the reduction of pollutants, such as NOx. As these pollutants become more tightly regulated through agreements by agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resource Board (CARB), researchers are making increasing use of simulation technology such as CHEMKIN.
One limitation of CHEMKIN is that it assumes the reaction vessel has a relatively simple geometry, whereas sometimes this is not the case. For that reason, a related program called KINetics is often used in conjunction with Computational Fluid Dynamics tools. CFD programs are better able to account for geometric complexity, at the expense of being more limited in their treatment of the underlying chemistry of the reactive process being studied.
* Chemical kinetics