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Cantera

I feel comfortable writing some words about Cantera, an open source tool, because I have been an user for approximately 2 years. I will use words of project itself to introduce it:

Cantera is a suite of object-oriented software tools for problems involving chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and/or transport processes. An object-oriented tool means a wide range of applications since independent compiled code to external software integration.


Cantera can be seen as a set of objects to easy application in C++ and FORTRAN as well as scripting languages: PYTHON and MATLAB. The range of the types of objects that was provided by Cantera includes:

  • Phases of matter and interfaces between them
  • Chemical reaction managers
  • Dynamic/steady-state reactor networks
  • Many classes to combustion problems.

Cantera was created about 2001 by Prof. David G. Goodwin from Caltech. Until the version 1.7.1 the Cantera project was hosted at SourceForge and, since version 1.8, it is hosted at Google Code. Currently its development is maintain by researchers from Caltech, Sandia Labs, and other US research centers.

Cantera is designed for demanding research use for that it is used to specific applications in independent codes or together in-house codes. An application of this type could be the calculation of source terms for CFD simulations, for instead, in alternateReactingFoam solver for OpenFOAM. There is not an updated user guide but old reference files available here and auto-generated documentation here (only version 2.0) that makes Cantera a little difficult to use.

Project website:

Download & installation:

Technical support:

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