Construct a Conversion-Temperature Diagram for a Reversible Adiabatic Reaction

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A reversible reaction, , takes place in an adiabatic plug-flow reactor (PFR). Construct a conversion-versus-temperature diagram by plotting the energy balance and equilibrium lines. The energy balance line is plotted first for a feed that contains only reactant , and then it is plotted for a feed that also contains an inert component. Click the "new problem" button for a new set of conditions. Before moving on to the next step, check "solution" to see the answer. Once you check "solution", you cannot change your answer.

Contributed by: Rachael L. Baumann (May 2018)
Additional contributions by: John L. Falconer
(University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



For the reversible reaction with both reactant and inert component in the adiabatic PFR feed, the equilibrium constant is:


where is the equilibrium constant at temperature (K), is the heat of reaction (J/mol), is the ideal gas constant (J/mol K) and is the temperature of the reaction (K).

The equilibrium conversion is obtained from the equilibrium constant, assuming ideal gases:



where is the equilibrium conversion, is the conversion calculated from the energy balance, is the ratio in the molar flow rate of inert to reactant, is the heat capacity (J/mol K) and is the feed temperature (K).


[1] H. S. Fogler, Essentials of Chemical Reaction Engineering, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011 pp. 503–505.

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