Optimizing Temperatures and Volumes for Maximum Conversion to an Intermediate Reactant in a Chain of Two Continuous Stirred-Tank Reactors

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This Demonstration examines a two-stage continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR). Conversion to an intermediate product of two consecutive chemical reactions can be maximized by operating the system at the optimal volume and temperature for each reactor.

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Consider the consecutive first-order chemical reaction where , , and represent reactants, products, and waste, and , where , are the rate constants, , are the Arrhenius constants, , are the activation energies, and is the temperature. The equations describing the steady state condition of the CSTR are

and , where and are the species concentrations, is the reactor volume for reactors , and is the flow rate. Here , , , , , and .

The maximum concentration of reactant exiting the second reactor and the optimum temperature and volume of each reactor are shown for different ratios of the Arrhenius constants and activation energies.

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Contributed by: Clay Gruesbeck (February 2014)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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Reference

[1] Wikipedia. "Continuous Reactor." (Aug 21, 2012) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_reactor.



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