Plug Flow Reactor with Heat Transfer Jacket

For the reaction , the temperature inside a plug flow reactor (PFR) and the temperature of the heat transfer fluid in an annular region around the reactor are plotted as functions of the cumulative reactor volume. The overall conversion is also plotted. The flow of the reactants and the heat transfer fluid is co-current. A cross section of the annular region is provided in each plot. The smaller green circle represents the PFR and the larger blue circle represents the annulus (radius = 2 m) where the heat transfer fluid flows co-currently to the reactants. You can vary the inlet temperature of the heat transfer fluid, the reactor diameter, and the heat of reaction. The inlet velocities of the heat transfer fluid and the reactant are fixed as the reactor radius changes. When the reactor radius increases, the inlet flow rate of reactant increases.
  • Contributed by: Simon M. Lane
  • (University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering)


  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
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= heat capacity of coolant (kJ/kg K)
= heat transfer coefficient ()
= temperature of heat transfer fluid (K)
= radius of inner tube (cm)
= mass flow rate of coolant (kg/hr)
= molar flow rate of component (kmol A/hr)
= heat exchange area per unit volume of reactor (1/m)
= inlet concentration of component ()
= velocity of component (m/s)
= molecular weight of component (kg/kmol)
= density of component ()
= density of coolant ()
= velocity of coolant (m/hr)
average molar heat capacity of reacting mixture (kJ/kmol K)
= volume ()
= heat of reaction (kJ/mol)
= pre-exponential factor (1/hr)
= forward activation energy (J/mol)
= gas constant (J/mol/K)
= forward rate constant (1/hr)
= reverse rate constant (1/hr)
Mass Balance
= converts velocity of feed to molar flow rate of feed
Rate Law
forward rate constant
reverse rate constant
rate = rate law
Energy Balance on the Reactor
Energy Balance on Heat Transfer Fluid
converts velocity of heat transfer fluid to mass flow rate
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