Reactor Steady States

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The upper pane shows the concentration trajectory of reactant in the outlet of a perfectly mixed isothermal flow through the reactor for an autocatalytic reaction. Multiple steady states are possible, as represented by the intersection of the two curves in the lower pane. Basins of attraction for the stable steady states can be observed by varying the reactor parameters.

Contributed by: Brian G. Higgins (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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When an isothermal autocatalytic reaction takes place in a constant‐volume, perfectly mixed, flow‐through reactor, the steady‐state concentration of reactant leaving the reactor can be manipulated by changing the flow rate and catalyst concentration. In this Demonstration we show how the output concentration of the reactant varies with changes in flow rate (), inlet catalyst concentration () and initial concentration of reactant in the reactor. Up to three steady states are possible, but at most, two are stable. By varying the reactor parameters, the user can find the basin of attraction for stable steady states. The reactor parameters are expressed in terms of suitable dimensionless variables.



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