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Variation of Conversion with Reaction Order in a Plug Flow Reactor

Consider an irreversible liquid phase reaction, , taking place in a plug-flow reactor. The feed concentration is and the volumetric flow rate is . The reaction rate law is where you can vary the reaction order, , and the reaction rate constant is held constant (e.g., ). A differential mole balance gives: where is the volume of the plug flow reactor, is the conversion given by , and is the feed flow rate of species . This Demonstration plots the conversion, versus the volume, , for various values of the reaction order. It is found that the conversion gets lower when the reaction order is increased.

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Reference: M. B. Cutlip and M. Shacham, Problem Solving in Chemical Engineering with Numerical Methods, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999 (Example 8.2, "Variation of Conversion with Reaction Order in a Plug-Flow Reactor").
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