Action of a Continuous Stirred-Tank Reactor

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The startup of a reactor may lead to significant overshoot in temperature, causing economic loss due to undesirable side reactions, equipment damage, or, in the worst case, safety concerns.


This Demonstration simulates the startup of a propylene glycol reactor. The feed is composed of propylene oxide in an excess of water. You can change the values of the reactor's initial temperature and initial propylene oxide concentration. The Demonstration plots the concentration-temperature phase plane for various initial conditions. The practical stability limit (for this problem ) can be exceeded for certain values of the initial conditions (see Snapshot 3). Finally, the steady state is indicated by the red dot.


Contributed by: Housam Binous and Ahmed Bellagi (May 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



All relevant equations and parameter values are from [1].


[1] H. S. Fogler, Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, 3rd ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.

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