Chaos in a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor

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Chaotic behavior can be exhibited by a very simple chemical reactor model in which two exothermic reactions are carried out in a nonisothermal continuous-flow stirred tank reactor.


The parallel conversion of the two reactants and can be written:



The governing equations are [1]:




with initial conditions .

Here and represent dimensionless concentrations of and , is the dimensionless temperature, is the dimensionless time, and the Damköhler numbers [2] for the two reactions are and ; the other parameters are dimensionless numbers defined in [1].


Contributed by: Clay Gruesbeck (May 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




[1] D. T. Lynch, S. E. Wanke, and T. D. Rogers, "Chaos in a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor," Mathematical Modeling, 3(2), 1982 pp. 103–116. doi:10.1016/0270-0255(82)90016-1.

[2] Wikipedia. "Damköhler Numbers." (Feb 25, 2013)

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