Concentration and Temperature Profiles in an Axially Dispersed Adiabatic Tubular Reactor

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This Demonstration computes the concentration and temperature profiles in a tubular reactor for low Péclet numbers ( using the shooting method (blue solid curve), as well as the orthogonal collocation method with shifted Legendre polynomials and eight internal collocation points (the red dots). Perfect agreement is obtained (see the first two snapshots).

Contributed by: Housam Binous and Brian G. Higgins (August 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



An axially dispersed, adiabatic tubular reactor obeys the following dimensionless mass and energy balance equations:



This is an example of a split-boundary value problem (BVP) with:

at ,

at ,

at ,

at .

Assume that the dimensionless heat of reaction is equal to and that the reaction rate is given by: .

is a dimensionless group analogous to the axial Péclet number () for the energy balance. In the present Demonstration, we take , for simplicity and in order to compare with data given in [1].


[1] M. E. Davis and R. J. Davis, Fundamentals of Chemical Reaction Engineering, New York: McGraw–Hill, 2003.

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