Dynamics of a Continuous Stirred-Tank Reactor with Consecutive Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions

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This Demonstration illustrates the dynamics of two irreversible consecutive reactions, , the first exothermic, the second endothermic, in a continuous stirred-tank reactor. The dimensionless equations for this system [1] are





where , , are the concentrations and is the temperature, is the Damköhler number, is the activation energy, is the ratio of the two rate constants, is the ratio of activation energies, is the heat transfer coefficient, is the coolant temperature, is the adiabatic temperature rise, and is the ratio of enthalpies of reaction. The equations are solved with and initial conditions . As the heat transfer coefficient is increased, the trajectories change from damped oscillations leading to a steady state to periodic, then to chaotic oscillations; further increases in β lead to damped oscillations and finally to an asymptotic approach to equilibrium.


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




[1] C. Kalhert, O. E. Rössler, and A. Varma, "Chaos in a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor with two Consecutive First Order Reactions, One Exo-, One Endothermic," Springer Series in Chemical Physics, 18, 1981 pp. 366–465.

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