Maximizing Selectivity in the Trambouze Reactions

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This Demonstration shows the start-up of a CSTR (continuous stirred-tank reactor) under conditions that maximize the selectivity of a desired product in a parallel reactions scheme.


Consider the following reactions taking place in a CSTR: species decomposes by three simultaneous reactions to form three products—one desired, , and two undesired, , and ,




These are called the Trambouze reactions [1]. Here and with and are the reaction rates and rate constants, respectively, and is the concentration of species .

The selectivity of species is given by the ratio ,

the reactor residence time is , the CSTR is operated at an effluent concentration of species , , that maximizes the selectivity of the desired product , the feed stream contains only species at a concentration equal to 1, and the initial concentrations of species , , and are taken equal to zero, with . The optimum effluent concentration of reactant , , and the time plot of the reactor start-up are shown for values of time and that are set by the user.


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




[1] H. S. Fogler, Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, 4th ed., Westford, MA: Prentice Hall, 2005.

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