Stationary States in a Nonisothermal Continuous Stirred-Tank Reactor

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This Demonstration analyzes the single-step reaction in a nonisothermal continuous well-stirred tank reactor (CSTR) where is the heat of reaction. The rate of reaction is first order in the concentration of species , so that , and the rate constant has an Arrhenius temperature dependence: . Heat is removed from the reactor using a cooling coil that has an overall heat transfer coefficient and surface area . The Demonstration shows the complex steady states (expressed as plots of temperature versus , and conversion fraction versus ) that can occur in the reactor as the residence time and the heat transfer parameter are varied. The possibilities include a unique steady state and multiple steady states, as well as the birth and death of an isola (or island), which is a region in the solution space described by a closed loop.


You can study the dynamics of the reactor by varying the initial temperature for the reactor . When multiple steady states are present, each stable steady state will have a zone of attraction that you can explore by changing


Contributed by: Brian G. Higgins and Housam Binous (February 2012)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The dynamics of the nonadiabatic CSTR are described by the following mass and energy balances [1]:



subject to the initial conditions , .

[1] P. G. Gray and S. K. Scott, Chemical Oscillations and Instabilities: Non-linear Chemical Kinetics, Oxford: Claredon Press, 1994.

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