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Chemical Reactor Design, Optimization, And Scaleup

Chemical Reactor Design, Optimization, And Scaleup



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design book
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Published by: api-3824209 on Oct 18, 2008
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Material and energy balances are the heart of chemical engineering. Combine them with chemical kinetics and they are the heart of chemical reaction engineer- ing. Add transport phenomena and you have the intellectual basis for chemical reactor design. This chapter begins the study of chemical reactor design by com- bining material balances with kinetic expressions for elementary chemical reac- tions. The resulting equations are then solved for several simple but important types of chemical reactors. More complicated reactions and more complicated reactors are treated in subsequent chapters, but the real core of chemical reactor design is here in Chapter 1. Master it, and the rest will be easy.


Consider any region of space that has a \ufb01nite volume and prescribed boundaries that unambiguously separate the region from the rest of the universe. Such a region is called acontrol volume, and the laws of conservation of mass and energy may be applied to it. We ignore nuclear processes so that there are separate conservation laws for mass and energy. For mass,

Rate at which mass enters the volume
\u00bcRate at which mass leaves the volume
\u00feRate at which mass accumulates within the volume

where \u2018\u2018entering\u2019\u2019 and \u2018\u2018leaving\u2019\u2019 apply to the \ufb02ow of material across the bound- aries. See Figure 1.1. Equation (1.1) is anoverall mass balance that applies to the total mass within the control volume, as measured in kilograms or pounds. It can be written as

\u00f0Qmass\u00dein \u00bc \u00f0Qmass\u00deout \u00fedI

whereQmass is the mass \ufb02ow rate andI is the mass inventory in the system. We often write this equation using volumetric \ufb02ow rates and volumes rather than mass \ufb02ow rates and mass inventories:

whereQ is the volumetric \ufb02ow rate (volume/time) and\ue000 is the mass density
(mass/volume). Note that^
\ue000is the average mass density in the control volume
so that^
\ue000\ue000V\u00bc I.

Equations (1.1) to (1.3) are di\ufb00erent ways of expressing the overall mass bal- ance for a \ufb02ow system with variable inventory. In steady-state \ufb02ow, the deriva- tives vanish, the total mass in the system is constant, and the overall mass balance simply states that input equals output. In batch systems, the \ufb02ow terms are zero, the time derivative is zero, and the total mass in the system remains constant. We will return to the general form of Equation (1.3) when unsteady reactors are treated in Chapter 14. Until then, the overall mass balance merely serves as a consistency check on more detailedcomponent balances that apply to individual substances.

In reactor design, we are interested in chemical reactions that transform one kind of mass into another. A material balance can be written for each compo- nent; however, since chemical reactions are possible, the rate of formation of the component within the control volume must now be considered. Thecompo-

nent balancefor some substance A is
Rate at which component A enters the volume
\u00fenet rate at which component A is formed by reaction
\u00bcrate at which component A leaves the volume
\u00ferate at which component A accumulates within the volume \u00f01:4\u00de
Volume =V
Average density =\u03c1\u02c6
Accumulation =
Total mass
output =Qout\u03c1out
Total mass
input =Qin\u03c1in
FIGURE 1.1Control volume for total mass balance.

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