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64 Conversion and Reactor Sizing Chapter 2

For flow sytems: (S2-2)

For reactors in series with no side streams, the conversion at point i is

X= Total moles of A reacted up to point i (S2-3)

' Moles A fed to the first reactor
2. In terms of the conversion, the differential and integral forms of the reactor
design equations become:
T A BLE S2-l

Differential Fonn Algebraic Fonn f11tegral Form


V = F Ao(Xout - Xin)

(out dX
PFR V = FAoJx -
Xin - rA

out dJ(
W= FAo( --
AOdW= - r A
xm -r'A

3. If the rate of disappearance of A is given as a function of conversion, the follow-

ing graphical techniques can be used to size a CSTR and a plug-flow reactor.
A. Graphical Integration Using Levenspiel Plots

40 40
V= FAa X 0.8 FAo
-rA f
V = -=r;\ dX
30 30 0

F 3) 20 F
-rA ...M(dm 3) 20

10 10

0 L-----------------~--- OL----------------L----
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
Conversion, X Conversion, X

The PFR integral could also be evaluated by

B. Numerical Integration
See Appendix A.4 for quadrature formulas such as the five-point quadrature
formula with t:J.X = 0.8/4 of five equally spaced points, x, = 0, x2= 0.2,
X3 = 0.4, X4 = 0.6, and X5 = 0.8.
Chapter 2 DVD-ROM Materials 65

4. Space time, -r, and space velocity, SV, are given by

v (S2-4)

SV = Vo (at STP) (S2-5)


Learning Resources
I. Summary Notes for Chapter 2
2. Web Module
A. Hippopotamus Digestive Sy tern
~ummary Note~

Autocatalytic Reaction

0 x, X
Levensplel Plot for Autocatalytic Digestion '" a CSTR

3. Interactive Computer Games

A. Reactor Staging


Computer Games

4. Solved Problems
A. CDP2-A8 More CSTR and PFR Calculations-No Memorization
FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions]
66 Conversion and Reactor Sizing Chapter 2

Professional Reference Shelf

R2. 1 Modified Levenspie! Plots
For liquids and constant volume batch reactors, the mole balance equations
can be modified to

"C = (AOdCA
~olved Problems CA -rA

One can use this plot to study CSTRs, PFRs, and batch reactors. This material
using space time as a variable is given on the DVD-ROM.
R2.2 Space Times, 't, for a Number of Industrial Reactions


The subscript to each of the problem numbers indicates the level of difficulty: A, least
difficult; D, most difficult.
A= e B= C= + D= ++

I (a) Without referring back, make a List of the most important items you
Learned in this chapter.
(b) What do you believe was the overall purpose of the chapter?
1-lomewort Problems P2-2A (a) Revisit Examples 2-1 through 2-3. How would your answers change if
Before solvi ng the the flow rate, FAO were cut in half? If it were doubled? What conversion
problems, state or can be achieved in a 4.0 m3 PFR and in a 4.0 m3 CSTR?
sketch qualitatively (b) Revisit Example 2-4. How would your answers change if the two CSTRs
the expected results (one 0.82 m3 and the other 3.2 m3) were placed in parallel with the flow,
or trends.
FAO divided equally between the reactors.
(c) Revisit Example 2-5. (1) What would be the reactor volumes if the two
intermediate conversions were changed to 20% and 60%, respectively?
(2) What would be the conversions, X1, X2 , and X3 , if all the reactors had
the same volume of 100 dm 3 and were placed in the same order? (3)
What is the worst possible way to arrange the two CSTRs and one PFR?
Go to the Web site
(a) Take the Inventory of Learning Style test, and record your learning style
according to the Solomon/Felder inventory.
Global/Sequential _ _
Active/Reflective_ _
Visual/Verbal _ _
Sensing!Intui tive_ _

(b) After checking Appendix H.2 and on learning styles at
the end of the Chapter 2 Summary Notes on the DVD-ROM, suggest two
Lints ways to facilitate your learning style in each of the four categories listed.
ICG Staging. Load the Interactive Computer Game (ICG) from the
DVD-ROM or Web. Play this game and then record your performance num-
ber, wruch indicates your mastery of the material. Your professor has the key
to decode your performance number. Note: To play this game you must have
Windows 2000 or a later version.
ICG Reactor Staging Performance # - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chapter 2 Questions and Problems 67

P2-Sc Inspector Sgt. Nigel Ambercromby of Scotland Yard. Worthless Chemical has
been making tirene (A) from butalane (B) (both dark liquids) using an 8.0 ft3
CSTR followed by a 3.1 ft 3 PFR. For an entering flow rate l.O ft 3/min, a con-
version of 81% is achieved using this arrangement. The Levenspiel plot is
shown in Figure P2-5c. One notes that the shape of which is a highly unusual
functionality never seen before in real practice and which we're unlikely to
see again (proprietary with Worthless Chemical).



':.M (min)



Conversion , X

Figure P2-5c Levenspiel plot for bacteria growth.

The CSTR is identical to one of the battery of CSTRs shown in Professional

Reference Shelf R 1.3 Figure 1.2, except the feed and exit streams are at the
There is a preheater upstream of the CSTR that heats the feed to 60C.
One morning the plant manager, Dr. Pakbed, arrived and found that the con-
version had dropped to approximately 24%. After inspecting the reactors, the
PFR was found to be working perfectly, but a dent was found in the CSTR ,
which may have been caused by something like a fork lift truck. He also notes
the CSTR, which normally makes a "woosh" sound, is not as noisy as it was
yesterday. The manager suspects foul play and calls in Sgt. Nigel Arnbercromby
from Scotland Yard. What are the first four questions Sgt. Ambercromby asks?
Make a list of all the things that cou ld cause the drop in conversion. Quantify
the possible explanations with numerical calculations where possible. Dr. Pak-
bed tells Sgt. Ambercromby that he must achieve a conversion greater that
50% to meet production schedules downstream. Sgt. Ambercromby says, "I
think I know how you could do this immediately." What does Ambercromby
have in mind? [With Dan Dixon, ChE 344 W'97.]
P2-6A Pure A is fed at a volumetric flow rate of 1000 dm 3/h and at a concentration
of 0.005 lb molldm 3 to an existing CSTR, which is connected in series to an
existing tubular reactor. If the volume of the CSTR is 1200 dm 3 and the tubu-
lar reactor volume is 600 dm 3 , what are the intermediate and final conversions
that can be achieved with the exi ting system? The reciprocal rate is plotted
in Figure P2-6A as a function of conversion for the conditions at which the
reaction is to be carried out.
68 Conversion and Reactor Sizing Chapter 2



~(dm3 }

Conversion , X

Figure P2-6A Levenspiel plot

P2-7 8 You have two CSTRs and two PFRs, each with a volume of 2.0 m3. Use Fig-
ure 2-2B to calculate the conversion for each of the reactors in the following
(a) Two CSTRs in series.
(b) Two PFRs in series.
~all of Fame (c) Two CSTRs in parallel with the feed, FAO divided equally between the
two reactors.
{d) Two PFRs in parallel with the feed divided equally between the two reactors.
(e) Caution: This is a C level problem. A CSTR and a PFR in parallel with
the flow equally divided. Calculate the overall conversion, X0 v

. hF _ FAo_FAo X
'W it ACSTR- 2 2 CSTR>

(f) A PFR followed by a CSTR.

(g) A CSTR followed by a PFR.
(h) A PFR followed by two CSTRs. I this arrangement a good arrangement
or is there a better one?
P2-8 8 The irreversible gas phase nonelementary reaction

is to be carried out i othermally in a constant-pressure batch reactor. The feed

is at a temperature of 227C, a pressure of I 013 kPa, and its composition is
33.3% A and 66.7% B. Laboratory data taken under identical conditions are
as follows (note that at X = 0, - rA = 0.0000 l moUdm 3):

-r mol . ) x iO 3
--mm 0.010 0.005 0.002 0.001
A ( dm 3

X 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6

(a) Estimate the volume of a plug-flow reactor required to achieve 30% con-
version of A for an entering volumetric flow rate of 2 m3/min .
(b) Estimate the volume of a CSTR required to take the effluent from the
plug-flow reactor (PFR) above and achieve 50% total conver ion (based
on species A fed to the PFR).
Chapter 2 Questions and Problems 69

(c) What is the total volume of the two reactors?

(d) What is the volume of a si ngle plug-flow reactor necessary to achieve
60% conversion? 80% conversion?
(e) What is the volume of a single CSTR necessary to achieve 50% conversion?
(0 What is the volume of a second CSTR necessary to raise the conversion
from 50% to 60%?
(g) Plot the rate of reaction and conversion as a function of PFR volume.
(h) Give a critique of the magnitude of the answers to this problem.
P2-9 8 For the irreversible gas-phase reaction:


the following correlation was determined from laboratory data (the initial con-
centration of A is 0.2 g mol/L):

10- 8 m3 S
For X~ 0.5: - - = 3.0--
-rA mol

10- 8 m3 S
For X?:0.5: -=3.0+10(X-0.5)--
-rA mol
The volumetric flow rate is 5 m3/s.
(a) Over what range of conversions are the plug-flow reactor and CSTR vol-
umes identical?
(b) What conversion will be achieved in a CSTR that has a volume of 90 L?
(c) What plug-flow reactor volume is necessary to achieve 70% conversion?
(d) What CSTR reactor volume is required if effluent from the plug-flow
reactor in part (c) is fed to a CSTR to raise the conversion to 90%?
(e) If the reaction is carried out in a constant-pressure batch reactor in which
pure A is fed to the reactor, what length of time is necessary to achieve
40 % conversion?
(0 Plot the rate of reaction and conversion a a function of PFR volume.
(g) Critique the answers to this problem.
P2-10 8 The adiabatic exothermic irreversible gas-phase reaction
2A + B - - - - 7 2C
is to be carried out in a flow reactor for an equimolar feed of A and B. A
Levenspiel plot for this reaction is shown in Figure P2-10 8 .


- rA 300.000

(m3) 200.000


0 0.3 0.6 0.9

Figure P2-10 8 Levenspiel plot.
70 Conversion and Reactor Sizing Chapter 2

(a) What PFR volume is necessary to achieve 50% conversion?

(b) What CSTR vol ume is necessary to achieve 50% conversion?
(c) What is the volume of a second CSTR added in series to the first CSTR
(Part b) necessary to achieve an overall conversion of 70%?
(d) What PFR volume must be added to the first CSTR (Part b) to raise the
conversion to 80%?
(e) What conversion can be achieved in a 6 x l04 m3 CSTR and also in a
6 x 104 m3 PFR?
(0 Think critically (cf. Table P-1 , page xiv) to critique the answers (num-
bers) to this problem.
P2-11 0 Don ' t calcu late anything. Just go home and relax.
P2-12 8 The curve shown in Figure 2-1 is typical of a reaction carried out isothermally,
and the curve shown in Figure P2-l2 8 is typical of a gas-solid catalytic exo-
thermic reaction carried out adiabatically.




FA,o (kg catalyst) 30


.2 .4 .6
Conversion, X

Figure P2-12 8 Levenspiel plot for an adiabatic exothermic heterogeneous reaction .

(a) Assuming that you have a fluidized CSTR and a PBR containing equal
weights of catalyst, how shou ld they be arranged for this adiabatic reac-
tion? In each case, u e the smallest amount of catalyst weight and still
achieve 80% conversion.
(b) What is the catalyst weight necessary to achieve 80% conversion in a flu-
catalyst idized CSTR?
(c) What fluidized CSTR weight is necessary to achieve 40% conversion?
(d) What PBR weight is necessary to achieve 80% conversion?
(e) What PBR weight is necessary to achieve 40% conversion?
(0 Plot the rate of reaction and conversion as a function of PBR catalyst
weight, W
Additional information: FAa = 2 molls.
Read the "Chemical Reaction Engineering of Hippopotamus Stomach" on the
DVD-ROM or on the Web.
(a) Write five entences summarizing what you learned from the module.
(b) Work problems (1) and (2) on the hippo module.
Chapter 2 Questions and Problems 71

(c) The hippo has picked up a river fungus, and now the effective volume of
the CSTR stomach compartment is only 0.2 m3. The hippo needs 30%
conversion to survive? Will the hippo survive?
(d) The hippo had to have surgery to remove a blockage. Unfortunately, the
surgeon, Dr. No, accidentally reversed the CSTR and the PFR during the
operation. Oops!! What will be the conversion with the new digestive
arrangement? Can the hippo survive?
P2-14A What is wrong with this solution? An adiabatic liquid pha e exothermic
reaction is to be carried out in a 25 dm 3 CSTR. The entering molar flow rate
of A times the reciprocal of the rate of reaction is shown below in Figure
P2-14A(a) as a function of conversion.

What is the conversion exiting the CSTR?

(a) (b)

50 50

40 40
-r. 30 -r. 30

3 3
(dm ) 20 (dm ) 20

10 10

0.2 .4 .5 .6 .8 1.0 0.2 .4 .5 .6 .8 1.0


Figure P2-14A Levenspiel plots


We are given FAo vs. X and that the volume is 25 dm 3 . We need to find the
X such that area of the CSTR rectangle (X ~~:) = 25 dm 3
. This is the trial

and error procedure.

Let's calculate the area in the rectangle with the conversion at the min-
imum and see if it matches the volume of 25 dm 3 given in the problem state-
ment at the minimum.

For X= 0.5 the area of the shaded rectangle [Figure P2-14A(b)] is

v = ( ~~:)x = (50 dm 3 )(0.5) = v = 25dm 3

It matches!! Therefore X= 0.5.
72 Conversion and Reactor Sizing Chapter 2


Further discussion of the proper staging of reactors in series for various rate laws, in
which a plot of -lirA versus X is given, is presented in
BURGESS, THORNTON W., The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack, New York:
Dover Publications, Inc., 1917.
KARRAss, CHESTER L., Effective Negotiating: Workbook and Discussion Guide,
Beverly Hill, CA: Karrass Ltd., 2004.
LEVENSP!EL, 0 ., Chemical Reaction Engineering, 3rd ed. New York: Wiley,
1999, Chapter 6, pp. 139-156.