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St. Augustine Faculty of Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering CHNG 2009/2010 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY, 2005-2006 EXPERIMENT RTD1 – FLOW PATTERNS IN A CSTR

1. i) ii) OBJECTIVES To determine the mean residence time of a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). To compare the residence time distribution (RTD) of the reactor with that expected of a perfectly mixed vessel. THEORY In an ideal CSTR (or mixed reactor), the contents are well-stirred and uniform throughout; the exit stream has the same composition as the fluid within the vessel. However, real reactors never fully follow these ideal flow patterns. In this experiment, we will quantify the deviation of the Armfield CSTR from ideality using the residence time distribution (RTD) approach. To characterize the extent of the nonideal flow, the system will be disturbed by quickly injecting a pulse of inert tracer (sodium hydroxide) into the CSTR. Measurements of the tracer concentration in the reactor effluent will then be obtained from the conductivity readings recorded by the computer. Assume that a mass N 0 of tracer is quickly dumped into a perfectly-mixed vessel at time t = 0. Then a transient material balance on the tracer component leads to: V or t d C (t ) = − C (t ) dt (1) d C (t ) = − v C (t ), dt t > 0

2.

where V is the volume of fluid in the reactor and v is the volumetric flowrate. The symbol C (t ) refers to the concentration of tracer in the reactor at time t. The mean residence time

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t = V v (2) represents the average length of time that a “batch” of fluid spends in the vessel. By solving the differential equation (1) with boundary condition C (0) ≡ C0 = N 0 / V . we obtain t C (t ) = C0 exp − t The RTD or exit age distribution function is defined as E (t ) = with Q ≡ ∞ 0 (3) C (t ) Q (4) ∫ C (t ) dt It is apparent from Eqn. (4) that ∞ 0 ∫ E (t ) dt = 1 The fraction of fluid elements in the exit stream younger than t1 is t1 0 ∫ E (t ) dt whereas the fraction of material older than t1 is ∞ t1 ∫ E (t ) dt = 1 − ∫ E (t ) dt 0 t1 It can be shown that t = ∞ 0 ∫ t E (t ) dt (5) 78 .

For such a process. σ2 = ≈ 3. Ensure that the three circuit breakers and the RCCB on the rear of the unit are in the UP position. in which the fluid is conceptualized as flowing through a series of equal-size ideal stirred tanks. it may be demonstrated that E (t ) = t N −1 exp (− N t / t ) ( N − 1)! ( t / N ) N (7) N can be estimated using N = ( t )2 σ2 (8) where σ 2 denotes the variance of E (t ). A popular choice is the “tanks-in-series” model. If necessary. Double-click the CSTR icon on the Windows desktop. Gradually increase the speed of feed pump #1 by rotating the speed dial clockwise until the “NaOH Flow” reading on the mimic diagram is approximately 90 ml/min. i) PROCEDURE ∞ ∫ 0 (t − t ) 2 E (t ) dt = t i2 E (t i ) ∆ t − ( t ) 2 ∞ 0 ∫t 2 E (t ) dt − ( t ) 2 (9) ∑ i =1 M Turn on the power switch of the chemical reactor service unit.e. The single parameter is N. the number of tanks in the chain. especially the mimic diagram. Turn on the computer. Familiarize yourself with the basic features of the Armsoft package. fill the reagent vessels with de-ionized water and set the feed pumps and agitator for manual operation. Many types of models can be used to characterize nonideal flow within a reactor. graph and data table.or t ≈ ∑ ti E (ti ) ∆ t i =1 M (6) if the mean residence time is to be approximated from M measurements of the tracer exit concentration collected at regular intervals of ∆ t time units. i. ii) iii) iv) 79 .

80 . Add these graphs to your plot and explain which model provides the better fit of the experimental data. i =1 M Compute the mean residence time from Eqns. Quickly inject the solution and withdraw the flexible tubing. (8). The constant Q in Eqn. When the measured conductivity has returned to its initial value. PRESENTATION OF RESULTS Use the calibration equation y = 0. v) Allow the water level in the CSTR to build until it reaches the top of the standpipe and effluent starts flowing to drain.004940 x to infer sodium hydroxide concentration in mol/l from the conductivity measurements obtained in step ix). V. Increase the agitator speed until the “Stirrer Speed” field on the mimic diagram displays 200 rpm. When the experiment is complete. Lower a piece of flexible tubing through the conductivity gland until it nearly touches the bottom of the reactor and insert the syringe. Drain the contents of the CSTR into a 2 litre graduated cylinder and measure the liquid volume. Return to the “View Diagram” tab. Click “OK” to close this dialog box then “Start Sample”. 4 g of sodium hydroxide pellets in de-ionized water. increase the speed of feed pump #2 until the “EtAc Flow” reading is around 85 ml/min. turn off the agitator and repeat steps viii) and ix). Save your results in Formula One and Excel formats and copy these files to a diskette. Set all controls on the reactor service unit to minimum/off and turn off the unit. (7) to calculate the theoretical RTD functions both for N = 1 (perfectly mixed tank) and the value of N obtained in iv). Make up 25 ml of tracer solution by dissolving approx. Use Eqn. i) ii) ∑ C (ti ) ∆ t.Similarly. ix) x) xi) Observe the conductivity readings as they are plotted in real time on the computer. Fit a “tanks-in-series” model to the RTD by means of Eqn. Select the “View Data in Graph Format” tab and trend “Run #1 Measured Conductivity (mS)” on the primary y-axis. Calculate the experimental residence time distribution E (ti ) and construct a plot of E (ti ) versus time. (4) may be approximated as iii) iv) v) xii) 4. (2) and (6) and discuss your results. leftclick the “Configure” button and fix the sampling interval at 10 seconds. stop the data collection by clicking the “Stop Sample” button. vi) vii) viii) Fill a 10 ml syringe with the tracer solution.

(1999). Prentice-Hall. Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering (3rd Edition). Levenspiel. REFERENCES Fogler. John Wiley & Sons.vi) vii) Repeat the foregoing for the data collected in step x). (3) and Eqn. Chemical Reaction Engineering (3rd Edition). Does stirring of the reactor contents have a significant effect on residence time distribution? Include derivations of Eqn. (7) (for N = 1) in the Theory section of your report. 5. H. New York. Upper Saddle River. NJ. NCS/MWF/JS – Sept/2005 81 . O. (1999).S.

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