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After this topic, you should be able

 Apply the mole balance and its
applications to steady state:
Analysis of Continuous
• Constant Stirred Tank Reactor
Reactors (CSTR) or Mixed Flow Reactor (MFR)
Topic 6 • Plug Flow Reactor (PFR) or Tubular
Reactor (TR)
Ch.E. 422
Part 1- Basic Concepts and • Combination of CSTR and PFR
Graphical Method  Use both graphical and numerical
or algebraic methods to solve the

Review of Continuous Reactors

 Mixed Flow Reactor (MFR)/Constant
Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR)
Reactants are continuously
• Contents are well mixed so uniform concentration fed to a well mixed tank
inside the tank, and equal to product and the products are also
concentrations withdrawn continuously. At
• May be connected in series to increase the steady state, the
conversion concentration of any
 Plug Flow (PFR)/Tubular Reactor (TR) material in the tank is also
the same as that in the
• Concentration varies with length of the reactor, product stream.
but not radially
• Has higher conversion per volume than the MFR


PFR or TR Common Nomenclature

 FJo = input molar rate of J = voCJo
Reactants are continuously  FJf = output molar rate of J = vfCJf
fed to a tube so that what
 vo, vf = volumetric feed & exit rates
goes in first also comes out
first. Reaction proceeds  CJo;CJf = inlet & outlet concentrations
across the reactor length and  -rJ = rate of reaction of J
concentrations vary from
entrance to exit as there is no
 XJ = (FJo – FJf)/FJo = fract. conv. of J
lateral mixing. Radial  τ = Space Time = time to process
concentrations are however one reactor volume of feed = V/vo
assumed constant.
 V = reactor volume
 θ = residence time = V/vf

MFR or CSTR Plug Flow Reactor (PFR)

Steady State Flow:

Steady State Flow:

No spatial variation:


Volume Formulas for Steady

Plug Flow Reactor (PFR) State
 Single MFR or CSTR
FJo  FJ1 FJo XJi v 0 (CJo  CJ1 ) CJo  CJ1
V1   V1  1 
rJ1 rJ1 rJ1 rJ1

 Multiple MFR or CSTR in Series

FJm1  FJm FJo (XJm1  XJm ) v (C  CJm ) CJm1  CJm
Vm   Vm  0 Jm1 m 
rJm rJm rJm rJm

 PFR or TR
dFJ CJf dCJ CJf dCJ
Vr  
Vr  v o  r  
0 rJ
CAo rJ CAo rJ

Covered Applications Solution Methods

 Determination of Reactor Volume  Graphical
• Single MFR or CSTR • Applicable if data of –rJ and CJ or XJ
• Equivalent PFR are available
• Combination of Reactors • Uses Levenspiel plots (Plot of 1/-rJ
 Determination of Over-all Conversion vs CJ or XJ
• Single MFR or CSTR  Numerical or Algebraic Methods
• Equivalent PFR • Applicable if the kinetics of the
• Combination of Reactors reaction is known or unknown,
 Determination of Reaction Kinetics meaning the order, rate constants
• Unknown Order and Rate Constant are available or unknown


Graphical Methods Graphical Method

 By Levenspiel  By Walas (For CSTR only)
• Volume of a CSTR is represented  A plot of –rJ vs CJ is used.
partly by the area of rectangles
 Each CSTR is represented by a
bounded by the plot of 1/-rJ vs XJ,
with height equal to 1/-rJm and
straight line with an x-intercept
width as ∆XJm of CJm-1 and slope -1/τm
• Volume of a PFR is represented  For multiple CSTRs of same size,
partly by the area under the curve the slopes of each line must be
bounded by a plot of 1/-rJ vs XJ the same.
between 0 and XJ.

Graphical Method Levenspiel Plot (1/-rA vs XA)

 Given the following –rA-CA Data

Fao = vo Cao = 12.5


Walas Plot
1. Find the volume of a single CSTR needed to
achieve 80% conversion of A.
2. Determine the volume of a PFR to achieve the
same conversion in (1).
3. Suppose 2 CSTRs are connected in series.
What total volume is needed for the same
4. Suppose equal sized CSTR and PFR are
connected in series. What total volume is
needed for the same conversion if CSTR is
ahead and if PFR is ahead?
5. Repeat 1-4 if the total volume is to be 60 ft3
and the final conversion is unknown.

Solution: Problem 1 Solution: Problem 1

FJo  FJ1 FJo XJ1 FJo  FJ1 FJo XJ1
V1   V1  
rJ1 rJ1 rJ1 rJ1


Calculations for Problem 1 Solution to Problem 2:

FAf dFA Xaf dX
Vr    FAo  A
0 rA 0 rA

Solution to Problem 2: Solution to Problem 2:

FAf dFA Xaf dX FAf dFA Xaf dX
Vr    FAo  A
Vr    FAo  A
0 rA 0 rA 0 rA 0 rA


Calculations for Problem 2 Solution: Problem 3 (Lev Plot)

FJo XJ1 F F F (1  XJ1 )  FJo (1  XJ2 ) FJo (XJ2  X j1 )
V1   V2  J1 J2  Jo 
rJ1 rJ2 rJ2 rJ2

Solution: Problem 3 (Lev Plot) Solution: Problem 3 (Lev Plot)

F X F F F (1  XJ1 )  FJo (1  XJ2 ) FJo (XJ2  X j1 ) FJo XJ1 F F F (1  XJ1 )  FJo (1  XJ2 ) FJo (XJ2  X j1 )
V1  Jo J1  V2  J1 J2  Jo  V1   V2  J1 J2  Jo 
rJ1 rJ2 rJ2 rJ2 rJ1 rJ2 rJ2 rJ2


Calculations (Levenspiel Method): Another Method (by Walas)

Another Method (by Walas) Another Method (by Walas)


Another Method (by Walas) Calculations (Walas Method)

Solution: Problem 4a(CSTR to PFR) Solution: Problem 4a(CSTR to PFR)


Solution: Problem 4a(CSTR to PFR) Calculations (Problem 4a)

Solution: Problem 4b(PFR to CSTR) Solution: Problem 4b(PFR to CSTR)


Solution: Problem 4b(PFR to CSTR) Solution: Problem 4b(PFR to CSTR)

Solution Algorithm for Prob 5

Calculations (Problem 4b) (For application and
 Prob 1: Assume Xa1, get -ra1 from curve;
check: Xa1=V1(-ra1)/Xa1
 Prob 2: Assume Xa1, get area under curve of
Levenspiel plot from 0 to Xa1. Check if
V1=Area(Fao), adjust Xa1 accordingly if trial is
not correct.
 Prob 3:V1=V2=V/2=30 . Solve slope of line =
-vo/V1. Using Walas Plot, from Cao at X axis,
draw 2 lines with same slope to get Ca2. Solve
SAME as CSTR to PFR! Xa2.
 Prob 4: Knowing V1=V2=30, find appropriate
Xa1 and Xa2 so that Area1=Area2 depending
on which reactor comes first.