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# 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 1 2.

## Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 2

2. Conversion and Reactor sizing Continuous reactor (CSTR or Tubular reactor)

## In order to size a reactor we must first know what the

reactor should do, i.e. how large conversion (omsttning) it FA0 FA 0 FA
should accomplish. FA XA = (2)
FA 0
Conversion

Fractional amount of reactant species (A) converted into Design Equations in terms of Conversion
product(s) or consumed by reaction. Batch Reactor
Indicates extent of reaction.
dNA
moles of A reacted From mass balance: = rA V
XA = dt
moles of A fed
Express NA in terms of XA:
Expressed in terms of limiting reactant.

## Moles of A Moles of Moles of A

Batch reactor remaining = A - consumed
in reactor initially by reaction
N A 0 NA in reactor
XA = (1)
NA 0
NA = N A 0 NA 0 X A (3)
NA 0 moles of A at t = 0
NA moles of A at t > 0 (Can also be obtained from equation 1)

differentiate 3 w.r.t. t

dNA dX A
= 0 NA 0
dt dt

## substitute into mass balance:

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 3 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 4
dX A
NA 0 = rA V
dt CSTR

## in integral form From mass balance FA0 FA = -rAV

N A 0 dX A Express FA in terms of XA
dt = (Analogous to above for Batch Reactor)
V - rA

if volume constant Molar flow rate Molar flow rate Molar flow rate
of A leaving = of A fed - of A consumed
NA 0 XA
dX A

t= the reactor to reactor by reaction
V X A0 - rA

## FA = FA0 - FA0XA (4)

if volume is a function of time: Can also be obtained directly from (2)
t XA dX A
0
V (t )dt = N A0
X A0 rA
Substitute (4) into mass balance:

## For instance, if A 2B (decomposition) FA0 X A

V= Sizing equation
rA
If A and B are ideal gases and NB0 = 0 (at t = 0)

For constant pressure: V = (1-X)V0 + 2XV0 Note: -rA is evaluated at the conditions inside the reactor,
V = V0(1+X) which are the same as the exit conditions.

N A0 XA dX A
Then t =
V0
X A0 rA (1 + x)

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 5 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 6
Tubular Flow Reactor or PFR (Plug Flow Reactor)
Reactor capacity
dFA
From mass balance = rA To use sizing equations rA must be expressed in terms of
dV
conversion.
Differentiate (4) w.r.t. V
Consider a 1st order irreversible reaction:
dFA dX A
= 0 FA 0 -rA = kCA (rate equation)
dV dV

dX A FA 0 FA
FA 0 = rA XA =
dV FA 0

## if the volumetric flowrate () is constant throughout the

in integral form: reactor (=0):
dX A
dV = FA 0 FA = CA = CA 0 and FA0 = CA0 0
rA
mol mol volume
time = volume time
X Af dX A
V = FA 0
X A0 rA
Sizing equation
CA 0 0 CA 0 CA
then X A = = 1
CA 0 0 CA 0

Alternatively, for a Packed-Bed Reactor (PBR) with solid rearranging CA = (1 - XA) CA0
catalyst:
Substitute into the rate equation:
XA f
dX A
W = FA 0
XA0 r'A
W = catalyst weight (kg) -rA = k(1 - XA) CA0 (-rA in terms of XA)

## rA = rate of formation of A (mol/(kg s))

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 7 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 8

## for a PFR: Consider sizing equations for continuous reactors:

FA0 XA dX A 1
V=
kC A0 0 1 X A
(1st order, =0) V = FA 0
( rA )exit
XA CSTR

X Af 1
Alternatively, the sizing equation can be expressed in terms
V = FA 0
X A0 rA
dX A PFR
of CA rather than XA since =0 in this case.
Consider a 1st order irreversible reaction:
CA dC A
XA = 1 gives dX A = 0
CA 0 CA 0 1
A B, -rA = kCA0(1-XA) Plot versus XA
rA
FA 0 CA
dC A (Levenspiel plot)
then for a PFR V=
kC A 0 CA 0 CA
1 1 1
- = (1st order, =0)
CA rA kC A 0 1 - X A
0 dC A st
or V=
k
CA 0 CA
(1 order, =0)

1
At XA= 0 minimum largest reaction rate
rA

1
as XA 1 reaction rate 0, reactant A
rA
is depleted.

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2- 9 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 10

Compare the volume of a PFR and a CSTR required for a Levenspiel plots can off course be used to compute the
given conversion X: volume of a CSTR or PFR:

V = FA Area Levenspiel
0

## Similarly, the volume of a PFR can be obtained by

X 1
numerical approximation of the integral X Af
dX A by e.g.
rA
A0

Example:

## The reaction rate for a reaction with unknown kinetics has

X 1 been determined at varying conversions:
Area =

0 rA
dX A Vtube X
3
0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5
-rA (mol/(s m ) 4,6 4,3 4,0 3,7 3,3 2,9

## How big PFR is necessary to reach a conversion of 0.5 if

FA0 = 1 mol/s?
Solution by the trapeze method

## X 1/-rA (fa, f1 fb) trapeze

0 0,22 0,11 (0.5 fa)
0,1 0,23 0,23 (f1)
0,2 0,25 0,25
0,3 0,27 0,27
1 0,4 0,30 0,30
Area = X Vtank
rA 0,5 0,34 0,17
3
AreaTrapeze=1,34 (s m )/mol
To achieve X, a much larger volume of CSTR than of
PFR for reactions of order >0! Why? Hint: Imagine a volume V = FA Area Levenspiel = 1,34 m3
0

## element that enters the two reactors.

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 11 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 12
Reactors in series
Consider following cases for first order irreversible reaction:

XA0 XA1 XA2 XA3 XAn Case 1: Total volume of one CSTR versus two CSTR:s in
V1 V2 V3 Vn series to reach given conversion.
FA0 FA1 FA2 FA3 FAn
X is the total number of moles of A that have reacted per 1 CSTR:
mole of A fed to the first reactor (will simplify calculations).

## Conversion after any reactor based on FA0:

FA 0 FA1
X A1 =
FA 0

FA 0 FA 2
XA 2 = i.e. X A2 is conversion over reactors 1 and 2
FA 0
2 CSTRs: Area FA0 = Vtotal
FA 0 FA n
XAn =
FA 0

## Compare volumes of 3, 4, and CSTRs in series.

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 13 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 14

Case 2: Total volume of one PFR versus two PFR:s in Case 3: Total volume of PFR and CSTR in series versus
series to reach given conversion. one PFR or CSTR to reach given conversion.

## Volume of PFR + CSTR > Volume of 1 PFR

2PFRs: Area FA0 = Vtotal Volume of PFR + CSTR < Volume of 1 CSTR

## Irrelevant whether there is one continuous PFR or two in

series, the total volume is the same, why?

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 15 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 16

Does it matter in what order the reactors are placed? Space time and space velocity

V time
= = [volume ]
0 volume

## For a plug flow reactor, is residence time/holding time of

fluid in the reactor.
For a CSTR, is the mean residence time

## Note: The statements above are true only if = 0

PFR + CSTR:
Can express PFR and CSTR sizing equations in terms of :

XA
dX A
= CA 0
XA0
rA
PFR

CA 0 X A
= CSTR
rA
In this case, lower total volume if CSTR first. Why?
Space velocity (SV) defined as:
The answers really depend on the intermediate conversion.
What if the intermediate conversion was higher?
SV =
0
=
1 [volume ] = 1
V [volume ] [time ]

## Reciprocal of space time, but not always (other conditions

than the entering ones are sometimes used for 0 in SV, see
below).

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 17 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 18
1
tbatch = ln(1 x)
Other forms: k

## LHSV = liquid hourly space velocity, h-1. 0 may be PFR

measured at room temp even though the feed to the reactor
may be a vapor at high temperature. dFj
GHSV = gas hourly space velocity, h-1. = rj
dV
0 may be measured at STP.
dC j
= kC j
dV
Comparison between Batch, CSTR, PFR
Cj V
Compare tbatch, CSTR, PFR for first order irreversible reaction 1 dC j 1
with = 0 (for continuous reactors) and V = V0 (for batch). =
k
Cj
Cj
(

dV = )
0
0
Batch
1
dN j PFR = ln(1 x)
= rj V k
dt
so tbatch = PFR give same conversion for given volume
dC j Think more about that.
= kC j (1st order irreversible reaction)
dt
CSTR
Cj
1 dC j

t= Fj0 Fj
k Cj V=
Cj
rj
0
1 C
t = ln j (
C j0 C j )
k C j0 V=
kC j
since C j = C j (1 x )
0 C j0 C j C j0 C j0 (1 x)
CSTR = =
kC j kC j0 (1 x)

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2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 19 2. Conversion and Reactor Sizing 2 - 20

x
CSTR =
k (1 x)

Consider:
CSTR VCSTR x
= =
PFR VPFR (1 x)ln(1 (1 x ))

VCSTR
is even larger for higher order reactions.
VPFR
Cj
Can be shown = exp( k ) (PFR)
C j0

Cj 1
= (CSTR)
C j0 k + 1

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