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Problem 7.

13 Levenspiel 3rd Edition, page 166


In an isothermal irreversible constant-volume reaction system, A decomposes as:
k
1 R;

A
k2
S;

mol
s litre

( rR ) = ( CA )

mol

( rS ) = 1.0 s litre

mol
, what size ratio of two CSTR will maximise the production
A0
litre
rate of R ? Also give the composition of A and R leaving these two reactors.
For a feed steam with C

=4.0

Answer:

Let C

and C
be the concentrations in CSTR1 and CSTR2, respectively. This means, the outlet
A1
A2
concentration of CSTR1 is C
and the outlet concentration of CSTR2 is C .
A1
A2

(R A) =

dC
r
moles of R formed
= R = R
moles of A reacted
dC
r
A
A

Assuming there are no R and S present in the fed of CSTR1, we can write the following from
material balance,

= A1 4 C
+ A2 C C
R2 C + 1
A1 C
A2
+ 1 A1
A1
A2

For maximum productivity of R, take the derivative of C w.r.t. C


and equate to zero. This is
R
A1
mathematically correct only if C
is constant. This simply means that the analysis holds for a
A2
given value of C .
A2
C2
C

A1
A1 + A2 C C
C
=
R2
A2
C
C +1
+ 1 A1
A1
A2
C + 1 4 2C
4C C2 (1) C
dC

A1
A1
A1
A1
R

=
+ A2 (1) = 0
C
dC
+1
C +1 2
A1
A2
A1
C

5
5
1

1 + A2 = 0
=
2
2 C
C
+1
+1
C +1
C +1
A2
A2
A1
A1
4C

)(

A1

)2 = 5 ( CA2 + 1) CA1 = 5 ( CA2 + 1)

+1

0.5

AVP / Page 1 of 3

Assuming various values of C


C

, find out C
R2
R2, max
the known interval.

, we can calculate C and C . From the trend in the values of


A2
A1
R2
. Once a gross estimate is known, the value can be refined further within

= A1 4 C
; C = 4C C ; C = 4C
C
R1 C + 1
A1
S1
A1
R1
S2
A2
R2
A1

The following table will explain the problem solving methodology. Initial guess: C
CA2

CA1

CR2

0.5000
0.6000
0.6100
0.6200
0.6300
0.6400
0.6500
0.6600
0.6700
0.6800
0.6900
0.7000
0.7100
0.7200
0.7300
0.7400
0.7500
0.7600
0.7700
0.7800
0.7900
0.8000

1.7386
1.8284
1.8373
1.8460
1.8548
1.8636
1.8723
1.8810
1.8896
1.8983
1.9069
1.9155
1.9240
1.9326
1.9411
1.9496
1.9580
1.9665
1.9749
1.9833
1.9917
2.0000

1.8485
1.8645
1.8655
1.8664
1.8672
1.8678
1.8684
1.8689
1.8694
1.8697
1.8699
1.8700
1.8701
1.8700
1.8699
1.8697
1.8694
1.8690
1.8685
1.8680
1.8674
1.8667

(CR2) = difference between


consecutive CR2 values

0.0159
0.0010
0.0009
0.0008
0.0007
0.0006
0.0005
0.0004
0.0003
0.0002
0.0001
0.0000
0.0000
-0.0001
-0.0002
-0.0003
-0.0004
-0.0005
-0.0005
-0.0006
-0.0007

A2

= 0.5

CR1

CS1

CS2

1.4356
1.4038
1.4005
1.3971
1.3938
1.3904
1.3869
1.3835
1.3800
1.3766
1.3731
1.3695
1.3660
1.3624
1.3589
1.3553
1.3517
1.3480
1.3444
1.3407
1.3370
1.3333

0.8257
0.7678
0.7623
0.7568
0.7514
0.7461
0.7408
0.7355
0.7303
0.7252
0.7201
0.7150
0.7100
0.7050
0.7001
0.6952
0.6903
0.6855
0.6807
0.6760
0.6713
0.6667

1.6515
1.5355
1.5245
1.5136
1.5028
1.4922
1.4816
1.4711
1.4606
1.4503
1.4401
1.4300
1.4199
1.4100
1.4001
1.3903
1.3806
1.3710
1.3615
1.3520
1.3426
1.3333

= 1.9240; C
= 0.7100 . From these values,
A1
A2
the space times for both CSTRs can be computed as follows:

Therefore, for the maximum productivity of R: C

( CA0 CA1 ) = ( CA0 CA1 ) = ( 4 1.9240 ) = 0.7100 s


C +1
1.9240 + 1
( rA )
A
( C CA2 ) = ( CA1 CA2 ) = (1.9240 0.7100 ) = 0.7100 s
= A1
2
C
0.7100 + 1
+1
( rA2 )
A2
=
1

mol
, a size ratio of 1:1 will
Sine = , it can be concluded that for a feed steam with C =4.0
1 2
A0
litre
maximise the production rate of R. The summary of various concentrations is as:
AVP / Page 2 of 3

mol
mol
mol
= 0.7100
; C = 1.9240
;C
A0
A1
A2
lit
lit
lit
mol
mol
mol
= 0.0
= 1.8701
C
; C = 1.3660
;C
R0
R1
R2
lit
lit
lit
mol
mol
mol
C = 0.0
; C = 0.7100
; C = 1.4199
S0
S1
S2
lit
lit
lit
C

= 4.0

AVP / Page 3 of 3