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CHE151-1L Chemical Engineering Laboratory 2

1st Quarter SY 2017-2018

Determination of the reaction rate constant and activation energy in a continuous

stirred tank reactor

Correia, Feliciana, Maria; Evidente, Ralph Carlo T.; Guillermo, Jollana Dianne A.; Lat, Dheya
Kristalyn O.

CHE151-1L/A11, School of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Mapa University

the reactor [2,3]. Thus, the temperature

INTRODUCTION and concentration in exit steam are modelled as
being the same as those inside the reactor.
Continuous-flow reactors are widely
used in chemical and biological processes for
bulk production. They transfer material as
flowing stream whereas reactants are
continuously fed to the reactor and exit as
continuous stream of product. The three types
of continuous-flow reactors are the continuous
stirred tank reactor (CSTR), plug-flow reactor
(PFR), and the packed bed reactor (PBR) [1].

The most basic and commonly used

type of continuous-flow reactor in industrial
processes is the continuous operated stirred
tanks. It is generally referred to as continuous-
stirred tank reactor (CSTR) or back-mix reactor
. CSTR is an open system wherein materials Figure 1. Illustration of CSTR [3]
are allowed to enter and exit the system. Also,
it operates in steady-state basis wherein the In systems where mixing is highly non-
conditions are constant throughout the process ideal, the well-mixed model is inadequate, and
. one must resort to other modelling techniques,
such as residence time distributions, to obtain
CSTR is mainly used for liquid meaningful results.
reactions wherein one or more reactants in a
solution or slurry are fed into the reactor and Moreover, since the composition of the
the products are continuously removed. The product stream is identical as those in the tank,
reactor is equipped with a stirrer or an impeller the reactant concentrations are usually low.
to stir the reactants vigorously for uniform CSTR requires the largest volume of reactor
composition as shown in Figure 1. Also, it is type to acquire the desired conversion of
assumed to be perfectly mixed; however, inside reactant to product as shown in Figure 2. In
the CSTR, there is no time dependence, cases wherein the high conversions are needed,
position dependence in temperature, the several CSTR in series are used [4].
concentration or reaction rate which means
every variable is the same at every point inside

Experiment 07 September 16, 2017 1 of 3

CHE151-1L Chemical Engineering Laboratory 2
1st Quarter SY 2017-2018

Figure 2. Levenspiel Plot for CSTR [3] 1 2

The objectives of this experiment are to
determine the following: (1) reaction rate CSTR
constant, k (2) relationship between the specific R
rate constant, k, and the temperature of the
reaction, and (3) effect of temperature on the
activation energy, EA. Figure 4. Schematic Diagram of CSTR: (1)
vessel for NaOH and (2) vessel for ethyl

Data Gathering For the first part of the experiment, the

software was turned on and the experiment
The equipment and materials used in with heater was selected. The set point of PID
the experiment are the continuous stirred tank was adjusted to 30 and the mode of operation
reactor (CSTR), reagent vessels, 0.1 M sodium was changed to automatic. Also, the pump
hydroxide, and 0.1 M ethyl acetate. Two speed was set to 50 ml/min flowrate and the
reagent vessels are first filled with 2.5 liters concentrations of the solutions were inputted in
each of 0.1M NaOH and 0.1M ethyl acetate. the software. The power button was then turned
The lid of the vessels was then fitted to the on and the pump started to stir the solution.
tubing of the CSTR set-up.
For the second part, the hot water
Below is the set-up for experimental temperature was maintained at 40 with the
CSTR. It consists of (1) two reagent vessels, same concentration of NaOH and ethyl acetate
(2) CSTR, and (3) conductimeter. as the previous part, but the volume was not
limited to 50 mL. In this part, the experiment
ended when the temperature of the reactor
1 reached temperature of 40. For both parts,
conductivity data was collected until steady
state condition was already reached.

Treatment of Results
The recorded data of conductivity of the
solution in the reactor over time was translated
2 into degree of conversion of the constituents.
Through Microsoft Excel, required values to
compute for concentrations of NaOH and ethyl
Figure 3. Experimental CSTR set-up
Experiment 07 September 16, 2017 2 of 3
CHE151-1L Chemical Engineering Laboratory 2
1st Quarter SY 2017-2018

acetate was determined using the formula

shown below.



[1] Geankoplis, C.J. (2003). Principles of

Transport and Separation Processes

[2] Gutierrez, C., & Ngo, R. (2005). Chemical

Engineering Laboratory Manual Part 2. Mapua
Institute of Technology.

[3] Perry, R.H., & Green, D.W. (2008). Perrys

Chemical Engineers Handbook. 8th ed. New
YorkL McGraw Hill.

[4] Geankoplis, C. (1993). Transport Processes

and Unit Operations 3rd Ed. New Jersey: PTR
Prentice-Hall, Inc. pp. 520-521.

Experiment 07 September 16, 2017 3 of 3

CHE151-1L Chemical Engineering Laboratory 2
1st Quarter SY 2017-2018

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