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Tutorial Sheet No 4

Engineering II

Chemical Reaction

Qu 1 An experimental rate measurement on the decomposition of A is made

with a particular catalyst (see pertinent data below).
a. Is it likely that film resistance to mass transfer influences the rate?
b. Could this run have been made in the regime of strong pore diffusion?
c. Would you expect to have temperature variations within the pellet or
across the gas film?
For the spherical particle:
dp = 2.4 mm, De = 5 x 10-5 m2/ h, e = 1.6 kJ/ h. m. K
For the gas film:
h = 160 kJ/ h. m2. K, kg = 300 m/ h
For the reaction:
Hr = - 160 kJ/ mol A, CAb = 20 mol/ m3 (at 1 tm and 336oC, Robs = 1x
105 mol/ h. m3 Cat
Assume a first order kinetics.

Qu 2 The rate of isomerisation of n butane with a catalyst is measured at 507

kPa and 323 K in a laboratory reactor with high turbulence in the gas phase
surrounding the catalyst pellets. Turbulence ensures that external diffusion
resistances are negligible, so that Cs = Cb. Kinetic studies indicate that the rate is
first order and reversible. At 50oC the equilibrium conversion is 85%. The
effective diffusivity is 0.08 cm2/s at reaction conditions, and the density of the
catalyst pellets is 1.0 g/ cm3, regardless of size. The measured, global rates when
pure n butane surrounds the pellets are as follows:
dp, inches


rate (gmol/ s g cat 4.85x 10-4


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a. To reduce pressure drop in the proposed fixed bed reactor it is desirable to

use the maximum pellet size for which there will be little reduction in the
global rate due to intrapellet resistances. The heat of isomerisation is low
enough that the whole pellet is at 323 K. What is the largest size pellet
that may be used?
b. Calculate the effectiveness factor for each size.