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DISCUSSION

An experiment to study liquid phase reaction kinetics in a CSTR, to determine the


conversion at different residence time, as well as to study the effect of temperature on the
reaction in CSTR were conducted using the equipment shown in Figure 1 (Refer to Appendices).
The variables involved in this experiment are Time (min), Temperature (C), Flow Rate
(mL/min), Total Flow Rate (mL/min), Residence Time (min), Conductivity (mS/cm),
Concentration (M), and Conversion (%).
The experiment first began by preparing all the chemicals needed for the Continuous
Stirred-Tank Reactor (CSTR), and the start-up configurations were done prior to experimenting.
Next, related valves were opened/closed and pumps P1 and P2 were switched ON
simultaneously . Then , the reactor was filled up with both solutions; Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH
and Ethyl Acetate, Et(Ac). Once the reactor was filled to approximately half full (5 L), the valves
V5 and V10 were adjusted to flow rates of 100 mL/min, 200 mL/min, and 300 mL/min
respectively. For each of the respective flow rates, readings for temperature and flow rates were
recorded with a constant time interval of 5 minutes.
From the raw data obtained from the experiment, other information was able to be
obtained. From the trend graphs plotted, the values for Concentration (M) and Conversion (%)
were able to be obtained, based on the values of conductivity acquired. Then, the values for Total
Flow Rate (F0) and Residence Time ,were obtained through calculations using the raw data from
the results section. Also, the values for Reaction Rate Constant (k) and Rate of Reaction (-rA)
can be calculated using their respective formulae, hence be obtained (Calculations shown in
Appendices). It was observed that, the trend graph showing the relationship between Conversion
and Time, shows that for all three flow rates (100 mL/min, 200 mL/min, 300 mL/min) shows an
increasing trend in conversion (%). High conversion indicates low flow rate. In other words, as
flow rate decreases, the conversion increases and vice versa.
Theoretically, the Continuous Flow Stirred-Tank Reactor (CSTR), also known as vat or
back mix reactor, is a common ideal reactor type in chemical engineering. The behavior of a
CSTR is often approximated or modeled by that of a Continuous Ideally Stirred-Tank Reactor
(CISTR). All calculations performed with CISTRs assume perfect mixing . In a perfectly mixed

reactor, the output composition is identical to composition of the material inside the reactor,
which is a function of residence time and rate of reaction.
The advantages of a Continuous Stirred-Tank Reactor (CSTR) are low operating (labor)
cost, easy to clean, simplicity of construction, good control, good temperature control, and
operates continuously. On the other hand, the disadvantages of this reactor are, it has the lowest
conversion per unit volume, and has poor agitation when conducting by-pass and channeling . It
can be seen that this type of reactor holds more perks than that of its cons.
There are several possibilities that might have contributed to the errors that occurred
during the experiment. Among those errors is physical errors (caused by experimenters). The
experimenters might not have waited for the readings to stabilized first and have recorded down
the wrong readings, which could lead to an abnormal trend of results. Not just that, the
experimenter may not have focused well during the experiment and may have recorded down
readings of the parameter in the field of another parameter. By doing so, the recordings will be
inaccurate and will result in abnormality in generating trend/correlation graphs.

Graph between Concentration of NaOH, CNaOH and Conductivity


0.06
0.05
0.04
Concentration of NaOH (M)

f(x) = 0.01x - 0.03


Appendix A

0.03

Linear (Appendix A)

0.02
0.01
0
0 5 10 15

Conductivity (mS/cm)

Graph 1-Concentration of NaOH against Conductivity

Graph between Conversion, X and Conductivity


120%
100%
80%
Conversion (%)

f(x) = - 0.14x + 1.56


Appendix A

60%

Linear (Appendix A)

40%
20%
0%
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112
Conductivity (mS/cm)

Graph 2-Conversion against Conductivity

TUTORIAL
1. What will be the effect of mixing on the reaction rate and rate constant?
According to collision theory, the more mixing, the more the rate or reaction. This theory
is based on the idea that reactant particles must collide for a reaction to occur.

2. Why the CSTR is so special compared to Batch & Tubular (PFR) reactor?
Run at steady state with continuous flow of reactants and products; the feed assumes a
uniform composition throughout the reactor, exit stream has the same composition as in
the tank.
3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using CSTR reactors in chemical
reaction .
The advantages of CSTR are continuous operation , good temperature control , easily
adapts to two phase runs , good control , simplicity of construction , low operating (labor)
cost and easy to clean . For the disadvantages of CSTR are lowest conversion per unit
volume and by-passing and channeling possible with poor agitation . It can be seen that
this type of reactor holds more perks than that of its cons .