Interactive Self-Study Module: Isothermal Batch Reactors

This module uses screencasts and an interactive simulation to explain isothermal batch reactors. It then provides example problems to allow the user to test themselves. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTest and answer the example problem before watching the screencasts or working with the simulation.
  2. Watch the screencasts that describe isothermal batch reactors and answer the questions in the first screencast.
  3. Use the interactive simulations to further understand isothermal batch reactors.
  4. Try to solve the three example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.

Batch reactors are used in to make a large number of chemical products. 

This module is intended for a kinetics/reactor design course.

Before studying this module, you should:

  • Know how to do mass balances.
  • Understand rate expressions that describe how the rate of a chemical reaction depends on the concentrations of reactants.
  • Be able to solve systems of ordinary differential equations numerically using software such as Polymath, Mathcad, MATLAB, Mathematica, etc.  These equations are initial-value problems.

After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Determine the time for a single reaction in an isothermal batch reactor to reach a desired conversion, given a rate constant, order of reaction for each reactant, and starting reactant concentrations.
  • Determine the size of an isothermal batch reactor to produce a desired amount of product per hour, given reaction time to reach a certain conversion.