Isothermal Batch Reactors: Interactive Simulation
This simulation was prepared using MathematicaDownload the free CDF player, and then download the simulation CDF file (link given below or click on figure to download). Try to predict the behavior when a parameter changes before using a slider to change that parameter. For this simulation, a screencast is provided to explain how to use it.

Simulation: Batch Reactors at Constant Volume or Constant Pressure

This Demonstration compares the time for an irreversible, gas-phase reaction to reach a certain fractional conversion in an isothermal batch reactor operating either at constant volume or at constant pressure. Both reactors start at the same initial conditions. If the reaction involves a mole change and the rate of reaction is not zero or first-order, then the time to reach a certain conversion is different for the two types of reactors; in a constant-pressure reactor, the reactant concentration changes because of the volume change due to the mole change.



Try to answer these questions before determining the answer with the simulation:

  1. For a first-order, gas-phase reaction (A → 2B) starting at the same conditions in a constant-pressure and a constant-volume reactor, which reactor reaches 50% conversion first? Both reactors are initially the same size.
  2. For a second-order, gas-phase reaction (A → 2B) starting at the same conditions in a constant-pressure and a constant-volume reactor, which reactor reaches 50% conversion first? Both reactors are initially the same size.
  3. For a second-order, gas-phase reaction (A → B) starting at the same conditions in a constant-pressure and a constant-volume reactor, which reactor reaches 50% conversion first? Both reactors are initially the same size.