Interactive Self-Study Module: Multiple Steady States in a Non-Isothermal CSTR

This module uses screencasts and interactive simulations to explain multiple steady states in a non-isothermal CSTR. It then provides example problems and concepTests 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 solve the example problem before watching the screencasts or working with the simulations.
  2. Watch the three screencasts and answer the questions within the screencasts.
  3. Use the two interactive simulations to further understand the behavior of the phase diagrams.
  4. Try to solve the example problem before watching the solution in the screencast.
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.

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

Before studying this module, you should:

  • Study the Isothermal CSTR module.
  • Be able to calculate energy balances in CSTRs.
  • 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:
  • Explain the reason for multiple steady states in non-isothermal CSTRs.
  • Solve the unsteady-state material and energy balances for non-isothermal CSTRs to determine the steady-state operating point.
  • Generate a phase plane plot for an non-isothermal CSTR.
  • Determine if a steady-state solution for an non-isothermal CSTR is a stable or unstable operating point.
  • Explain what a limit cycle is for a CSTR.