Interactive Self-Study Module: Thermal Effects in Chemical Reactions
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder 

This module uses screencasts and interactive simulations to explain the importance of mass and energy balances when using a chemical reactor. It then provides example problems and step-by-step quiz simulations 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 screencast or working with the simulations.
  2. Watch the screencast that applies an energy balance to a semibatch reactor.
  3. Use the interactive simulation to further understand the relation between conversion and temperature in an adiabatic reactor.
  4. Use the quiz interactive simulation to test your understanding by carrying out step-by-step preparation of an adiabatic, reversible reaction.
  5. Try to solve the two example problem screencasts before watching the solution in the screencast.
  6. Answer the ConcepTests.

 This module is intended for a thermodynamics or a kinetics course.  Chemical reactors are limited by equilibrium, which is temperature dependent. 

Before studying this module, you should be able to:

After studying this module, you should be able to:
  1. Calculate the exit temperature from a chemical reactor if the exit conversion is known.
  2. Calculate the equilibrium conversion in an adiabatic reactor.
  3. Calculate the adiabatic equilibrium temperature for a chemical reaction.
  4. Explain what effect adding an inert will have on the adiabatic temperature for either an endothermic or exothermic reaction.
  5. Calculate the heat that must be removed to keep a reactor isothermal, given the exit conversion from the reactor.