Interactive Self-Study Module: Isothermal Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors (CSTRs)

Overview:

This module uses a screencast and an interactive simulation to explain isothermal continuous stirred tank reactors. It then provides example problems  to allow the user to test themselves. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in the screencast, and questions to answer before using the interactive simulation, and you try to solve the example problems before watching the screencast solutions. 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 simulation.
  2. Watch the screencast that describes isothermal CSTRs and answer the questions within the screencast.
  3. Review important equations for isothermal continuous stirred tank reactors.
  4. Use the interactive simulation to further understand the isothermal CSTRs.
  5. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  6. Answer the ConcepTests.
  7. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
Motivation:
  • This module is intended for a kinetics/reaction design course.

Before studying this module, you should:
  • Be able to calculate mass balances.
  • Understand rate of reaction and how reaction rates depend on concentrations.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Describe the differences between a CSTR and a PFR or batch reactor.
  • Explain why a CSTR might be used instead of a PFR.
  • Determine the size of an isothermal CSTR for a single reaction to reach a desired conversion, given the rate constant, order of reaction, inlet reactant concentration, and inlet flow rate.
  • Determine the conversion in an isothermal CSTR for a single reaction, given the rate constant, order of reaction, inlet reactant concentration, and inlet flow rate.