Interactive Self-Study Module: Polymerization Reactors


This module uses a screencast, an interactive simulation, and a spreadsheet to explain polymerization in reactors.  Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in screencasts, and questions to answer before using interactive simulations, 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 the choice of reactor affects the molecular weight distribution of a polymer and answer the questions within the screencast.
  3. Use the interactive simulation to further understand the molecular weight distribution in reactors.
  4. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencast. 
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.
  6. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • Polymerization is one of the most common reactions carried out on a large scale. 
  • This module is intended for a kinetics/reactor design course.
Before studying this module, you need to be able to:
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Decide what type reactor should be used for a particular polymerization.
  • Explain how residence time distribution affects molecular weight distribution.
  • Calculate mass balances for polymerization in a CSTR.