Interactive Self-Study Module: Pressure Drop in Packed Bed Reactors (PBR)


This module uses screencasts and an interactive simulation to explain pressure-drop in a packed bed as calculated by the Ergun equation. 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 the interactive simulation, and you try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts. 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 screencast that describes the Ergun equation and answer the question within the screencast.
  3. Review theĀ important equations.
  4. Use the interactive simulation to further understand the behavior of packed bed reactors.
  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.
  • Packed bed reactors are usually tubular reactors filled with catalyst particles.
  • This module is intended for a kinetics/reaction engineering course.
Before studying this module, you should:
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Calculate the pressure drop in a packed bed reactor.
  • Explain how pressure drop affects the rate of reaction in a packed bed.
  • Explain how volumetric flow rate and particle size in a packed bed affect pressure drop.