Thermal Effects in Chemical Reactions: Summary

The answers to the ConcepTests are given below and will open in a separate window. 
Key points from this module:
  • An inert affects the adiabatic equilibrium temperature for a chemical reaction. It lowers the temperature for an exothermic reaction and raises the temperature for an endothermic reaction.
  • Increasing the temperature decreases equilibrium conversion for an exothermic reaction.
  • Increasing the temperature increases equilibrium conversion for an endothermic reaction.
  • An isothermal reactor has a higher equilibrium conversion than an adiabatic reactor for both exothermic and endothermic reactions.
From studying this module, you should now be able to:
  • Calculate the exit temperature from a chemical reactor if the exit conversion is known.
  • Calculate the equilibrium conversion in an adiabatic reactor.
  • Calculate the adiabatic equilibrium temperature for a chemical reaction.
  • Explain what effect adding an inert will have on the adiabatic temperature for either an endothermic or exothermic reaction.
  • Calculate the heat that must be removed to keep a reactor isothermal, given the exit conversion from the reactor.


Prepared by John L. Falconer, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder