Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2022/23 Session

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Module Title LI Reactors, Catalysis and Thermodynamics
SchoolChemical Engineering
Department Chemical Engineering
Module Code 04 32470
Module Lead Professor Joe Wood and Federico Alberini
Level Intermediate Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 2
Pre-requisites LC Reaction, Equilibria and Thermodynamics - (04 29496)
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-25 hours
Tutorial-19 hours
Practical Classes and workshops-4 hours
Guided independent study-152 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description This module teaches the fundamentals of thermodynamics and its application in reactor design. It will begin with a revision of reactors covered in 1RET such as CSTR, plug flow and batch. It will cover reaction equilibria and criteria to decide if a reaction is reversible and has reached equilibrium. It will introduce the properties of catalysts and will build upon kinetics covered in 1RET to include derivations of kinetic models based on chemisorption. The effects of diffusion in catalysis including Thiele modulus, effectiveness factor and external diffusion resistances will be covered so that students can make decisions as to whether a reaction is controlled by kinetics or mass transfer. The design of reactors to overcome mass transfer resistances will include liquid mixing equipment, e.g. stirred vessels and static mixers – types and how they operate, mixing in single phase chemical reactors – mixing mechanism and thermodynamics; Students will understand how to generate a well mixed reactor: influence of mixing length to include micro-, meso- and macro mixing in chemical reactors – nature and boundaries of phenomena; mixing set up and power consumption in high viscosity and non-Newtonian fluids.

Revision of first and second law of thermodynamics will lead on to cover phase change, internal energy enthalpy and specific heats, energy analysis of steady flow system. These will be applied to the calculation of heat balances in ideal reactors such as batch and continuous stirred tank reactors including isothermal and adiabatic cases.

Application areas will include the design of some specific classes of reactor, for example extend ideal reactors covered in 1RET to cover design of fixed bed and fluidised bed reactors; biochemical reaction kinetics and design of bioreactors. The relevant mixing theory will cover powder mixing in gas fluidised bed – fundamentals of fluidisation, effect of critical parameters in mixing, calculation of minimum fluidisation velocity; residence time distribution in ideal reactors – application and experimental determination. The module will give students the necessary skills to undertake Advanced Reactors and Thermodynamics in Year 3.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Derive kinetic models for different reaction mechanisms and understand the effects of diffusion on reaction rates.
  • Discuss the first and second laws of thermodynamics, write and solve heat balances in ideal reactors such as batch and continuous stirred tank reactors and analyse the performance of fixed bed, fluidised bed and bioreactors.
  • Apply knowledge and solve problems to calculate degree of mixedness and dispersion, perform scale-up calculations on stirred vessel and static mixer systems with due consideration to the effect of mixing performance.
  • Select and scale appropriate types of equipment to perform mixing duties for Newtonian and non-Newtonian (viscous) fluids.
Assessment 32470-03 : Online Class Test Thermodynamics : Class Test (15%)
32470-04 : Online Class Test Reactors and Catalysis : Class Test (15%)
32470-05 : Coursework : Coursework (20%)
32470-06 : Online Exam : Exam (School Arranged) - Computer-based (50%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions In semester assessment: 20%
Exam: 80%
Reading List