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RTD studies in CSTR


RTD studies in CSTR.

2. AIM:

Plot the RTD curve for a CSTR using a pulse tracer.

Determine the dispersion number (D/ul).


Real reactors do not satisfy the idealized flow patterns, back mix flow or plug flow deviation from ideality
can be due to channeling of fluid through the vessel, recycling of fluid within the vessel or due to the presence
of stagnant region or pockets of fluid in the vessel.

To predict the exact behavior of a vessel as a chemical reactor, RTD or stimulus response technique is used.
The exit age distribution function of fluid leaving a vessel or RTD of a fluid in a vessel is called the E-

0∫ E dt = 1 ………………… (1)

In stimulus-response experimentation the system is perturbed and then sees how the system reacts or responds
to this stimulus. The analysis of the response gives the desired information. A pulse Tracer input signal could
be used as a stimulus. The concentration time curve for pulse signal at the vessel outlet is called the C-

Considering steady-state flow of fluid through a closed vessel:

C=E …………………(2)

The mean age of the exit stream or mean residence time is:

τ = 𝜏𝐸 = 𝜏𝐶 = 0∫
tEdt = 𝛴tE 𝜟t ………………… (3)
the variance of the E and C distribution is

2= ∫𝟎 𝒕𝟐 𝑬𝒅𝒕 --- 𝜏 2 ∑ 𝑡 2 𝐸∆𝑡- 𝜏 2

Defining the reduced time as :

θ= t/τ

Eθ= τE

Cθ= τC

2 𝟐 𝟐
θ= 𝒕 /𝝉

For an ideal flow the E-curve should be as above



Height of the tank 200mm

Inside diameter 140mm


 Fill the feed tank with water and connect compressed air line to the apparatus.
 Place the syringe containing known amount of dye at the Tracer inlet.
 Start the supply of water to the reactor at particular flow rate with the help of rotameter.
 Allow water to flow through the CSTR and attain the steady state.
 Inject Tracer into the system as a pulse signal from the Tracer inlet.
 At regular time intervals collect the samples at the outlet in pre-marked beakers/measuring
cylinders (about 20 ml) until all Tracer leaves the vessel.
 Using colorimeter measure the absorbance for each samples.
 Calculate concentration of Tracer from standard calibration curve, using Beer-Lambert law.
 Plot C-CURVE, E-CURVE and F-CURVE from the data obtained.
2 𝟐
θ=∑𝜽 𝑬𝜽 𝜟𝜽 − 𝟏

Dispersion number (D/uL) from:

2 = 2 (D/UL) - 2 (D/UL) 2 (1-𝒆 − 𝑫 ) Dispersion model

(Using Newton- Raphson Method)


For the tracer you used, find one standard curve putting absorbance in the x-axis and concentration in the y-

Variance: 2=
t (t-tm) 2 E (t) dt

Skewness: S3= 1/ 0∫
t (t-t ) E (t) dt

For E-CURVE, E(t) = C(t)/ 0∫tC(t) 𝜟dt

For F-CURVE, F(t) = 0∫t E(t) dt


 Always use clean water, good quality chemicals and standard solution for titration.
 Keep close all the drain valves, vent valve should open while filling the water in the feed tank.
 Air pressure should not more than 1 kg/m2.
 Flow should not be disturbed during the experiments.
 Handle the chemicals carefully.
 If any types of suspended particles are in the rotameter, stop the flow, drain the water tank and
reactor. Fill the tank with clean water after proper cleaning of tank and reactor.

1. What is the aim of this experiment?
2. How and when you will introduce tracer in this experiment?
3. What is the affect of flow rate in this experiment?
4. What does variance signifies in this experiment?
5. What does skewness signifies in this experiment?
6. How did you find the standard calibration curve?
7. What is the relation between absorbance and concentration?