# Determination of optimal reactor type

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TL;DR: In this paper, the problem of determining the optimal reactor type as dictated by reaction kinetics is considered, and the problem is formulated such that the axial dispersion coefficient is chosen as a function of reactor residence time to optimize reactor performance.

Abstract: The determination of the optimal reactor type as dictated by reaction kinetics is considered. It is assumed thay any reactor type can be described with an axial dispersion model. The problem is formulated such that the axial dispersion coefficient is chosen as a function of reactor residence time to optimize reactor performance. This corresponds physically to the design engineer picking the best type of reactor to combination of reactors. Another important assumption made is that the reaction kinetics can be described with a pseudo-homogenous rate expression(s). This assumption makes it possible to find the broad categories of reactor type, stirred tank and/or plug flow, but not detailed reactors such as fluidized or packed bed. The method presented here handles arbitrary reaction kinetics and a very broad class of objective functions which might involve selectivities, yields, operating costs, combinations of these, or other considerations. The reactor selection is cast into form of an optimal control problem and a first order gradient method is used to solve the iterative optimization calculations. A simple auto-catalytic reaction is used to demonstrate this method. Results for other kinetic systems are discussed.

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