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Startup of a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor

Application ID: 1858

The hydrolysis of propylene oxide into propylene glycol is an important chemical process with 400,000 metric tons produced worldwide each year. Propylene glycol finds wide application as a moisturizer in foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

In this example, the startup phase of a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) used to produce propylene glycol is investigated. The non-isothermal process is described by a set of coupled mass and energy balances that you easily set up and solve.

The model highlights the use of the predefined CSTR reactor type and also shows how to enter thermodynamic data needed for the energy balances. Results show how certain initial conditions lead to violation of the reactor safety limits.

This model is included as an example in the following products:

Chemical Reaction Engineering Module

The combination of COMSOL® products required to model your application depends on several factors and may include boundary conditions, material properties, physics interfaces, and part libraries. Particular functionality may be common to several products. To determine the right combination of products for your modeling needs, review the Specification Chart and make use of a free evaluation license. The COMSOL Sales and Support teams are available for answering any questions you may have regarding this.