Chemical Reactors II


This course consists of two distinct parts : ANALYSIS OF NON- IDEAL REACTORS and HETEROGENEOUS CATALYTIC REACTORS. With the first part is intended to provide students with the tools needed to evaluate the deviation from ideality, either through the diagnosis of the causes that lead to such deviation either through mathematical models predicting the behavior of the real reactor. In the second part it is intended that on the end of the course students are able to determine the amount of catalyst and the reactor volume necessary for a given conversion. In particular will be dealt with fixed-bed, moving bed and monolithic reactors operating under kinetic or mass transfer control, either externally or intraparticular . Special attention is given to the deduction of rate law from the mechanisms of Langmuir – Hinshelwood and Eley-Rideal , the calculation of the coefficient of mass transfer from the relations between the dimensionless numbers, for the case of external diffusion regime, and the determination Thiele modulus and effectiveness factor, in case of internal diffusion regime.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Teresa Maria Alves Casimiro Ribeiro


Weekly - 5

Total - 70

Teaching language



There is not.


H. Scott Fogler, Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, 4rd edition, Prentice-Hall, 2006.

J.L. Figueiredo and F. Ramôa Ribeiro, Catálise Heterogénea, Fund. Calouste Gulbenkian, 1989.

Francisco Lemos, José Madeira Lopes, Fernando Ramôa Ribeiro, "Reactores Químicos", IST Press, Lisboa 2002

J.F. Le Page, J. Cosyns, P. Courty, E. Freund, J.P. Franck, Y. Jacquin, B. Juguin, C. Marcilly, G. Martino, J. Miquel, R. Montarnal, A. Sugier, H. van Landeghem, "Catalyse de Contact", Technip, Paris, 1978.

Teaching method

The teaching methods include:

 - Lectures with PP presentations;

- Laboratory sessions and results modeling using Excel;

- Problem solving sessions.

Evaluation method

The course evaluation is composed by a written part and a practical part. The written part consists in two tests or in a final exam. The grade in each test must be equal or higher than 9,45/20.

The final grade is the weithed average of the written (70%) and the practical (30%) parts . Approval ios obtained with the final grade equal or higher than 9,45/20 and the grade of the written part not less than 9,454/20. 

Frequency is mandatory and is obtained with the practical part. It will remain valid for a period of two years. 


The grades can be improved through the repetition of the written or practical parts. In any case the final grade is calculated as described above.

Subject matter


Nonideal reactors

Characterization of flow by use of tracers

Modeling real reactors by association of ideal reactors

 Catalysis and catalytic reactors

Adsorption isotherms. Mechanisms of Langmuir - Hinshellwood and Eley – Rideal. Dimensioning the fixed bed reactor working under kinetic control.

Deactivation of catalysts. Dimensioning the moving bed reactor

External mass transfer and chemical reaction

Determination of the mass transfer coefficient from correlations between dimensionless numbers.

Monolithic reactor and fixed bed reactor working under external mass transfer control.

Catalyst regeneration : the "Shrinking Core " model.

Simultaneous reaction and internal diffusion.

Mole balance to a catalyst pellet. The Thiele modulus and the effectiveness factor.


Determination of the residence times distribution in a bench scale CSTR reactor

Reaction of crystal violet with sodium hydroxide. Comparison of the experimental value of conversion with values ​​calculated from proposed models.

Determination of the residence times distribution a CSTR pilot reactor

Transesterification of ethyl acetate with methanol catalyzed by resin DOWEX 50W-X8. Study of the effects of the pellets size on the apparent reaction rate. Determination of Thiele modulus, effectiveness factors, intrinsic kinetic constant and effective diffusivity.

Processing of data obtained in the laboratory using common software.


Problems resolution


Programs where the course is taught: