Chemical Reaction Engineering I


The main goal of this course is to provide the students with the basic concepts of Chemical Reaction Engineering and Heterogeneous Catalysis, in such a way that on the end of the course the students will be able to:

-To determine a kinetic law corresponding to a given chemical reaction, calculating the kinetic parameters. To derive a kinetic law from a mechanistic proposal. To design ideal chemical reactors working under isothermal or non-isothermal or transient conditions according to the production goals.

-To select, prepare, and characterize solid catalysts.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria de Figueiredo Ligeiro da Fonseca


Weekly - 4

Total - 76

Teaching language





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

2-José Luis Figueiredo e Fernando Ramoa Ribeiro, Catálise Heterogénea,2ºedição,Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2007.


3-Octave Levenspiel, Chemical Reaction Engineering,4th edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

4-J. M. Smith, Chemical Engineering Kinetics,3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, 1981.

5-Jacques Villermaux, Génie de la Réaction Chimique. Conception et fonctionnement des réacteurs.,2eme tirage, Lavoisier-Technique et Documentation, 1985.

Teaching method

The teaching comprises lectures, practical/laboratorial classes and modeling of the obtained results with informatics tools (solver) and problem solving sessions(TP). Lectures cover all the content according with the syllabus. Wherever necessary example problems will be solved to illustrate the given concepts (TP). Laboratorial classes are programmed to carry out five practical works about subjects not directly evaluated by tests/exam due to the extension of calculations. The students will prepare a report of the practical part concerning the kinetics studies, reactor design performed in batch reactor and also textural characterization of solid catalysts, to be presented as a seminar and discussed.


1. 2 tests (closed-booked), 70% of the final grade.

2. Reporting of the practical part, presentation and oral discussion (to be performed by a group of 3 students). It accounts for 30% of the final grade.


Evaluation method

The course evaluation is composed by a written part and a practical part. The written part consists in 2 tests and/or in a final exam. The practical part consists in projects based in the laboratory sessions and in the theoretical-practical sessions. Each project is executed by groups of three or four students, is electronically delivered to the instructors and leads to a single grade. This grade is obtained subsequently to the oral presentation of the final report.


The course final grade is the weighted average of the written and practical parts, with weights of 70% and 30%, respectively.

Subject matter

  1. Ideal chemical reactors: batch reactor, continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), plug flow reactor (PFR).
    2. Reaction rate and conversion. The general mole balance equation and design equations.
    3. Graphical methods.
    4. Stoichiometry and rate law.
    5. Batch reactors: constant and variable volume. Optimizing the operation time and conversion.
    6. Association of CSTRs; constant and variable volumetric flow rate; pressure drop in the PFR. Reversible reactions.
    7. Unsteady state operation.
    8. Determination of kinetic parameters.
    9. Homogeneous non-elementary reactions.
    10. Non-isothermal reactors: the energy balance equation; continuous-flow reactors at steady state.
    11. Adiabatic operation; reversible reactions; PFR under non-isothermal, non-adiabatic operation.
    12. Non-isothermal batch reactor.
    13. Multiple steady states in a CSTR: a a brief looking on the steady states stability.
    14. Multiple reactions: selectivity and yield.
  2. 15. Heterogeneous catalysis.


Programs where the course is taught: