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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 application was built using the following:

Chemical Reaction Engineering Module

The combination of COMSOL® products required to model your application depends on the physics interfaces that define it. Particular physics interfaces may be common to several products (see the Specification Chart for more details). To determine the right combination of products for your project, you should evaluate all of your needs in light of each product's capabilities, consultation with the COMSOL Sales and Support teams, and the use of an evaluation license.