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RTD STUDIES IN PFR

(COILED TUBE TYPE)


OBJECTIVE:
1. To plot the RTD curves (E-curve and F-curve) for a PFR using a pulse tracer.
2. To determine the dispersion number.
INTRODUCTION:
Real reactors do not satisfy the idealized flow patterns, back mix flow or plug flow deviation
form ideality can be due to channeling of fluid through the vessel, recycling of fluid within the
vessel or due to the presence of stagnant region or pockets of fluid in the vessel.

To predict the exact behavior of a vessel as a chemical reactor, RTD or stimulus response
technique is used.

APPARATUS:
Conical flasks, Burette, pipette, syringe, measuring jar, beaker, Tubular reactor

CHEMICALS:
N/10 NaOH, Concentrated H2SO4 /glacial acetic acid, Phenolphthalein indicator

THEORY:
The exit age distribution function of fluid leaving a vessel or RTD of fluid in a vessel is called
the E-CURVE. The normalized curve is such that

E ( t ) dt=1 --------------------------- (1)


0

Another kind of function characterizing the fluid stream leaving the vessel is the cumulative
concentration distribution, F(t). The value of this function determines the fraction of the fluid
F(t) which stayed in the reactor for the time shoter than t. The relationship between these
functions is
t

F(t) = E ( t ) dt --------------------------- (2)


0

Hence, the function F(t) takes the following limiting values:

F(0)=0 --------------------------- (3)

lim F (t )=1
t --------------------------- (4)
A special technique has been developed for the determining experimentally the RTD curves
called the stimulus-response technique or the tracer technique. In this technique a fixed amount
of a tracer substance is introduced into the fluid stream at the inlet into the vessel by means of a
strictly specified mode. Monitoring the concentration of the tracer as a function of time at the
outlet from the reactor allows us to determine the RTD curve. A pulse tracer input signal could
be used as a stimulus.

The mean age of the exit stream or mean residence time is:

t = tE ( t ) dt
--------------------------- (5)
0

An important feature of the RTD very useful in its evaluation is the width of the distribution
curve. This value is undoubtedly a measure of the intensity of the mixing phenomena. According
to the probability theory this width can be best defined by the mean residence time called
2
variance, . Thus

2
= ( tt )2 E ( t ) dt --------------------------- (6)
0

Models are useful for representing flow in real vessels, for scale up, and for diagnosing poor
flow. We have different kind of models depending on whether flow is close to plug, mixed, or
somewhere in between. For small deviations from plug flow dispersion model is used. Suppose
an ideal pulse of tracer is introduced into the fluid entering a vessel. The pulse spreads as it
passes through the vessel, and to characterize the spreading this model, we assume diffusion like
process superimposed on plug flow. we call this dispersion, the dispersion coefficient D
D
represents the spreading process. ( )
uL is the dimensionless group characterizing the spread

in the whole vessel.


For closed vessel
uL
2 D D 2
t 2
=2
uL ( ) ( )
2
uL
(1e D ) --------------------------- (7)

Where,
u = velocity of the fluid in the reactor
L = length of the reactor volume
D = dispersion coefficient

By solving above equation we get the dispersion number, ( uLD )


DESCRIPTION:
The set-up consists of one feed tank through which water is fed to the reactor. The flow rate can
be adjusted by operating the needle valve and measured by rotameter. The compressed air is used
for circulation of feed. It is a helical coil tube type plug flow reactor made of stainless steel pipe
is provided. Reactants enter at lower end and exit at the top of coil from where samples are
collected for analysis.

For understanding the RTD characteristics, a special arrangement to inject tracer into the lower
end of reactor, using a syringe is provided. Pressure regulator & pressure gauge are fitted at the
compressed air line.

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE:
1. Close all the valves V1-V6.
2. Open the valve V3-V4 and fill the feed tank with water.
3. Connect compressed air supply to the set up at valve V1.
4. Connect electric supply to the set up.
5. Open valve V1 and set air pressure 0.5 to 1 kg/cm2 by pressure regulator and pressure gauge.
6. Start the supply of water to the reactor at particular flow rate with the help of valve V2.
7. Fill N/10 sodium hydroxide in burette.
8. Fill the concentrated H2SO4/glacial acetic acid (10 ml or 20 ml) in the syringe.
9. Place the syringe at the tracer inlet.
10. Wait till the water comes out from the outlet.
11. Push the syringe into the system.
12. At regular time intervals (say 30 sec for high water rate, 1 min for low (water rate), collect
10 ml sample from the outlet, in measuring cylinder.
13. Transfer the sample solution in conical flask. Collect for 15 samples.
14. Titrate the sample solution, using phenolphthalein as an indicator against N/10 sodium
hydroxide (add NaOH from burette).
15. When experiment is over stop the flow of water by close the valveV2. Drain the feed tank and
reactor by open the valveV5- V6.

FORMULAE:
Ci
E i=
1) Exit age distribution at time, i , C i ti
i

t Ci
i
t =
2) Ci
i
(tt )2 C i
2= i
3) Ci
i

uL
2 D D 2
4) t 2 ( ) ( )
=2
uL
2
uL
(1e D
)

OBSERVATIONS & CALCULATIONS:


Standard Data:
Normality of NaOH = -------------- (N)
Flow rate of Water = -------------- (LPH)

Tabulation:

Time,t Vsample VNaOH, NH2SO4 N Ei Fi , t Ci (tt )2 Ci


Ci = H 2 SO 4
(sec) (ml) rundown (ml) 2 cumulative

(ml) distribution

Ci
of

Ci =
t C i= (tt )2 C i=
i i i

Model Graphs:

F
E

Time,(sec)
Time,(sec)

PRECAUTION & MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Always use distilled water, good quality chemicals and standard solution for
titration.
2. Keep close all the drain valves V5-V6 ,and vent valve V4 should be open while
filling water in the feed tanks.
3. Air pressure must be set below 1 kg/ cm2.
4. Flow should not be disturbed during the experiment.
5. Handle the chemicals carefully.

RESULT:
Thus, the experiment of plug flow RTD was conducted and the dispersion number
D
( )
obtained is, uL =

BLOCK DIAGRAM: