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Abstract

I. Title
Design of Tubular Reactor in The Production of Monochlorobenzene
II. Introduction
Chemical reactors are vessels designed to contain chemical reactions. It is the site of
conversion of raw materials into products and is also called the heart of a chemical process. The
design of a chemical reactor where bulk drugs would be synthesized on a commercial scale would
depend on multiple aspects of chemical engineering
Chemical reactors operation can either be batch, semi-batch and continuous. Under
continuous, we have mixed-flow reactor and plug flow reactors. Mixed-flow reactors are reactors
generally used for liquid-phase reactions while plug flow reactors are generally used for gas-phase
reaction. In terms of required volume of reactor for a specific conversion, volume of an MFR is
larger than that of a PFR. Advantages of using PFR include non-varying quality of product, large
scale production and low labour cost. Disadvantages include poor temperature control (hotspots
formation can occur), difficulty of cleaning and shutting down the operation.
This paper will focus on the design of a chemical reactor used in monochlorobenzene
production.
III. Problem Statement
Reactor-Separator-Recycle System-Benzene Chlorination. Here the elementary reactions are

C6 H 6 Cl2 C6 H 5 Cl HCl k1 0.412liter / kmol hr


C6 H 5 Cl Cl2 C6 H 4 Cl2 HCl k 2 0.055liter / kmol hr

The desired product is monochlorobenzene. Also assume that any unreacted benzene in the
product stream can be cleanly separated and reused as desired ethylene glycol from two available
feeds, a 15 wt % aqueous solution of sodium bicarbonate and a 30 wt % aqueous solution of
ethylene chlorohydrin.
What volume of tubular (plug flow) reactor will produce 100 lb/hr ethylene glycol at 95%
conversion of an equimolar feed produced by intimately mixing the appropriate quantities of the
two available feed streams.
Assume all operations at 180F, at which temperature the specific gravity of the mixed reacting
fluid is 1.02.
IV. Design
General Procedures for Reactor Design
1. Collect together all the kinetic and thermodynamic data on the desired reaction and the side
reactions. It is unlikely that much useful information will be gleaned from a literature search, as
little is published in the open literature on commercially attractive processes. The kinetic data
required for reactor design will normally be obtained from laboratory and pilot plant studies.
Values will be needed for the rate of reaction over a range of operating conditions: pressure,
temperature, flow-rate and catalyst concentration. The design of experimental reactors and scale-
up is discussed by Rase (1977).
2. Collect the physical property data required for the design; either from the literature, by
estimation or, if necessary, by laboratory measurements.
3. Identify the predominant rate-controlling mechanism: kinetic, mass or heat transfer. Choose a
suitable reactor type, based on experience with similar reactions, or from the laboratory and pilot
plant work.
4. Make an initial selection of the reactor conditions to give the desired conversion and yield.
5. Size the reactor and estimate its performance.
Exact analytical solutions of the design relationships are rarely possible; semiempirical methods
based on the analysis of idealised reactors will normally have to be used.
6. Select suitable materials of construction.
7. Make a preliminary mechanical design for the reactor: the vessel design, heat-transfer surfaces,
internals and general arrangement.
8. Cost the proposed design, capital and operating, and repeat steps 4 to 8, as necessary, to optimise
the design.
V. Summary and Conclusion