Published: CABEQ 25 (1) (2011) 9–25
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Evaluation of Critical Operating Conditions for a Semi-batch Reactor by Complementary Use of Sensitivity and Divergence Criteria

G. Maria and D. Stefan

This paper presents a comparison of several effective methods of deriving the critical feeding conditions for the case of a semi-batch catalytic reactor used for the acetoacetylation of pyrrole with diketene in homogeneous liquid phase. The reaction is known to be of high risk due to the very exothermic (polymerisation) side-reactions involving reactive diketene. In order to perform the sensitivity analysis, both the Morbidelli-Varma sensitivity criterion and div-methods were used, the latter of which are based on the system’s Jacobian and Green’s function matrix analysis. The combined application of such criteria allows the optimal and safe setting of the reactor’s nominal operating conditions. Extended sensitivity analysis reveals possible QFS (quick onset, fair conversion and smooth temperature profile) regions, under severe operating conditions characterized by fast enough main reaction that prevents the co-reactant accumulation, and leads to a quasi-insensitive semi-batch reactor behaviour.

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Critical conditions, semi-batch reactor, sensitivity, divergence, pyrrole, diketene