CRE Notes

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Below are links to a set of course notes which can serve as an introduction to Chemical Reaction Engineering or CRE. In a college course, they may get students through the first eight weeks. The basic types of “ideal” reactors are introduced: Batch plus Semi-Batch, PFR, CSTR. The MATLAB scripts used to generate plots are listed below the plots.

The organization here differs from most textbooks on CRE. These notes consider only Batch and Semi-Batch reactors at the start. Only after all the major topics (e.g., stoichiometry, change in gas density, thermal effects) are covered do they proceed to PFRs and CSTRs.

Why this organization? Some students told me that they got confused when they encountered a new topic and lectures switched back and forth between the different types of reactors. I can understand their concern. I now think it is better to stick to Batch reactors until students learn them very well before switching to other reactors. Part 1 briefly introduces the three types of reactors.

A special request of INSTRUCTORS: If you post direct links to individual notes below, please also post a link to our Home Page at so that students can access the other information on the site. Thank you. Rich Herz,

The links below are to PDF files. Hit the browser “back” button to return here.

1 – getting started
2 – intro
3 – stoichiometry
4 – integration
5 – reversible reactions
     5-A – ammonia equilibrium
6 – ∆N ∆V with gases
7 – data analysis
8 – more data analysis
9 – thermal effects
10 – thermal safety
11 – semi-batch
12 – multiple reactions
     12-A – stoichiometry of multiple reactions
     12-B – methanol equilibrium in Matlab
13 – intro to PFRs
     13-A – methanol reactor model
     13-B – reversible exothermic reaction
14 – intro to CSTRs
15 – CSTR thermal effects *the section on thermal dynamics is grad material in many curricula
16 – more reactors
99 – notation

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