Reaction Pressure

Changing the reactor pressure can also force a higher equilibrium conversion in gas-phase reactions (see part (d) in Figure 3.7.1). Reactions involving a decrease in the number of moles should operate at the highest possible pressure. For reactions involving an increase in the number of moles, the ideal pressure should decrease continuously as conversion increases. The chemical engineer can reduce the pressure by either operating at a lower absolute pressure or adding an inert diluent.

Note that forcing a high conversion reduces the load on the separation system and may allow it to operate more effectively. Thus changes to the reactor reduce waste from the separation system.

(a) Ideal-Batch Model

Reactor Product

(a) Ideal-Batch Model

Reactor Product

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