Reducing Waste From Single Reactions

If the reaction forms a waste by-product, as in Equation 3.7(1), the chemical engineer can only avoid the waste by product by using a different reaction path, e.g., a change in feedstock, different reaction chemistry, and ultimately a different process.

Increasing Conversion for Single Irreversible Reactions

If separating and recycling unreacted feed material is difficult, a high conversion in the reactor is necessary. For an irreversible reaction, a low conversion can be forced to a higher conversion by a longer residence time in the reactor, a higher temperature, or higher pressure. A longer residence time is usually the most effective means.

For continuous reactors, this increase in residence time means adding extra volume to the reactor. For batch reactors, higher conversion can mean a longer cycle time, a bigger reactor, or a new reactor in parallel. Sometimes, the chemical engineer can increase the residence time in the existing reactor without increasing the cycle time simply by rescheduling other operations in the process.

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