(414c) Chemical Reactor Sequence Optimization Using Live Scripts in Matlab | AIChE

(414c) Chemical Reactor Sequence Optimization Using Live Scripts in Matlab


Abdallah, W., Columbia University
Reaction kinetics and reactor design courses are at the heart of the chemical engineering curriculum. In these courses, students work with algebraic equations, differential equations, numerical integration, curve fitting, and parameter estimation. Such tasks require computational tools such as MATLAB, a high-level technical computing language used in many chemical engineering programs. Computational tasks of reaction kinetics can be performed easily in MATLAB using interactive, executable notebooks – Live Scripts.

Inspired by Fogler’s CSTR and plug-flow reactor sequencing problem in the “Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering” textbook, a reactor sequence optimization question was generated that involves computationally exploring various quantities and sequences of CSTRs and PFRs with the goal of minimizing total reactor volume (thereby reducing cost) while still achieving a desired conversion. We present this problem, and its solution, as a Live Script where students can modify the input code for their particular problem and explore different variants of this problem while learning reactor design and optimization principles in an interactive way.