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Catalytic Oxidation Experiment For Chemical Reaction Engineering

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.117.1 - 4.117.8



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Paper Authors

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Robert P. Hesketh

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C. Stewart Slater

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2313

Catalytic Oxidation Experiment for Chemical Reaction Engineering Robert P. Hesketh and C. Stewart Slater Rowan University Department of Chemical Engineering 201 Mullica Hill Road Glassboro, NJ 08028

submitted to: 1999 ASEE Annual Conference Charlotte, NC June 1999 Chemical Engineering Division “Revitalizing Traditional ChE Courses” Session 2313

Abstract This unique catalytic oxidation experiment is used in a traditional chemical reaction engineering course to demonstrate the principles of i) reaction rate determination, ii) reactor design, iii) heterogeneous catalysis, iv) heat and mass transfer, v) environmental application of reactors, vi) and safety in reactor design. Figure 1: Automotive Catalysts A major advantage of this experiment is that it does not have costly product and reactant disposal problems. The reactants are propane and air and the products are primarily carbon dioxide and water. These gases are easily disposed of using a common vent system. This experiment is also cost effective. It is inexpensive to run, since the primary reactant is propane and air and the energy source is electricity. The construction of the experiment is relatively simple. The reactor is a stainless steel tube with a section of a honeycomb monolith placed inside the reactor. The tube is heated using an electric furnace. The most expensive item is the gas analysis system starting with a relatively low cost on-line FID detector to a more expensive gas chromatograph or FTIR system.

These experiments have been tested by Rowan engineering students and chemical engineering faculty at a unique hands-on industrially integrated NSF workshop on Novel Process Science and Engineering conducted at Rowan University. We believe that reaction engineering comes alive with students conducting innovative experiments in a laboratory setting. Students are able to see the catalyst; measure gas phase concentrations and flowrates; and use these measurements to examine at least 6 principles of reactor design.

Hesketh, R. P., & Slater, C. S. (1999, June), Catalytic Oxidation Experiment For Chemical Reaction Engineering Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. 10.18260/1-2--8018

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