The continuously-stirred decanting reactor: Steady state and dynamic features

M. P. Harold, J. J. Ostermaier, D. W. Drew, J. J. Lerou, D. Luss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The steady-state and dynamic behavior of an exothermic reaction in a cooled, continuouslystirred decanting reactor (CSDR) is examined. For the case considered, two phases are fed but only one is removed, as reaction occurs in the lighter phase and the products are soluble only in the heavier, decanted phase. A number of distinguishing features of the CSDR are identified. Ignition and extinction phenomena do not occur because the heat generation rate is a constant, a consequence of complete conversion of the lighter phase reactant. The buildup of the reactive phase as the reactor temperature is decreased may make the operation infeasible. Thus, either zero or one feasible steady-state solutions exist. The thermal feedback and variable phase volumes may destabilize the unique steady state at a supercritical Hopf bifurcation point, making the CSDR a natural oscillator during nonisothermal operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1777-1786
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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