Membrane Reactor to Improve Selectivity in Multiple Reactions

Membrane reactors have a semipermeable membrane that can be used to selectively add reactants or remove products and thus shift the equilibrium. This Demonstration compares multiple reactions taking place in a membrane reactor and a plug flow reactor (PFR). The membrane reactor shows a significant improvement in selectivity over the PFR.


  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


Consider the following chemical reactions that take place in the gas phase
where is the desired product and the rates of reaction are and .
Here, and are reaction constants, while and are the reactant concentrations. The selectivity of with respect to is
In order to maximize , the concentration of must be high and the concentration of low; therefore we feed through the membrane. The molar rate of entering the reactor is equal to that of entering through the membrane, 4 mols/s; enters along with in the PFR. The reactor volume is 50 and the entering total concentration is 0.8 mols/.
The molar flow rates of the reactants and products (, , , ) are calculated along the length of the reactors for selected values of and . The parameters used are given in equations E6.9 to E6.18 of Chapter 6 in [1].
[1] H. S. Fogler, Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, 4th ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall PTR, 2006 pp. 348–351.
    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.

Mathematica »
The #1 tool for creating Demonstrations
and anything technical.
Wolfram|Alpha »
Explore anything with the first
computational knowledge engine.
MathWorld »
The web's most extensive
mathematics resource.
Course Assistant Apps »
An app for every course—
right in the palm of your hand.
Wolfram Blog »
Read our views on math,
science, and technology.
Computable Document Format »
The format that makes Demonstrations
(and any information) easy to share and
interact with.
STEM Initiative »
Programs & resources for
educators, schools & students. »
Join the initiative for modernizing
math education.
Step-by-Step Solutions »
Walk through homework problems one step at a time, with hints to help along the way.
Wolfram Problem Generator »
Unlimited random practice problems and answers with built-in step-by-step solutions. Practice online or make a printable study sheet.
Wolfram Language »
Knowledge-based programming for everyone.
Powered by Wolfram Mathematica © 2018 Wolfram Demonstrations Project & Contributors  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Give us your feedback
Note: To run this Demonstration you need Mathematica 7+ or the free Mathematica Player 7EX
Download or upgrade to Mathematica Player 7EX
I already have Mathematica Player or Mathematica 7+