Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Second Advisor

Basil Baltzis

Third Advisor

Piero M. Armenante


A dynamic model of a fill-and-draw reactor has been developed, which includes a number of operational parameters such as the draw-down volume, the fraction of total cycle time devoted to fill, reaction, and draw, and the concentration of the toxic substance in the feed to the reactor. The model has been solved numerically for two cases, one assuming Monod kinetics, and one considering substrate inhibition (Andrews kinetics).

The conversions achieved with this type of reactor have been compared to that of a conventional activated sludge (CSTR) design. These results indicate that for most practical settings of the operating parameters, the volume of a fill-and-draw reactor needed to achieve the same conversion can be many times smaller than that of a CSTR at the same throughput. For example, with Monod kinetics, in order to achieve 99% conversion of phenol at a feed concentration of 40 ppm, a CSTR requires 9 times the volume of a fill-and-draw reactor for the same throughput.

An experimental 5-liter fill-and-draw reactor has been operated with phenol and a pure culture of Pseudomonas putida. Results compared very well to the model predictions.



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