Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

John E. McCormick

Second Advisor

Deran Hanesian

Third Advisor

Edward Charles Roche, Jr.


This thesis presents a new equation for predicting catalyst utilization with continuous replacement in multistage continuous reactors from batch reactor data.

An equation is derived from experimental data for a. no-replacement system which predicts catalyst activity as a function of time. The assumption of constant inventory, constant replacement rate and perfect mixing permit the calculation of catalyst age distribution. By combining age distribution with a measure of catalyst productivity, as determined from activity as a function of time, an equation for catalyst utilization was derived. The case used to prepare this equation was where the activity decline curve appears as a straight line on log-log paper.

The resulting equation which describes catalyst utilization is as follows:

Catalyst utilization = ((n-b)Γn-b)/Γ(n))/r1-b

where: n is the number of reactors in series,

Γis the gamma function, and

b is the slope of the catalyst activity curve on a log-log plot.



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