Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Deran Hanesian

Second Advisor

Jerome J. Salamone

Third Advisor

Hung T. Chen


The effect of ultrasonic vibrations on the vapor phase decomposition of cumene to benzene and proplyene was investigated using silica-aluminum as the cracking catalyst.

The system consists of a tubular reactor with a 4 inch long catalyst chamber made from 1 cm. diameter stainless steel tubing. The catalyst bed was irradiated from above by means of an ultrasonic horn.

The reactor was run at temperatures of 850 to 950°F., frequencies of 26,000 and 39,000 Hz, with a power innut of 0.30 watts/cm.2 . Feed rates of 100 to 300 gms./hr. and catalyst particle sizes of 0.0209 to 0.358 cm. were used.

Using the reactor design equation and the data obtained from this research it can be shown that in the area where surface reaction controlled, the surface reaction rate constant was not increased by the addition of ultrasound.

Therefore it is postulated that ultrasonic vibrations do not cause localized heating within the catalyst bed, but that ultrasound causes acoustic streaming within the catalyst pores, resulting on higher diffusion rates.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.