Reactors functional parameters for sodium benzoate production: A comparative study
Chukwuemeka Peter Ukpaka
The various process performances of the Batch Reactor, Continuous Stirred-Tank Reactor (CSTR) and Plug Flow Reactor (PFR) for the production of sodium benzoate from the reaction of sodium hydroxide and benzoic acid were investigated. The performance equations for the operation of Batch reactor, CSTR and PFR were developed for the analysis of the reactor’s functional dimensions and parameters. The analysis of the reactor’s functional parameters was performed at molar ratio of benzoic acid to sodium hydroxide of 1.5 to 3.0 at intervals of 0.5 and at the same reactor operating conditions. The set of reactors’ performance equations were solved simultaneously and then, simulated with the aid of MATLAB R2015a computer program. However, in terms of comparison at the same operating conditions, the size of the batch reactor was greater than that of CSTR which in turn was greater than that of the PFR, while the reverse was the case for heat generated per reactor volume. Also, the space time for CSTR was greater than that of the PFR while the space velocity for PFR was greater than that of CSTR. Following the results obtained from the analysis, the production of sodium benzoate from sodium hydroxide and benzoic acid can be executed in either of batch reactor, CSTR or PFR depending on the capacity of production and conditions of operation and the optimum performance was observed at molar feed ratio of 3.0.