An experimental study of steady state multiplicity and stability in an adiabatic stirred reactor



Steady state and transient characteristics of an adiabatic, continuous flow, stirred reactor were studied in experiments employing the exothermic reaction between sodium thiosulfate and hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solution. Results illustrate the multiplicity of steady states in this system over a range of residence times. Temperatures of unstable states were attained experimentally by observing the effect of perturbations from stable temperatures. The observed steady states of the reactor under various mixing conditions are shown to be in good agreement with the predictions of a mathematical model which is based on the assumptions that mixing is perfect and that a single independent chemical reaction occurs. Less exact quantitative agreement between theoretical and experimental unsteady performance is accounted for in terms of the sensitivity of the unsteady state to small errors in the system parameters and the existence of appreciable extraneous heat capacities of the experimental equipment.