For a catalyst composed of a more active component embedded in a less active (but not inert) and more diffuse matrix, an optimum distribution of the active component in the catalyst pellet may lead to significantly higher reaction rates per unit volume of pellet, compared with reaction rates using pellets with a uniformly distributed active component or with an active component concentrated on the outside or the inside of the pellet. The optimum distribution changes qualitatively with the physical parameters of the pellet and with changes in the rate constants and diffusion coefficients of the catalytic compoenents. This is relevant to the performance of coking zeolite/silica-alumina catalysts in hydrocarbon cracking reactions.
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