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Let's Pretend

Our company is going to build a new plant. One small part of the plant will include a reactor to convert acetic anhydride to acetic acid. A search of the literature and old company reports indicate that the kinetics of this reaction are second order overall (first order in acetic anhydride and first order in water). The reactor to be constructed will always convert dilute streams of acetic anhydride, so it would seem likely that the kinetics can be adequately described using a pseudo-first order rate expression. Your group has been assigned to validate this assumption and to find an Arrhenius expression that adequately represents the pseudo-first order rate coefficient.

In fact, you will use the data from all the groups in your analysis. We will pretend that the data from the other groups were collected by technicians working on the second and third shifts. These technicians were instructed in the proper procedure for data collection, but you and your group did not have the opportunity to observe their work. Since you did not train them nor supervise them, you will need to critically examine their data and then decide on the best way to use (or not use) it. If you elect not to use it, you must discuss your reasons for doing so in your report. Your report should offer a conclusion on the suitability of the pseudo-first order rate expression. If you conclude that it is suitable, the report should also include your best recommendation for a suitable Arrhenius expression, including uncertainties in each of the parameters.


last update: 03/16/00

Dr. Carl Lund
306 Furnas Hall
Office Hours: MWF 4-5 PM, anytime I'm free, or by appointment
Phone (with voice mail): 645-2911 x2211
E-mail: lund@eng.buffalo.edu

Mr. Chimin Sang, Teaching Assitant
322 Furnas Hall
Office Hours: 4-5 W, 3-4 F, or by appointment
Phone (with voice mail): 645-2911 x2226
E-Mail: csang@eng.buffalo.edu