Types of Reactors used for chemical reactions and chemical process

Reactors are types of equipment used for carrying out some chemical reaction, they are broadly classified based on the application and involved in the energy, food, health dialysis categories and much more. We know that the nuclear reactor is the heart of a nuclear plant in the same way, for biological chemical reactions which take place in the human body is organic living molecules act as a complex reactor. By observing the nature when a raw material converts into another product, this leads to conversion, which is done in a system with a boundary and separated from surrounding; this system is called a reactor.
People who work in the chemical plant will be familiar with this equipment, but to know more about the reactors help a lot in the shift works and in their carrier too. 
Without much discussion let see the types of reactors used for chemical reactions.

The three basic classification or chemical reactors are

1. Batch reactor (agitator and baffle design play an important role).
2. Continuous stirred tank reactor
3. Plug flow reactor

Based on heating and cooling reactors are named as

  • Internal heat or cooled reactor
  • External heat or cooled reactor
  • Jacketed reactor
The most chemical reaction is carried out with a catalyst to improve the time and conversion of reaction. Based on this parameter the subclass of the reactor can be distributed as:
Diagram of single fixed bed reactor for single pass reactions

Single fixed bed reactor

1. Fixed bed reactor
2. Multi-tubular reactor
3. Slurry reactor
4. Moving bed reactor
5. Fluidized bed reactor
6. Thin or shallow bed reactor
7. Dispersion reactor
8. Film reactor
Multi tubular reactor diagram catalyst filled in the tubes

Multitubular reactor

In design, a chemical reactor one should have chemical reaction kinetic data and the equipment design data with these in hand we can estimate the approximate design without wasting time, by following the below steps it will lead to a sequence of the designing procedure.
1. Find out the product we need (its concentration, properties, and amount to be produced in a day).
2. Search some of the literature and patent information regarding the desired product reaction mechanism.
3. Does the process have side and undesired reactions?
4. The operating conditions like temperature and pressure required for the reaction to take place.
5. Go through the reaction kinetics and catalyst suitable to the reaction.
6. Now find out the material and energy balance of the whole process.
7. By using the various combination's of reactors and separation equipment draw the optimum flow sheet.
8. Include all the environmental and safety aspects with respect to chemicals and equipment.
9. Simulate the startup and shut down of the plant designed.
You will notice some of the drawbacks in material balance and energy balance, by rectifying them you are ready with the design of the chemical reactor and chemical process which can be used for production.