Control of competing chemical reactions
Obando, Luis Rodrigo
Master of Science
Control of chemical reactions by temperature and by distribution of reactants have been considered separately. Here we analyze the control of a simple system of parallel reactions, which are of different order with respect to one of the reactants, using both temperature and rate of addition of reactants as simultaneous control variables, It is shown by application of the necessary conditions given in Pontryagin's Maximum Principle, that the nature of the optimal policy depends, in a simple way, on the relation between the ratio of the activation energies of the competing reactions and the ratio of their orders with respect to the distributed reactant. There exists a discontinuity in the form of the optimal policy when these two quantities are equal. Numerical results are worked out for a set of parameter values which confirm the results theoretically founded.