A Simulation and Experimental Environment for Teaching Chemical Reaction Process Dynamics and Control

Malia L. Kawamura, Andrew G. Alleyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In many undergraduate chemical engineering courses, students are taught about the dynamics of chemical reactions. Examining the textbook literature on reaction process dynamics, there is a gap between the concepts presented in theory and their pedagogical realization in laboratory experiments and complementary simulations. This paper presents a simple, safe, economical approach to provide undergraduate students with an experience in reaction dynamics to match the well-established theory. Optical transmissibility is used as a surrogate for concentration allowing ease of transduction. A simple experiment, costing less than $750 US, is designed and presented along with the results for a crystal violet bleaching reaction. A simulation environment is presented alongside the experimental system. The system's first order dynamics are well established and the simulations match the experiments well. Additionally, influence of temperature on the system's time constant is demonstrated via temperature control. This first order system provides the chemical engineering equivalent to DC motor velocity or RC circuit voltage experiments used in Mechanical and Electrical engineering education. Use of the approach to illustrate simple process reaction control concepts is also demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15692-15697
Number of pages6
Journal20th IFAC World Congress
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Chemical Engineering
  • Control
  • Control Education
  • System Dynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'A Simulation and Experimental Environment for Teaching Chemical Reaction Process Dynamics and Control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this