A Note on Stoichiometry and the Treatment of Multiple Reaction Systems

Carlos Daniel Luzi, Guillermo Fernando Barreto


The treatment of multiple reactions in introductory courses on Chemical Reaction Engineering (CRE) is considered in this contribution. As an extension of the case of a single reaction, the study of ideal flow or batch reactors when multiple reactions take place is usually presented by assuming that the reaction set is defined along with the corresponding kinetic expressions. It is proposed for the analysis of this system an alternative procedure for identifying the minimum number and feasible sets of species (key-species) whose molar changes can determine the global composition in such reactors. The approach is intended to minimize, as far as possible, the use of concepts and methods of matrix algebra, aiming to improve students’ reception and assimilation. It should be recalled that the identification of key-species in a reacting system is directly related to the definition of reaction invariants, very frequently analyzed and practically applied in the literature.


Stoichiometry; Multiple reactions; Reaction invariants; Canonical reactions.

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