CFD simulations to study shortstopping runaway reactions in a stirred vessel

D. Dakshinamoorthy, A. R. Khopkar, J. F. Louvar*, V. V. Ranade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Mixing an inhibitor to neutralize a runaway reaction is known as shortstopping. The conventional approach of using a completely mixed flow (CMF) model is inadequate for developing satisfactory operating protocols to prevent runaway reactions. In the present work, we use a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based model to understand the role of imperfect mixing on shortstopping of a runaway reaction in a fully baffled stirred reactor. A multiple reference frame (MRF) approach is used to simulate the flows generated by a standard Rushton turbine in a stirred vessel. The computational model is then extended to simulate the simultaneous runaway and inhibition reactions. Laminar volumetric reactions are modeled by using a user-defined function. The computational model is solved using FLUENT 6.2 (of Fluent Inc., USA). The model predictions are used to understand the local runaway and quenching of runaway reactions in a vessel under the conditions of imperfect mixing. Influence of delayed addition of the inhibitor, location of addition (including multiple locations), and quantity of inhibitor added are used to study the shortstopping performance. The computational model and the results discussed in this work are useful for understanding the effect of the mixing process on the inhibition process and for developing operating protocols for preventing runaways in stirred reactors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD simulation
  • Mixing
  • Reaction engineering
  • Safety
  • Stirred vessel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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