A catalyst enhances the rate of a reaction. In other words, they allow a higher fraction of molecules to reach the minimum energy required for the reaction; hence, leading to the formation of more products. Catalysts are involved in the reaction, but are regenerated at the end of the reaction so that none of the catalyst is consumed.


Continuous stirred tank reactors ( CSTR ) are the most basic of the continuous reactors used in chemical processes. The CSTR below is a half pipe coil jacketed reactor.


While bioreactor is a general term for any reactor that uses a biological process catalyzed by microbes to produce a desired product, the term typically refers to biological applications of continuous stirred tank reactors or chemostats, plug flow reactors, or fixed film reactors.


Slurry Reactor
Slurry reactors are three phase reactors (solid/liquid/gas). Pictured below is a slurry reactor used in the production of polyethylene products.

Plug Flow (PFR)

Plug flow, or tubular, reactors consist of a hollow pipe or tube through which reactants flow. Pictured below is a plug flow reactor in the form of a tube wrapped around an acrylic mold which is encased in a tank. Water at a controlled temperature is circulated through the tank to maintain constant reactant temperature.