All reactors in reality are not ideal plug flow reactor (PFR) or ideal continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). They are difficult to differentiate. This study was to investigate the reactor analysis of PFR and CSTR through tracer response curves, residence time distributions (RTD) and several hydraulic performance indexes. We set up the differentiated value of each index. The tracer response curve showed that our lab-scale CSTR was close to ideal CSTR and got 99.9% recovery. In the RTD curves, the results could significantly recognize the PFR nature of high rate pond (HRP). With hydraulic performance indexes study, every selected index demonstrated that the studied HRP was closer to PFR than the studied CSTR. Based on the lab-scale study results, this study established the cutting point between the PFR and CSTR in each index; we were looking through the different types of reactors in literature and we confirmed the criteria with all literature reactors with the “graphic method”. The method helped us to establish those important values to help us to differentiate the reactor types in practice and to understand the designs better.
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Tsai, D.D.W., Chen, P.H. Differentiation criteria study for continuous stirred tank reactor and plug flow reactor. Theor Found Chem Eng 47, 750–757 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0040579513060122