A mathematical first-principle model (FPM) of a ruthenium reactor was developed, implemented
and successfully validated against a set of measurements of the real reactor of a precious metal
refinery (PMR). The model describes the dynamic behavior of a process involving two exothermic
reactions, occurring simultaneously in a semi-batch reactor equipped with a jacket. The reactions
describe the dissolution of solid ruthenium (Ru) to produce liquid ruthenium trichloride (RuCl3),
which is then evaporated into ruthenium tetroxide gas (RuO4). This paper presents a lumped
model of the process whose main objective was to achieve satisfactory tracking of temperature
and pressure data sets of the real reactor. The model was written as an explicit system of ordinary
differential equations (ODEs), and has demonstrated satisfactory predictions of temperature and
pressure dynamics. However, more work aiming at achieving better validation of the model is
still in progress. This involves using nonlinear optimization techniques to find optimum parameter
estimates of reaction kinetics constants, together with some heat and mass transfer coefficients,
only obtained by trial-and-error at this point.
Conference paper : 12th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering and 25th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering, 31-4 June 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark.