Tracer Technology

Modeling the Flow of Fluids

  • Octave Levenspiel

Part of the Fluid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (FMIA, volume 96)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 1-3
  3. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 5-10
  4. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 27-34
  5. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 35-46
  6. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 47-70
  7. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 71-80
  8. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 81-97
  9. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 99-112
  10. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 113-118
  11. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 119-125
  12. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages 127-133
  13. Octave Levenspiel
    Pages E1-E7
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 135-137

About this book


A vessel’s behavior as a heat exchanger, absorber, reactor, or other process unit is dependent upon how fluid flows through the vessel.  In early engineering, the designer would assume either plug flow or mixed flow of the fluid through the vessel.  However, these assumptions were oftentimes inaccurate, sometimes being off by a volume factor of 100 or more.  The result of this unreliable figure produced ineffective products in multiple reaction systems.


Written by a pioneering researcher in the field of chemical engineering, the tracer method was introduced to provide more accurate flow data.  First, the tracer method measured the actual flow of fluid through a vessel.  Second, it developed a suitable model to represent the flow in question.  Such models are used to follow the flow of fluid in chemical reactors and other process units, like in rivers and streams, or solid and porous structures.  In medicine, the tracer method is used to study the flow of chemicals—harmful  and harmless—in the bloodstreams of humans and animals.


Tracer Technology – Modeling the Flow of Fluids discusses how tracers are used to follow the flow of fluids, and how a variety of models are developed to represent these flows.


Octave Levenspiel is Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University.  His primary interest is chemical reaction engineering, focusing largely on applying chemical reaction kinetics and physics to the design of chemical reactors.  His work has been recognized with awards that include the R.H. Wilhelm award (AIChE), the W.K. Lewis award (AIChE), and the P.V. Danckwerts award (IChemE).  His previous books, including Chemical Reaction Engineering, The Chemical Reactor Omnibook, and Engineering Flow and Heat Exchange, are widely used in industry and teaching, and have been translated into 12 foreign languages.


Tracer method dispersion model heat exchanger intermixing between flowing fluids laminar flow in pipes laminar flow reactors mixed flow plug flow tracer curve tracer technology

Authors and affiliations

  • Octave Levenspiel
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences