15Residence time or Retention time is the average amount of time each liquid molecule spends inside the vessel. It is an important variable in chemical reaction processes, where adequate time must be given to the reactant molecules in order to ensure a complete reaction. It is also important for non-reactive mixing processes such as paint and food manufacturing, to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together and not stratified. For any given flow rate through a vessel, the residence time is directly proportional to the volume of liquid contained in that vessel: double the captive volume, and you double the residence time. For any given captive volume, the residence time is inversely proportional to the flow rate through the vessel: double the flow rate through the vessel, and you halve the residence time. In some mixing systems where residence time is critical to the thorough mixing of liquids, vessel level control may be coupled to measured flow rate, such that an increase in flow rate results in an increased level setpoint, thus maintaining a constant residence time despite changes in production rate.