The dynamic behaviour of an adiabatic tubular plant reactor during the startup is demonstrated, together with the impact of a feed-pump failure of one of the reactants. A dynamic model of the reactor system is presented, and the system response is calculated as a function of experimentally-determined, time-dependent, manipulated variables. The values of model parameters are estimated by using the SimuSolv (1991) computer program. The data set collected during the reactor start-up is used for the parameter estimation procedure. An excellent agreement is obtained between the experimental and the calculated system response. Many continuously-operated commercial reactors require a complete conversion of one of the main reactants at the reactor exit. It is shown that for an industrial tubular reactor a much higher initial reactor temperature is required during the startup, compared to the reactor inlet temperature during normal steady-state operation, to ensure a complete reactant conversion. Much more research is necessary to determine whether this is a generally valid rule.