A numerical model is employed to simulate a single tube reactor featuring a downward particle flow counter to an upward inert gas flow for ceria reduction in the dilute flow regime. The coupled phenomena of mass and momentum transfer as well as chemical kinetics are simulated assuming isothermal operation for the reactor. The model predicts the reduction extent under varying reaction kinetics as well as design and operational choices. The reduction extent is found to increase with the reaction rate constant until achieving the thermodynamic upper limit at a certain critical value. This critical rate constant signifies a transition from a chemical kinetics limited conversion to a gas advection limited conversion. The effect of the reactor length and the particle size on reaction extent is studied for a range of realistic cases. An empirical correlation is developed to quantify the effects of particle and gas flow rates on reduction extent at both slow and fast kinetics. The present work offers insights to help guide reactor design and operation towards achieving the maximum reduction extent. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.