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This paper deals with the nonlinear control of a jacketed fed-batch three-phase slurry catalytic reactor to track a reference temperature trajectory. To this end, the so-called thermal availability function is defined from the availability function as it has been described in the literature. This thermal availability is used as a Lyapunov function in order to derive a stabilizing control law for the reactor by using the jacket temperature as the manipulated variable. This control is coupled to a high gain observer that is used to estimate the reaction rate that is considered as a time varying parameter. The o-cresol hydrogenation reaction is taken as a representative test example. A detailed model of the process as well as a simplified one that is used for the control law synthesis are described. The performance of the control scheme in presence of measurements noise and parameter uncertainty is illustrated by simulations results.