Course Outline and Outcomes

What is Chemical Engineering ?

You are majoring in Chemical Engineering and have been chosen to return to your high school and recruit the best and the brightest to follow in your footsteps. How would you explain your newfound profession and convey an idea regarding the types of tasks others may encounter in the ChE job market ?

Engineering Calculations

In order to properly communicate with other engineers / scientists you must use the correct language .How can you use concise language to convey not only what you measured, but how precise the measurement was ?

While measuring data is enormously useful you cannot possibly measure every possible bit of information under every possible condition(it would take too long and would be far too expensive).How can you use limited data to obtain enough information to get by ?

Process and State Variables

Describing and analyzing processes requires that you can understand, calculate, and manipulate both process data as well as state variables.

How would you calculate process variable values from measurements ?

Certain calculations require you to know quite a bit about the "state" of a material(i.e., its state of aggregation(phase), temperature, pressure, chemical composition, etc.).How can we quantify properties about a material 's state?

Balance and Process Fundamentals

Balances are simple accounting procedures used to aid in the overall analysis of a process 's viability.

Exactly how ; a process is run, often determines much regarding what the balance equations will look like.What are some of the characteristics that a running process may have ?

What are quantities for which we can write balances ? Just like a checkbook, we can have inputs / deposits / credits and we can have outputs / withdrawals / debits.What are some of the ways in which these ins and outs can occur ? What happens if we put more in than we take out ?

Now that we have written our balance equations, how can we concisely depict the information that we require to actually do the balance (or show our results after we have completed the balance) ?

Performing Non - Reactive Mass and Energy Balances

Now that we know how to write the equations that will get us started for balances, we need to worry about when they are useful.How do we know when to write these equations, or how many we need ?

Real processes often include more than one process unit.How do we handle arbitrary numbers of units ? arbitrarily complex arrangements of those units ?

Energy balances can be used as an additional equation in mass balances.

Performing Reactive Mass and Energy Balances

When reactions occur, material balances become more difficult, and energy balances are often more important.How do we handle generation and consumption of molecular species ? What if we don 't even know the stoichiometry ?

What effect do reactions have on energy balances ? How do we handle fictitious paths of material that is generated or consumed ?


Thermodynamics can be used to make the number of necessary measurements smaller, or to make the type of measurement easier.

It turns out that volumetric flowrates are far easier to measure than mass or molar flows.How can we make use of this information ?

When multiple phases are in equilibrium with each other, the problem becomes constrained .Can we use this information, along with Thermodynamics, to further reduce the number of necessary measurements ?

Performing Multi - Phase Mass and Energy Balances

Using thermodynamics in mass / energy balance problems means that additional equations are available for solving the required unknowns.

How can VLE calculations be used in mass balance applications?