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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5355M Chemical Engineering Fundamentals

30 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr T Mahmud

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

CAPE5315M Chemical Engineering Principles

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

- Fundamentals of chemical engineering, including chemical process calculations, chemical thermodynamics, momentum and heat transfer;- Use of HYSYS software for process calculations and modelling.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Develop a holistic understanding of the basic principles of chemical engineering;
- Develop a deep understanding of the concepts and methodology for performing mass and energy balance calculations for processes with chemical reactions, combustion and recycles;
- Develop a deep understanding of the fundamentals of chemical thermodynamics;
- Develop a deep understanding of fundamental principles of fluid mechanics and heat transfer;
- Apply HYSYS software for process calculations and modelling;
- Develop a basis for the design project module.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students with a non-chemical engineering degree should develop a coherent understanding of the basic principles of chemical engineering and the ability to apply them to solve relevant problems, including:
1. Process calculations (mass and energy balances);
2. Physics associated with chemical thermodynamics;
3. Fluid mechanics;
4. Heat transfer;
5. Use of HYSYS software for process calculations and modelling.
This will provide them with a solid foundation for studying the MSc Chemical Process Engineering course, including carrying out an extensive process and plant design project.

Skills outcomes
- Ability to set up and solve mass and energy balances for industrial processes with chemical reactions, combustion and recycles;
- Ability to understand underlying physics associated with chemical thermodynamics and apply knowledge to complex processes;
- Ability to design pipelines and heat exchangers;
- Ability to use HYSYS for process calculations and modelling.


1. Chemical process calculations:
1.1 Mass Balance - Reactive systems; principles of stoichiometry, limiting and excess reactants, conversion, selectivity and process yield. Mass balances for reactive systems; mass balances on molecular and atomic species, independent equations, independent species, independent reactions, extent of reaction, mass balances for combustion processes, including calculation of the product composition from the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. Mass balances for systems with recycle, bypass and purge streams. Mass balances for transient processes.
1.2 Energy Balance - Energy balances for reacting systems; reference states, heats of reaction, formation and combustion, energy balances on isothermal and adiabatic chemical reactors. Calculation of flame temperatures. Energy balances for combustion equipment. Energy balances for transient processes. Simultaneous mass and energy balances.
2. Chemical thermodynamics: The first, second and third laws of thermodynamics, P-v-T relationships for fluids, equations of state, vapour-liquid equilibrium, chemical equilibrium. Gibbs free energy, chemical potential.
3. Momentum and heat transfer:
3.1 Fluid Mechanics - Classification of fluid flows and basic flow characteristics, continuity, energy and momentum equations. Laminar flow; flow in pipes and Hagen-Poiseuille equation, flow through ducts, flow between parallel plates and over inclined/vertical plate. Turbulent flow; fluctuating and mean velocity, Reynolds stresses and eddy-viscosity, power-law velocity profiles, log-law of the wall. Boundary layer flow over a flat solid surface, boundary layer thickness, velocity distribution and shear stress. Compressible flows in pipes.
3.2 Heat Transfer - Mechanisms of heat transfer. Natural and forced convection, thermal boundary layer, log mean temperature difference (LMTD), individual and overall heat transfer coefficients, correlations for laminar/turbulent flows in pipes. Heat exchanger design - types of heat exchangers, mechanical construction, shell-and-tube heat exchanger design using LMTD and effectiveness-NTU methods.
4. Process modelling: Use of HYSYS for simulation of process mass and energy balances and unit operations.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment22.004.00
Class tests, exams and assessment51.005.00
Private study hours157.00
Total Contact hours143.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be expected to develop their subject knowledge by reading and critically evaluating materials presented in handouts and available in recommended text books.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive written feedback through HYSYS coursework assignment and in-class feedback in tutorials and after each class test.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentHYSYS Modelling Exercise 10.00
AssignmentHYSYS Modelling Exercise 220.00
In-course Assessment5 Formative Class Tests0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 40.00
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 10/11/2021 11:32:06


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