Introduction to Chemical Engineering Processes/Introduction

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

This book is for anyone who is interested in some of the basic principles behind what chemical engineers do and how they can use powerful tools from physics to solve problems involving steady-state processes. It starts with a knowledge of algebra, chemistry, and some physics, and builds on current knowledge towards more practical problems. The ultimate goal is to obtain a book containing information about all of the major processes a chemical engineer may encounter as well as some insight into their analysis, which is essential for design.

The book is designed as an introduction to the subject and therefore tends to stay away from the more complicated mathematics, as the relatively steady-state black box analysis can be difficult enough for students (and teachers!) to solve.

Invitation to Contribute[edit | edit source]

As this is a Wiki, anyone who wants to (and who is willing to have their work released under GFDL) is more than welcomed to contribute what they know towards the betterment of the book, or to make suggestions on the talk pages.

Suggested Format of this book[edit | edit source]

This book attempts to make liberal use of examples, and uses some images (flowcharts) to illustrate the processes described, as a standard against which the student can compare their own. This is essential since drawing flowcharts is a fundamental skill for any engineer, not just a chemical engineer. Unit conversions of various types, and use of a variety of information from a variety of sources will also be stressed.

Example problems (but usually not solutions except for simple problems) are set off with the template {{example| [problem goes here]}} , which looks like this:


The production of ethanol is an example of a process that uses multiple unit operations. Sugar, water and nutrient are fed into a fermenter, and the resulting liquid is then distilled to produce alcohol. The fermenter must be cooled in order to maintain the correct temperature for fermentation.

If it seems like one of the pages is missing something, use the {{todo| [stuff to do]}} template, which looks like this:


To do:
Draw a process flow diagram that describes the system, clearly defining the system boundary.

How many inputs and outputs does the system contain based on the information above?

Notes about something special that someone must know to solve problems can be set aside using the template {{NOTE| [things to note] }} which looks like this:

Is this system and open or closed system?

Final results for examples as well as the results of derivations should be boxed using the {{box| [equation]}} template, which looks like this:


Finally, if you want to write a problem for the student to work out on their own, use the {{problem|'''#.''' [Problem Statement]}} template which looks like this:


#. [Problem Statement]

Using these to set the parts of the book apart, it is hoped that the experience will be easier to follow for the student.