A good chemical engineer has to master the fundamentals of chemistry first, then needs to learn about the engineering side of things, most often involving scaling up of chemical reactions to produce large quantities of product that fulfill the needs of industry in a manner that is both safe and cost efficient. These are not necessarily easy tasks. A chemical reaction run in the laboratory is one thing, but making that reaction work on an industrial scale in a timely and cost-effective manner (without endangering the lives of plant workers) is quite another. The job poses interesting challenges, to say the least.
A thorough introductory course in chemical engineering would involve the following:
- Fluid statics and its applications
- Fluid flow phenomena
- Basic equations of fluid flow
- Incompressible flow in pipes and channels
- Flow of compressible fluids
- Flow past immersed objects
- Transportation and metering of fluids
- Agitation and mixing of liquids
- Heat transfer by conduction
- Principles of heat flow in fluids
- Heat transfer to fluids without phase change
- Heat transfer to fluids with phase change
- Radiation heat transfer
- Heat-exchange equipment
- Principles of diffusion and mass transfer between phases
- Gas absorption
- Humidification operations
- Equilibrium-stage operations
- Introduction to multicomponent distillation
- Leaching and extraction
- Drying of solids
- Adsorption and fixed-bed separations
- Membrane separation processes
- Properties and handling of particulate solids
- Mechanical separations
Students can find a good collection of chemical engineering books on Amazon.com. Google is also a great place to find books on chemical engineering. A useful tool for chemical engineering students is the Internet for Chemical Engineering, a free online tutorial for conducting research, created by a national team of lecturers and librarians from universities across the United Kingdom, built into an internet tutorial platform called the Virtual Training Suite. Students should also follow the Chemical Engineering Journal.
On a level appropriate for a student seeking college homework help, another useful online tutorial for chemical engineering is offered by MIT's OpenCourseWare and is titled Chemical and Biological Reaction Engineering.
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