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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Chemical

Undergraduate Course: Chemical Engineering 1 (CHEE08001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryChemical Engineering is concerned with the design and operation of chemical processes on an industrial scale. Such chemical processes have traditionally concentrated on bulk inorganic chemicals (e.g. fertilisers), polymers, solvents, dyestuffs and explosives, but are increasingly including speciality chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and biological systems. This course gives an introduction to the design of such industrial processes, including chemical reactions and reactor design, energetics of chemical processes, determination of material and thermal flows within processes, phase equilibria and separation processes. In so doing, it covers many of the principles involved in taking chemical processes from the bench/laboratory research scale to the construction and operation of modern commercial chemical plants.
Course description This course comprises 4 lectures on process synthesis, 5 lectures on mass balances, 4 lectures on heat transfer, 4 lectures on reactors, 8 lectures on separations and 4 lectures on chemical engineering in practice. There are 11 tutorials to support these lectures. In addition, students attend 5 laboratory sessions (one of which involves a safety audit and introduction to error analysis) and 3 computing sessions. A practice examination is held in one lecture slot and feedback on this provided both orally and in written form.


The following subjects will be covered during the course:

A - Process Synthesis (4 lectures)

1. Introduction to process synthesis. Steady-state processes and the input-output block diagram. Material balances.
2. Assessment of economic potential.
3. Dealing with incomplete reaction. Introducing recycle.
4. Separating the products. Combining reaction and separation.

B - Mass Balances (5 lectures)

Introduction to material balances, the concept of degree of freedom analysis
Mass balances on multiple process units
Mass balances with recycle and purge streams,
Mass balances with reactions

C - Heat Transfer (4 lectures)

1. Revision of the basis principles of heat transfer. Definitions of symbols and terms. Introduction to practical applications of heat transfer principles.
Introduction of basic film theory, via consideration of heat
2. Transfer to liquid flowing in a pipe, using Reynolds' experiment to demonstrate laminar and turbulent flow. Units and dimensionless correlations.
3. Heat exchanger design: methodology and calculations.
4. Further heat exchanger design; consideration of heat integration.

D - Reactors (4 lectures)

Introduction of the concepts of chemical reaction engineering
Introduction of the different types of chemical reactors
Design of reactors for first order reactions
Simple energy balances for reactors and adiabatic temperature rise

E - Separation Processes (8 lectures)

1. Phases and separability. General discussion of types of separations possible and ease of separation in each instance.
2. Phase equilibrium for single component systems. Equilibrium as a dynamic state. Equilibrium as a force balance - fugacities. Phase diagrams, triple point and critical point.
3. Determination of vapour pressure. Application to the design of both liquefied gas storage vessels and vaporisers.
4. Single component liquid systems with non-condensible gases present. Application to storage vessel and condenser design.
5. Raoult's Law. Determination of liquid/vapour equilibrium data for binary systems involving ideal liquid mixtures.
6. Single stage distillation processes: Design of flash vessels.
7. Choice of operating pressure. Limits of purity attainable with single equilibrium stage.
8. Cascades of equilibrium stages as a means to improved separability. Multistage binary distillation.

F - Chemical Engineering in Practice (4 lectures)

One lecture introducing safety and loss prevention concepts

Three seminars with presentations from final year Industrial Placement Project students, recent graduates and research students illustrating the types of work undertaken by practising chemical engineers.


A - Process Synthesis:

PS1 Analysis of process flowsheets
PS2 Economic potential and separation sequencing

B - Mass Balances

M1 Simple mass balances and mass balances on multiple unit processes
M2 Mass balances for processes with recycle and purge, mass balances for systems with reactions

C - Reactors

R1 Calculation of the rate constant, simple reactor design
R2 More complex reactor design

D - Heat Transfer:

HT1 Heat transfer mechanisms
HT2 Heat exchanger calculations

E - Separation Processes

S1 Single component systems
S2 Equilibrium with gas and liquid mixtures
S3 Distillation processes


Students will complete an error analysis hand-in and four of the following experiments:

1. The Discharge of Liquids from a Triangular Reservoir
2. Power Consumption in the Stirring of Liquids
3. Flow Through a Granular Bed
4. Gas Combustion
5. Cryogenic Storage
6. AC and DC Pumps
7. Heat Transfer Coefficients in a Cross-Flow Heat Exchanger
8. The Fluid Mechanical Testing of Artificial Heart Valves
9. Air- and Water-Fluidised Beds
10. Velocity Measurements Downstream of an Orifice

Other Teaching Events

Practice Exam Question

An exam-style question will be issued for completion during a lecture slot, to provide practice in exam technique. Feedback will be given on both the accuracy and the presentation of answers.


The computing element of Chemical Engineering 1 mainly consists of self study material available on Learn. There are three modules:

1. Excel basics. This module is completely self study with PowerPoint slides and worked examples in form of videos. A self test is available that allows to check if the learning outcomes of this module have been achieved.
2. Good spreadsheet design and plotting graphs. Self study material is also available on Learn. This module is further supported by a session in the computing lab where help is available for the exercises related to this module.
3. Use of goal seek and solver. In addition to the self study material available on WebCT, there will be a lecture on the use of goal seek and solver. Like the second module, it is further supported by a session in the computing lab where help is available for the exercises related to this module.

The computing element is assessed with a hand-in exercise which contributes 25 % to the coursework mark. There is a third computing lab session dedicated to the hand-in exercise. All computing lab sessions alternate with the laboratory session.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Engineering 1 (SCEE08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements SCE Higher grade Chemistry or equivalent
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1.5, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Revision Session Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 105 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment is based 40% on Coursework (1 error analysis hand-in, 2 full and 2 pro forma laboratory reports, 1 computing exercise) and 60% on a written degree examination.

In addition, a minimum of 40% in each of the coursework and the written examinations marks will be required to pass the course.
Feedback Feedback will be provided on both of the laboratory reports on a pro-forma feedback sheet, with one opportunity for resubmission, verbally on two proforma reports within the labs, in written form on the computing assignment, both in writing and verbally on a practice exam question and orally within the tutorials on completed attempts at the questions set. Class-wide feedback will also be provided on the final examination.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Practice: Draw and interpret simple process flow sheets and block flow diagrams, sequence separations and calculate economic potential; Make simple design choices based on system constraints; Mark the appropriate balance boundaries on a process flow sheet; Formulate and solve algebraically material balances for processes involving reactors, separators, recycle and purge; Solve problems involving thermal conduction across a stratified medium, convection in laminar or turbulent flow and radiation in simple geometries; Use dimensionless correlations to predict heat transfer coefficients; Determine heat duties and heat transfer area required in countercurrent, cocurrent and shell and tube heat exchangers, allowing for fouling of the heat transfer surface; Design and compare the performance of different types of reactor; Perform a simple energy balance around a reactor; Obtain vapour pressures, by empirical equation or phase diagram, and describe the state of matter at a given temperature and pressure; Predict the pressure within a storage vessel and choose an operating temperature for a vaporiser or condenser; Relate partial pressures to vapour pressure when more than one gas is present and determine dew point for a gas stream containing one condensable component and the quantity of liquid condensing for a given temperature change; Use Raoult's Law to relate phase composition to temperature and pressure of a two-component ideal mixture; Design a simple flash vessel and comment on its limitations; Determine graphically the minimum number of stages required for binary distillation; Prepare and conduct laboratory work; gather and analyse data, using logarithmic plots and dimensionless numbers.
  2. K&U: Describe quantitatively the kinetics of simple reactions: Describe a range of standard separation techniques;
  3. CS: Interpret simple phase diagrams, including identification and explanation of the triple and critical points
  4. Comm,ICT: Use the basic functions of Excel and design and document good spreadsheets; Create and format graphs and insert trendlines; Use goal seek and solver for chemical engineering applications; Communicate findings through short and full laboratory reports
  5. AAW: Solve problems within a group
Reading List
1. Basic Principles and Calculations in Chemical Engineering, Himmelblau & Riggs (Practice Hall) (Recommended reading)

2. Chemical Engineering: Introductory Aspects, Field (MacMillan) (Recommended reading)

3. Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, Felder & Rousseau (Wiley) (Recommended reading)

4. Chemical Engineering Design and Analysis: An Introduction, Duncan & Reimer (C.U.P.) (Recommended reading)

5. Chemical and Energy Process Engineering, Skogestad (CRC Press) (Recommended reading)

6. Chemical Reaction Engineering - A first course, Metcalfe I.S. (Oxford Chemistry Primers) (Recommended reading)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Numeracy, analytical, teamwork, computer literacy and written communication skills are developed in this course alongside the specific chemical engineering skills.
Additional Class Delivery Information 3 lectures and 1 hour tutorial per week. Laboratory and computing sessions in alternate weeks. Class split into 4 groups for laboratories and tutorials.
KeywordsFundamental,Engineering,Practice,Design,Separations,Reactors,Heat transfer,Mass balances
Course organiserDr John Christy
Tel: (0131 6)50 4854
Course secretaryMr Mark Owenson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5533
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