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1. What is chemical engineering?

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with chemical production and the
manufacture of products through chemical processes. This includes designing equipment, systems and
processes for refining raw materials and for mixing, compounding and processing chemicals to make
valuable products

Chemical engineers translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the
commercial production of products and then work to maintain and improve those processes.

Chemical engineering uses mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to develop chemical
transformations and processes to create useful products and materials that improve society. It is one of
the most broadly based engineering disciplines, creating high demand for chemical engineers across a
variety of industries and professions.

Chemical engineers devise ways to convert raw materials and intermediate chemicals into more
useful forms. They develop processes and products that are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and
profitable. Chemical engineers make petrochemicals, polymers, microelectronics, biomedical devices,
paper, dyes, drugs, fertilizers and foods. Practically every product has been improved by chemical
engineering in some way.

Chemical engineers work to solve major societal challenges in energy, human health,
manufacturing and sustainability. They are employed in the petrochemical, pharmaceutical,
microelectronics, biomedical and environmental industries. The breadth and depth of training
in chemical engineering allows graduates to go on to graduate programs and careers in academia, national
laboratories, medicine business and law.

The versatility of chemical engineers allows them to make advances that enhance people’s
everyday lives across all walks of life.

i. What are the qualities needed to become a successful chemical engineer?

 an understanding of engineering principles and mathematics

 an aptitude for, and interest in chemistry
 project management skills
 resource management skills
 oral and written communication skills
 analytical and problem-solving ability
 the ability to work as part of a team
 the capacity to motivate and lead a team
 strong IT skills
 a careful and methodical approach with good attention to detail
 commercial and business awareness
 creativity and innovation.

Analytical skills. Chemical engineers must be able to figure out why a particular design does not work as
planned. They must be able to ask the right questions and then find answers that work.
Creativity. Chemical engineers must be able to explore new ways of applying engineering principles. They
work to invent new materials, advanced manufacturing techniques, and new applications in chemical and
biomedical engineering.

Ingenuity. Chemical engineers learn the broad concepts of chemical engineering, but their work requires
them to apply those concepts to specific production problems.

Interpersonal skills. Chemical engineers must develop good working relationships with people in
production because their role is to put scientific principles into practice in manufacturing industries.

Math skills. Chemical engineers use the principals of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics
for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing equipment and processes for manufacturing, these engineers strive to
solve several problems at once, including such issues as workers’ safety and problems related to
manufacturing and environmental protection. They must also be able to anticipate and identify problems
to prevent losses for their employers, safeguard workers’ health, and prevent environmental damage.

2. What is unit operations?

A unit operation is any part of potentially multiple-step process which can be considered to have a single

involve certain type of processes carried out in a specific equipment

Examples of unit operations:

milling, grinding – involve mechanical processes ▪ fluid transportation, filtration settling, fluidization,
mixing – involve hydromechanical processes ▪ heat exhange, evaporation – involve energy (heat)
transport ▪ extraction, absorption, drying, distillation, membranes – involve mass transport ▪ reactors,
bioreactors – involve chemical reaction

List down the unit operations, define each and give applications

Unit operations are basic process steps in chemical engineering which involve a physical change or
chemical transformation such as separation, crystallization, evaporation, filtration, polymerization,
isomerization, and other reactions.

For example, in milk processing, homogenization, pasteurization, chilling, and packaging are each unit
operations which are connected to create the overall process. A process may require many unit operations
to obtain the desired product from the starting materials, or feedstocks.

 Fluid flow processes, including fluids transportation, filtration, and solids fluidization.
 Heat transfer processes, including evaporation and heat exchange.
 Mass transfer processes, including gas absorption, distillation, extraction, adsorption, and drying.
 Thermodynamic processes, including gas liquefaction, and refrigeration.
 Mechanical processes, including solids transportation, crushing and pulverization, and screening
and sieving
fluid flow, heat transfer, drying, evaporation, contact equilibrium processes (which include distillation,
extraction, gas absorption, crystallization, and membrane processes), mechanical separations (which
include filtration, centrifugation, sedimentation and sieving), size reduction and mixing.


1. Fluidization - is a process similar to liquefaction whereby a granular material is converted from a static
solid-like state to a dynamic fluid-like state. This process occurs when a fluid (liquid or gas) is passed up
through the granular material.

is a process in which a bed of particles is converted to a fluid state by means of an upward flow of gas (or

The process of suspending solid particles in an upward flow of a fluid and is widely used to promote good
heat transfer and mass transfer in * fluidized beds


1. Evaporation - is the process of turning a liquid, at its saturation temperature, into vapor by applying heat

2. Heat exchange - process of passing heat energy from one fluid to another.


1. Gas liquefaction is the process of refrigerating a gas to a temperature that is below its critical
temperature in order to form a liquid.

2. Refrigeration may be defined as lowering the temperature of an enclosed space by removing heat from
that space and transferring it elsewhere


1. Gas Absorption – is a unit operation used in the chemical industry to separate gases by washing or
scrubbing a gas mixture with a suitable liquid. ( usually carried out in vertical counter current columns)


Gas purification – removal of air pollutants from exhausts gases

Product recovery- production of solutions of gases for various purposes.

2. Distillation – a process which is generally used to separate a mixture of two or more liquids based on
their boiling points.

3. Extraction - is a separation process consisting in the separation of a substance from a matrix.

a. Liquid-liquid extraction (solvent extraction) - a method to separate compounds based on their relative
solubilities in two different immiscible liquids, usually water and an organic solvent.

used in petroleum and petrochemical industry for

separation of close boiling hydrocarbons. Some of the major applications are:

Removal of sulphur compound from liquid hydrocarbons

Recovery of aromatics from liquid hydrocarbon

Separation of butadiene from C4 hydrocarbons

b. Solid phase- extraction -is a sample preparation process by which compounds that are dissolved or
suspended in a liquid mixture are separated from other compounds in the mixture according to their
physical and chemical properties.

4. Adsorption – the adhesion of atoms, ions, molecules of gas, liquid, or dissolved solids to a surface.

Application: gas purification, liquid purification

5. Drying - may be defined as the vaporization and removal of water or other liquids from a solution,
suspension, or other solid-liquid mixture to form a dry solid.


1. Sieving - is a simple technique for separating particles of different sizes.

as a method in which two or more components of different sizes are separated from a mixture on the
basis of difference in their sizes.

2. Crushing - Reducing the size of a raw material by using shear mechanical force

3 Filtration - is the physical separation of a solid from a liquid or gas.

4. Sedimentation - The process of removing colloidal matter suspended in water by the process of


Stripping – the removal of one or more components from a mixed system. Usually the components being
removed are impurities

Examples: the removal of an organic or a metallic coating from a solid surface

Chromatography – the process of separating fluid components by exploiting differences in molecular

interactions between the components and the mobile and stationary phases used in the process.


1. Cleaning

-is the unit operation in which contaminating materials are remove from the food and separated to leave
the surfave of the food in a suitable condition for further processing.

Ex. Peeling fruits and vegetables, skinning meat or descaling fish

a. Wet cleaning is more effective than dry methods for removing soil from root crops or dust and pesticide
residues from soft fruits or vegetables

b. Dry cleaning procedures are used for products that are smaller, have greater mechanical strength and
possess a lower moisture content (for example grains and nuts).

2. Sorting

-is the separation of foods into categories on the basis of a measurable physical property such as size,
shape, weight and color.

1. Sedimentation

- two immiscible liquids, or a liquid and a solid, differing in density, are separated by allowing them to
come to equilibrium under the action of gravity, the heavier material falling with respect to the lighter.

- uses gravitational forces to separate particulate material from fluid streams.

Application: often used in the food industry for separating dirt and debris from incoming raw material,
crystals from their mother liquor and dust or product particles from air streams.

2. Filtration

- is the separation of solids from liquids, by causing the mixture to flow through fine pores which are small
enough to stop the solid particles but large enough to allow the liquid to pass.

3. Sieving

- interposing a barrier through which the larger elements cannot pass, is often used for classification of
solid particles.

1. Distillation

- is a separation process, separating components in a mixture by making use of the fact that some
components vaporize more readily than others.

Application: for concentrating essential oils, flavours and alcoholic beverages, and in the deodorization of
fats and oils.

2. Evaporation

- is the process of turning from liquid into vapor

3. Define chemical processes

List down the processes, define each and give applications

A Chemical Process is a process in which chemicals or chemical compounds are changed with the help of
chemical reactions. The Chemical Process may occur itself when two compounds get in touch with each
other or it can take place with the help of any chemical agent.

chemical process is a method intended to be used in manufacturing or on an industrial scale (see Industrial
process) to change the composition of chemical(s) or material(s), usually using technology similar or
related to that used in chemical plants or the chemical industry.

Saponification - is a process that produces soap, usually from fats and lye.

1. Acheson process - is a process to synthesize graphite and silicon carbide. The process consists of
heating a mixture of silica or quartz sand[1] and powdered coke (carbon) in an iron bowl.

Inventor : Edward Goodrich Acheson.

2. Bayer Process - A method of making alumina (Al 2 O 3 ) from aluminium ore or bauxite. It involves
crushing the bauxite and separating it from the oxides of iron, silica, and titanium that are also contained
in the ore. It is then mixed with caustic soda and heated under pressure. The alumina dissolves in the
caustic soda forming a solution of sodium aluminate. After * filtration , crystals of aluminium hydroxide
are added to the solution. The alumina precipitates out as crystals and are collected by filtration. The
crystals are then dried by heating to around 1,200°C to leave a fine white powder

3. Calcination - A high-temperature process used for ores and other granular materials in the presence of
air to bring about a thermal decomposition, phase change, or removal of a volatile component.

the heating of solids to a high temperature for the purpose of removing volatile substances, oxidizing a
portion of mass, or rendering them friable.

4. Solvay process - A major industrial process used for the production of sodium carbonate known as soda

5. Claus process - A two-stage process used for the removal of sulphur from natural gas or crude oil. In
the first, hydrogen sulphide is partially oxidized using air to form sulphur dioxide. In the second, the
sulphur dioxide is reacted with the hydrogen sulphide in the presence of a catalyst at 300 o C to form
elemental sulphur and water vapour

6. Cumene process - A process used for the production of phenol from benzene. The process, developed
in the 1940s, involves reacting benzene and propene (propylene) vapour over a phosphoric acid catalyst
at high temperature and pressure to produce cumene (isopropyl benzene):

The cumene is then oxidized in air and reacted with dilute acid to yield phenol.

7. Cupellation process - A process used to separate lead and other base metals from noble metals such
as gold and silver by blowing hot air over the surface of the molten metal held in a shallow refractory
dish known as a cupel. The lead oxidizes to lead monoxide, floats to the surface, and is then removed.

8. Ostwald process - Ostwald process A catalytic process used for the production of nitric acid by the
oxidation of ammonia with air. The first step involves mixing air as a supply of oxygen and ammonia over
a catalyst at a temperature of 700 o C:

The gases are then cooled in two towers and the oxidation is completed as:

The NO is in part reoxidized to form more nitric acid in successive repetitions of the process. It is named
after German chemist Friedrich Wilhelm * Ostwald (1853–1932).

9. Brin process - A process that was once used for producing oxygen through the heating of barium
oxide in air to form barium peroxide. This was then heated to temperatures in excess of 800°C to produce

10. Sabatier–Senderens process - A process for the hydrogenation of an organic compound such
as an unsaturated fat and used to produce margarine. It uses hydrogen gas and a nickel catalyst at around
150 o C.

11. kraft process - A process used for the conversion of wood into wood pulp that was invented
by Carl Dahl in 1879. The process is also known as the sulfate process and consists of cooking wood in a
basic solution of sodium hydroxide, sodium sulphide, and sodium carbonate. The process involves the
hydrolysis of lignin to acids and alcohols. Both sodium hydroxide and sodium hydrosulphide (NaSH) are
formed by the reaction:


Reduction- Any chemical reaction in which oxygen is removed from a substance, hydrogen is added, or
in which an atom or group of atoms gain electrons

Hydrogenation - A process involving the heterogeneous reaction of adding hydrogen to molecules

containing carbon such as unsaturated animal and vegetable oils

Dehydrogenation - A chemical reaction involving the removal of hydrogen from a compound.


Hydration - is the process of solvation where the solvent is water.

Dehydration - The process of removing water from a substance

Halogenation - involves the introduction of a halogen atom into a compound.

Nitrification - The biological conversion of ammonia to nitrate ions by the action of bacteria.



Alkylation A process in which an alkyl group is added to another organic molecule such as by removing a
hydrogen atom from an * alkane and adding a methyl group. In the refining of * crude oil , it is used
to upgrade petroleum through the alkylation of isobutane with * alkenes (olefins) such as propene, in
the presence of either sulphuric or hydrofluoric acid as a * catalyst .



Polymerization - A process that involves the chemical reaction of simple molecules called * monomers
to combine to form longer and more complex molecules called polymers .