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Engineering LibreTexts

Material Balances for Chemical Engineers (Cerro, Higgins, and Whitaker)

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  • We have focused on providing a rigorous treatment of material balances for reacting systems. It is a treatment that will not require revision and upgrading in a subsequent course. Our presentation is based on the two axioms for the mass of multicomponent systems, and it is not limited to single independent reactions. The latter are dominant in the academic world and almost non-existent in the real world where our students must practice their profession. The philosophy behind this text is that the axioms and the associated proved theorems are the tools that we use to solve material balance problems, and are also the basis for the use of computational software to solve more demanding problems.

    Thumbnail: Schematics of a continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR). (CC BY-SA; Daniele Pugliesi via Wikipedia)