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Engineering LibreTexts


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  • This text has been written for use in the first course in a typical chemical engineering program. That first course is generally taken after students have completed their studies of calculus and vector analysis, and these subjects are employed throughout this text. Since courses on ordinary differential equations and linear algebra are often taken simultaneously with the first chemical engineering course, these subjects are introduced as needed.

    Macroscopic balance analysis represents a central issue for professional chemical engineers. This text provides both the foundation for that analysis and the transition from the prerequisite courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Any text that represents a key element of an educational program should build upon the previously required courses in the program, and we have written a text which does that. In addition, any text that represents a key element of an educational program should provide a framework for future study. This text provides that framework for future courses in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, reactor design, and process design.

    Chapter 1 introduces students to the types of macroscopic balance problems they will encounter as chemical engineers, and Chapter 2 presents a review of the types of units (dimensions) they will need to master. While the fundamental concepts associated with units are inherently simple, the practical applications can be complex and chemical engineering students must be experts in this area. Chapter 3 treats macroscopic balance analysis for single component systems and this provides the obvious background for Chapter 4 that deals with the analysis of multicomponent systems in the absence of chemical reactions. Chapter 5 presents the analysis of two-phase systems and equilibrium stages. This requires a brief introduction to concepts associated with phase equilibrium. Chapter 6 deals with stoichiometry and provides the framework for the study of systems with reaction and separation presented in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 treats steady and transient batch systems with and without chemical reactions. Chapter 9 provides a connection between stoichiometry as presented in Chapter 6 and reactor design as presented in subsequent courses.

    The problems in the text have been chosen to illustrate concepts and to help develop skills, and a detailed solutions manual has been prepared as an aid to instructors. Students are encouraged to use the problems to teach themselves the fundamental concepts associated with macroscopic balance analysis of multicomponent, reacting systems for this type of analysis will be a recurring theme throughout their professional lives.

    Many students and faculty have contributed to the completion of this text, and there are too many for us to identify individually. However, we would be remise if we did not point out that Professor Ruben Carbonell first introduced this approach to teaching material balances at UC Davis in the late 1970's.

    • Ramon L. Cerro (Department of Chemical Engineering; University of Alabama at Huntsville)
    • Brian G. Higgins and Stephen Whitaker (Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; University of California at Davis)
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