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Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

Bachelor Course     529-0557-00L


This course introduces the basic principles and concepts of chemical engineering thermodynamics. Whilst providing insights into the meaning and properties of primary thermodynamic quantities, the course also has a primary focus on the application of these concepts to real chemical engineering problems.

Course Aims

A key objective of the course is to present a rigorous treatment of classical thermodynamics, whilst retaining an engineering perspective. Accordingly, real-world engineering examples will be used to highlight how thermodynamics is applied in engineering practice. The core ideas presented and developed within the course will provide a foundation for subsequent studies in such fields as fluid mechanics, heat transfer and statistical thermodynamics.

Course Contents

The first part of the course introduces the basic concepts and language of chemical engineering thermodynamics. This is followed by an analysis of energy and energy transfer, with a specific focus on the concept of work and the first law of thermodynamics. Next, the notion of a pure substance is introduced, with a discussion of the physics of phase-changes being presented. The description of pure substances is further developed through an analysis of the PVT behaviour of fluids, equation of states, ideal and non-ideal gas behaviour and compressibility factors.

The second part of the course begins with a discussion of the use of the energy balance relation in closed systems that involve pure substances and then develops relations for the internal energy and enthalpy of ideal gases. Next, the second law of thermodynamics is introduced, with a discussion of why processes occur in certain directions and why energy has quality as well as quantity. Applications to cyclic devices such as thermal energy reservoirs, heat engines and refrigerators are provided. Entropy changes that take place during processes for pure substances, incompressible substances and ideal gases are described.

The third part of the course establishes thermodynamic formulations for the calculation of enthalpy, internal energy and entropy as a function of pressure and temperature, Gibbs energy, fugacity and chemical potential. Two-phase systems are introduced as well as the use of equations of state to construct the complete phase diagrams of pure fluid.

The final part of the course focuses on the properties of mixtures and the phase behaviour of multicomponent systems. The fundamental equations of phase equilibria in terms of the chemical potential and fugacity are also discussed. The concept of an ideal solution is introduced and developed. This is followed by an assessment of non-ideal behaviour and the use of activity coefficients for describing phase diagrams. Particular focus is given to phase equilibria. Finally, concepts relating to chemical equilibria are introduced with the general concepts developed being applied to reacting species. Examples here include the calculation of the standard enthalpy, Gibbs free entropy and the equilibrium constant of a reaction.

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