Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate Courses

CHE 1011. INTRODUCTION TO CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Cat. I.

This course provides an introduction to the broad and vital discipline of
chemical engineering including conventional and developing chemical
technologies. An introduction is provided to the first principles of chemical
engineering, as well as environmental, health, safety and ethical issues in
chemical engineering practice. An overview is provided of the chemical
engineering profession, career choices, the course of study, and a survey of the
chemical industry, e.g., polymer, pharmaceutical, food processing, microelectronic,
electrochemical, biotechnology, process control, energy, and petroleum
refining. Course activities include guest speakers and plant trips.

Recommended for first-year students with a basic knowledge of chemistry.

CHE 2011. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING FUNDAMENTALS

Cat. I
This first course in chemical engineering is designed to give students the ability
to use techniques and solve problems of interest to chemical engineers. Students
will learn fundamental material by completing analysis, design, and/or
laboratory projects. Topics covered include: material balances and stoichiometry,
pressure, volume, and temperature behavior of pure fluids, 1st law of thermodynamics,
vapor-liquid equilibria with ideal thermodynamics, and staged
separation processes.

Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus.

Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for
both CHE 2011 and CM 2001.

CHE 2012. ELEMENTARY CHEMICAL PROCESSES

Cat. I

This course aims to build a strong foundation in analysis of chemical processes
via a project-based approach. Topics covered include analysis and design of
stagewise separation processes such as distillation, 1st and 2nd law (of thermodynamics)
analysis of power and refrigeration cycles, and application of material
and energy balances in industrial chemical processes, including those with
recycle and non-ideal systems.

Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus and
some familiarity with the topics listed in CHE 2011.

Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for
both CHE 2012 and ES 3000.

CHE 2013. APPLIED CHEMICAL ENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS

Cat. I

This course uses a project-based approach to build confidence and competence
in the use of chemical engineering thermodynamics for the analysis and design
of chemical processes. Topics covered include extractive separation systems,
solution thermodynamics and nonreacting multicomponent mixtures, phase
equilibria and property changes on mixing.

Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus and
some familiarity with the topics listed in CHE 2011 and CHE 2012.
Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for
both CHE 2013 and CM 2102.

CHE 2014. ADVANCED CHEMICAL PROCESSES

Cat. I
This course builds on prior work in material and energy balances, chemical
engineering thermodynamics, and stagewise separation processes to facilitate
student mastery and design of more complex processes. Topics covered include
chemical reaction equilibria, material and energy balances for non-steady state
systems, combined material and energy balances, humidification, and batch
distillation.

Recommended background: Elementary college chemistry and calculus and
some familiarity with the topics listed in CHE 2011, CHE 2012, and CHE
2013.

Students may not receive credit towards CHE distribution requirements for
both CHE 2014 and CM 2002.

CHE 3201. KINETICS AND REACTOR DESIGN

Cat. I

Techniques for experimentally determining rate laws for simple and complex
chemical reactions, the mechanisms and theories of chemical reactions, the
function of catalysts, and the design of isothermal, adiabatic, batch and flow
reactors. The course is intended to provide chemists and chemical engineers with
the conceptual base needed to study reactions and perform in the design and
analysis of reactors.

Recommended background: differential equations, thermodynamics and some
organic chemistry.

CHE 3301. INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING

Cat. II
This course is an introduction to the chemical engineering principles involved in
modern applications of biological engineering. Topics may include: an
introduction to biology, biochemistry, physiology, and genomics; biological
process engineering including fermentation, mammalian cell culture, biocatalysis,
and downstream bioseparations; drug discovery, development, and delivery;
environmental biotechnology; and chemical engineering aspects of biomedical
devices.

Recommended background: material and energy balances, thermodynamics,
organic chemistry, and differential equations.
This course will be offered in 2015-16, and in alternating years thereafter.

CHE 3501. APPLIED MATHEMATICS IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Cat. I

The consolidation of the methods of mathematics into a form that can be used for
setting up and solving chemical engineering problems. Mathematical formulation
of problems corresponding to specific physical situations such as momentum,
energy and mass transfer, and chemical reactions. Analytical and numerical
techniques for handling the resulting ordinary and partial differential equations
and finite difference equations.

Recommended background: ordinary differential equations, partial derivatives
and vectors, momentum heat and mass transfer.

CHE 3702. ENERGY CHALLENGES IN THE 21st CENTURY

Cat. II
The goal of this course is to prepare students for future work in energy-related fields by providing an overview of the challenges related to energy production. Students will study several major energy systems. The details of such energy systems will be examined using engineering principles, particularly focusing on relevant chemical processes. For example, the details and processes of a typical power plant or a refinery will be examined. Students will also become familiar with environmental and economic issues related to energy production. Topics to be covered may include: fossil fuels, the hydrogen economy, biofuels, nuclear energy, fuel cells, batteries, and the electricity grid.
Recommended background: knowledge of chemistry (CH 1010, 1020, 1030), differential and integral calculus, and chemical processes (CHE 2011).
Students may not receive credit for both CHE 3702 and CHE 320X.

CHE 372X. BIOENERGY

The primary goal of this course is to provide students the necessary understanding and tools to evaluate biochemical and thermochemical biofuel production technologies. The secondary goals include developing understanding of 1) fuel properties, 2) biomass resources, 3) basic enzyme kinetics, 4) biochemical reactor design, 5) the corn ethanol process, 6) challenges to cellulosic ethanol, 7) biomass gasification reactions and thermochemistry, 8) gasification reactor design, and 9) techno economic concepts of biofuel processes.
Recommended background: Knowledge of chemistry (CH 1010, 1020, and 1030 or equivalent), differential and integral calculus and differential equations (MA 1021-1024 and 2051 or equivalent), and chemical processing (CHE 2011 or equivalent).

CHE 4063. TRANSPORT & TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE ENVIRONMENT

Cat. II
In this course, students will learn to make quantitative relationships between
human activities and the effects on water, soil, and air in the environment.
Students will learn the scientific and engineering principles that are needed to
understand how contaminants enter and move in the environment, how
compounds react in the environment, how to predict their concentrations in the
environment, and how to develop solutions to environmental problems.
Topics to be covered may include water quality engineering (including
microbial interactions), air quality engineering, and hazardous waste
management.

Recommended Background: familiarity with transport phenomena, such as in
ES 3004 (Fluid Mechanics) and ES 3002 (Mass Transfer), and familiarity with
reaction kinetics and reactor design, such as through CHE 3201 (Kinetics and
Reactor Design). Background such as CE 3059 (Environmental Engineering),
CE 3060 (Water Treatment), or CE 3061 (Wastewater Treatment) is suggested.
This course will be offered in 2016-17, and in alternating years thereafter.

CHE 4401. UNIT OPERATIONS OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING I

Cat. I
Laboratory-application of fundamental theories to practical chemical engineering
operations. Emphasis is on building the student’s understanding and ability
to approach the problems of design and operations of large scale chemical
processing equipment.
The course is a combination of lectures and laboratory projects in the area of
unit operations. Laboratory projects include experiments in fluid-flow
phenomena through various media such as: friction in conduits, filtration,
pressure drop in packed towers, fluidization of solids, and spray drying.

Students are expected to carry out the planning and execution of experimental
work as well as the analysis and reporting of experimental results in both written
and oral format.
Recommended background: knowledge of chemistry, mathematics and
engineering principles.

CHE 4402. UNIT OPERATIONS OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING II

Cat. I

Overall format and procedure are essentially the same as in Unit Operations of
Chemical Engineering I.

Laboratory projects include experiments in heat and mass transfer such as:
heat transfer in two heaters and a cooler, climbing film evaporation, multiple
effect evaporation, absorption, extraction, distillation and rotary drying of solids.
Recommended backgound: familiarity with techniques and procedures
emphasized in CHE 4401.

CHE 4403. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN

Cat. I
Design of equipment, systems and plants; discussion of factors important in
chemical plant design such as: economics, cost estimation, profitability, process
selection, materials of construction, process control, plant location and safety.
Introduction to optimization and computer-aided design. Principles are
illustrated with short industrial-type problems.

Recommended background: thermodynamics; heat, mass and momentum
transfer; inorganic and organic chemistry; chemical kinetics and reactor design.

CHE 4404. CHEMICAL PLANT DESIGN PROJECT

Cat. I

Application of Chemical Engineering design principles to the design of a major
chemical plant. Students work in groups to produce a preliminary practical
process flowsheet, equipment and plant design, and economic analysis.

Recommended background: familiarity with techniques and procedures
emphasized in CHE 4403.

CHE 4405. CHEMICAL PROCESS DYNAMICS AND CONTROL LABORATORY

Cat. I

This course is intended to provide laboratory application of fundamental principles
of chemical process dynamics and feedback control. This includes open-loop
dynamics of typical chemical engineering processes such as distillation, fluid flow,
chemical reactors and heated stirred tanks. Closed-loop experiments will involve
control loop design, controller tuning, multivariable, and computer control.

Students will be required to design and execute their own experiments based
on supplied objectives. Analysis and presentation of the results will be done
through oral and written reports.

Recommended background: knowledge of fluid flow and heat transfer,
mathematics and chemical engineering principles.

CHE 4410. CHEMICAL PROCESS SAFETY DESIGN

Application of chemical engineering design principles to the design of the process safety and environmental controls of a major chemical plant. Students work in groups to produce a preliminary practical flowsheet, equipment design and controls, and economic analysis, all associated with chemical process safety components within a plant. The course will also include an introduction to modeling of off-site impacts.
Recommended background: familiarity with techniques and procedures of chemical engineering design (CHE 4403), working knowledge of thermodynamics, heat, mass and momentum transfer, inorganic and organic chemistry, chemical kinetics and reactor design.
This course meets the requirements for a core course and a Capstone Design course in chemical engineering. Students may not receive core credit for both CHE 4404 and CHE 4410.

Graduate Courses

CHE 501. SEMINAR

Reports on current advances in the various
branches of chemical engineering or on graduate
research in progress. Must be taken during every
semester in residence.

CHE 502. SEMINAR

Reports on current advances in the various
branches of chemical engineering or on graduate
research in progress. Must be taken during every
semester in residence.

CHE 503. COLLOQUIUM

Presentations on scientific advances by recognized
experts in various fields of chemical engineering
and related disciplines. The course will be graded
on a Pass/Fail basis.

CHE 504. MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING*

An essential skill of an engineer is to provide analytical and numerical solutions to relevant problems. This course will provide students with a solid mathematical background required to solve chemical engineering problems in fields such as fluid mechanics, reactor design, thermodynamics, and process design. Methods of mathematical analysis relevant to engineering will be selected from such topics as vector analysis, matrices, eigenvalue problems, Fourier analysis, Fourier transforms, Laplace transformation, solution of ordinary and partial differential equations, integral equations, calculus of variation, optimization methods, and numerical methods. Students should have a background in undergraduate calculus and differential equations.

CHE 506. KINETICS AND CATALYSIS*

Theories of reaction kinetics and heterogeneous
catalysis are developed for both simple and complex reactions.
The kinetics
and mechanisms of both catalyzed and
uncatalyzed reactions are explored, as well as the effects of bulk and
pore diffusion. Techniques for experimentation,
reaction data treatment, and catalyst preparation
and characterization are related to developing a sound approach to studying a chemical reaction.

CHE 507. CHEMICAL REACTOR DESIGN*

A review of the design of ideal reactors. Main topics include: deviations from ideal reactor behavior; transport effects in reacting systems; steady state multiplicity and stability analysis; optimization of reactors; analysis of heterogeneous rectors.

CHE 509. REACTOR DESIGN AND KINETICS

This course includes a review of prototypical chemical reactors, including design of batch, stirred tank, and tubular reactors. Theories of reaction kinetics and catalysis for simple and complex reactions are addressed. Reactor design is discussed within the context of complex transport phenomena and reaction kinetics, including effects of bulk and pore diffusion and multiphase reactions/reactors. Techniques for experimentation, reaction data treatment, catalyst preparation and characterization, and computational tools are also included. Students cannot receive credit for this course and CHE 506 or CHE 507, which this class replaces.

CHE 521. BIOCHEMICAL ENGINEERING

The course emphasizes the basic concepts of biological systems which are relevant to study by chemical engineers. Topics covered include ligand binding and membrane transport
processes; growth kinetics of micro-organisms; kinetics of interacting multiple
populations; biological reactor design and analysis; soluble immobilized enzyme kinetics; optimization
and control of fermentation; and biological product recovery and separation.

CHE 531. FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY

The course provides an overview of the various
types of fuel cells followed by a detailed discussion
of the proton-exchange membrane (PEM)
fuel cell fundamentals: thermodynamics relations
including cell equilibrium, standard potentials,
and Nernst equation; transport and adsorption in
proton-exchange membranes and supported liquid
electrolytes; transport in gas-diffusion electrodes;
kinetics and catalysis of electrocatalytic reactions
including kinetics of elementary reactions, the
Butler-Volmer equation, reaction routes and
mechanisms; kinetics of overall anode and cathode
reactions for hydrogen and direct methanol fuel
cells; and overall design and performance characteristics
of PEM fuel cells.

CHE 554. MOLECULAR MODELING

This course trains students in the area of molecular
modeling using a variety of quantum mechanical
and force field methods. The approach will be
toward practical applications, for researchers who
want to answer specific questions about molecular
geometry, transition states, reaction paths and
photoexcited states. No experience in programming is necessary; however, a backround at the
introductory level in quantum mechanics is highly
desirable. Methods to be explored include density
functional theory, ab initio methods, semiempirical
molecular orbital theory, and visualization
software for the graphical display of molecules.

CHE 561. THERMODYNAMICS

Thermodynamics is at the heart of many systems of interest to chemical engineers, from the efficiency of simple mechanical processes to the equilibria of complex reactions. This course is a rigorous treatment of classical thermodynamics, with reference to the field of statistical thermodynamics. Key modules include First and Second Law analysis; behavior and interrelationships of thermodynamic properties; and fluid phase and chemical equilibria. Example topics may include analysis of open and dynamic systems; fundamental relationships; Legendre transforms and generalized potentials; Maxwell relationships; stability theory; thermodynamics of mixtures; fugacity, activity, and chemical potential; phase equilibria of systems containing two or more components; and generalized treatment of chemical equilibria.

CHE 565. ADVANCED PROCESS ENGINEERING

Advanced topics in process synthesis, optimization and process control are examined. Optimization topics include objective functions, multivariable optimization, constrained optimization, mixed integer linear programming and applications of optimization to process industries. Control topics include model predictive control, adaptive control, batch process control, and plant-wide control.
Recommended background: Undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering.

CHE 571. TRANSPORT PHENOMENA

Transport rates of mass, energy, and momentum are key to the design of many chemical technologies. This class adopts a unified approach to transport phenomena, providing the fundamental background required for analysis of complex problems. Students will use mathematical techniques for analytic and approximate solutions such as: separation of variables, similarity solutions, perturbation theory, and Laplace and Fourier transform methods. Methods involving non-dimensionalization and scaling will be emphasized. Special problems to be covered may include the lubrication approximation, creeping flow, and potential and laminar boundary-layer flows, as well as heat and mass transport in multi-component systems. Students are expected to have taken previous courses on transport processes and have mathematical background that includes solution of differential equations.

CHE 574. FLUID MECHANICS

Advanced treatment of fluid kinematics and
dynamics. Stress and strain rate analysis using
vectors and tensors as tools. Incompressible and
compressible one-dimensional flows in channels,
ducts and nozzles. Nonviscous and viscous flow
fields. Boundary layers and turbulence. Flow
through porous media such as fixed and fluidized
beds. Two-phase flows with drops, bubbles and/or
boiling. Introduction to non-Newtonian flows.

CHE 580. SPECIAL TOPICS

This course will focus on various topics of current
interest related to faculty research experience. See
the SUPPLEMENT section of the on-line catalog
at www.wpi.edu/+gradcat for descriptions of
courses to be offered in this academic year.