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This page is dedicated to background information to specific labs that will be conducted in CHE304/305

Photo taken from the following URL:  (written by Romina Ronquillo)

Photo taken from the following URL: (written by Romina Ronquillo)

Heat Exchangers

Heat Exchangers are widely used pieces of equipment in industry. They are versatile in nature based on how we can design heat exchangers and use them to manipulate process conditions.

This section is dedicated to the theory behind how heat exchangers work, and the mathematics to evaluate needed parameters.





The concepts explored in this section is prevalent in any field in chemical engineering. Here we will explore what forces an object experiences when flowing through a fluid and the different factors that affects the flow of the object.

Using this theory, chemical engineers are able to design separations processes such as sedimentation and fluidization.





This is a widely used separation process that can be found in many different types of plants. Extracting valuable minerals and metals from ores is primarily done by using a leaching process.

These processes can be quite complicated to design where even a simple change in environment can greatly affect the results you were expecting. In this section, we will be discussing the theoretical concepts behind this process to get a better understanding of an approach to analyse the system.


Packing Analysis: Flooding

The use of distillation columns can be found in most plants in industry. We consistently use distillation columns for separation and purification processes. One type of distillation column commonly used is a packed distillation process.

Engineers can use different types of packings to meet their different design specifications. Packings of different sizes and shapes can be oriented randomly or in a structured manner.

The type of packings affect the hydrodynamics present in the distillation tower. In this section, we will be discussing how flooding can occur, why it occurs and how we use packing analysis to predict when a tower might flood.




Flow Through Valve Fittings and Equipment

In any process (or plant) you see in industry, you will find that there are many more pipes and flow of material than one might expect. This means that as chemical engineers, we must have a thorough understanding of the fluid dynamics in a flow system through pipes.

This discussion will most likely be more of a review of the work you have done in CHE211 (Fluid Mechanics). We will discuss the mathematics of laminar and turbulent flow and, more importantly, head losses due to fittings, equipment and external forces. The difference this discussion and our drag discussion is that here we are discussing the external forces which can influence the pressure drop across a pipe in the fluid. Rather, we will look at the effect of roughness, valves, bends, etc. instead of the actual drag effects inherent to the size and shape of the object (and type of fluid).




PFR Packed Bed Catalysis (PBR)

In this section, we will be discussing the design of a PFR with a packed bed of catalysts (Packed bed reactor or PBR for short). In our discussion, we will be analyzing a bleach degradation system and use this experiment to analyse different, important parameters in our system.

This lab will give you first-hand experience to simulating an industrial-scale process under lab conditions, frequently done by engineers so that they can upscale the process safely and efficiently.




Distillation Columns

Distillation processes are widely used in industry to facilitate separation processes. We will be examining two types of columns: packed and plate columns. The study of distillation columns is extremely complicated and can be studied throughout the rest of your career with there still being more to learn.

We will limit the scope of our discussion to simpler methods to analyse these systems. Looking at the Mccable-Thiele method, we will be able to examine complex systems simply using this method, which will allow us to gain a basic understanding of a distillation system.

For a discussion about packed distillation columns, click here.