Winter Quarter 2003
The Many Hats of CHE 1205
In CHE 1205 Computation Lab, you will solve chemical engineering problems using mathematical tools and software applications in Excel, MatLab, and Maple. The following paragraphs describe the overall goals of this course, the relevance of this course to your role as a chemical engineer, and the specific concept goals of this course.
Overall Goals of CHE 1205
The overall goal of this course is to
- to fortify the chemical engineering concepts you are learning in CHE 1201
- to give you the mathematical tools for solving several types of problems encountered as engineers
- to apply Excel, MatLab, and Maple to simplify problem solving or to minimize repetitive calculations
- to develop problem solving strategies and good documentation skills
Relevance of CHE 1205 to Your Role as a Chemical Engineer
CHE 1205 will introduce you to the types of problems you will face as a chemical engineer. Say that you are a process engineer for the production of an important pharmaceutical. You have been given the responsibility of overseeing the production of this product. Below are some of problems associated with this process and the Lecture # where you will learn the concepts involved in addressing these problems.
Lecture #1 and #2: Graphing and Least Squares Method You notice that the volumetric flow rate of the gas in the pipeline changes with the pressure. At a given pressure, the volumetric flow rate of the gas is measured. At a given temperature, what is the mathematical relationship between the pressure and the volumetric flow rate of the gas? Can you predict the volumetric flow rate of the gas under a new operating pressure?
Lecture #3: Numerical Integration You want to operate a batch reactor at the temperature which optimizes the production of the desired compound while minimizing the undesired reactions. Working with the chemists in process development, the optimum operating temperature has been determined experimentally in the laboratory. Determine the total amount of heat that has to be supplied to the reactor to change the temperature of the vessel from room temperature to the initial optimum operating temperature.
Lecture #4 and #5: Numerical Solution to Ordinary Differential Equations You start a process by filling an empty tank with two different reactants. Reactant A in Stream #1 is pumped into the tank at a constant rate while Reactant B in Stream #2 is being pumped into the tank at a rate which is increasing linearly. The concentration of the reactants and products in the tank are changing as the tank is being filled. Determine the concentration of Reactants A and B and the products with time.
Lecture #6 and #7: Material Balances on Multiple Unit Processes with Reactions The chemists in the chemistry and drug discovery group have determined the optimum temperature and pressure for the reaction steps required to produce the drug. You are involved in designing the process by which the reactants are mixed, reacted, and separated from the products. You have been given the desired production rate. However, the reactions do not go to completion and moreover side reactions also decrease the amount of desired product generated. What percent of the reactants are converted to the product at the optimum conditions? What is the flow rate of product lost in the product purification step? What are the flow rates of the unreacted compounds? Can they be separated from the by-products and recycled back with the fresh feed to the reactor?
By the end of this course, you will understand the following chemical engineering concepts and be able to:
- write the material balances for a reactive system using the extent of reactions and determine the fractional conversion at a given temperature and pressure given the equilibrium constant (K)
- model and solve material balances for a process containing mixers, reactors, various separation and purification unit operations
You will also learn to apply the following mathematical tools and be able to:
- recognize what a line, power, exponential function looks like on a rectangular, semi log, or log plot
- determine a mathematical equation which describes how y changes with x using the least squares method
- evaluate the integral of a function numerically using the trapezoidal rule
- solve an ordinary differential equation numerically using the Runge-Kutta method
- solve for the root of a nonlinear equation using Newton's rule
- solve a set of linear algebraic equations for the unknowns using matrices
- solve a set of nonlinear equations for the unknowns
In the process you will be able to utilize the following functions in Excel, MatLab, and Maple:
- Apply the least squares method to determine the coefficients for the proposed equation and to determine the best fit equation by comparing the sum of the square of the errors and the r 2value using following built-in functions:Ê SLOPE, INTERCEPT, Trendline in Excel
- Calculate the integral of a function numerically using the trapezoidal rule in Excel and quad in MatLab
- Solve ordinary differential equations in Excel and MatLab using the Runge-Kutta method
- Find the roots of a nonlinear equation using the GoalSeek / Solver function in Excel
- Solve a set of nonlinear equations using Solve in Maple
No matter what career you pursue, the ability to critically think and communicate effectively are just as important as your technical abilities. In CHE1205, you will also learn to communicate and document your solutions effectively and compile your projects into a well-organized notebook. This notebook will serve as your personal reference guide to the application of various mathematical tools and programs in (Excel, MatLab, Maple) for your later courses.