Chemical Engineering Aspects – A Visual Explanation through GIFs

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Chemical engineering applies the natural sciences and life sciences together with mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals, materials and energy. It also deals with the engineering of chemicals, energy and the processes that create and/or convert them. Modern chemical engineering is concerned with processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. They are also concerned with pioneering valuable materials and related techniques which are often essential to related fields such as nanotechnology, fuel cells and bioengineering. The varying aspects of chemical engineering play a vital role and the feature explains the chemical engineering aspects with the help of animations.

Heat Transfer

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Heat transfer describes the exchange of thermal energy, between physical systems depending on the temperature and pressure, by dissipating heat. Systems which are not isolated may decrease in entropy. This chemical engineering aspect leads to the emittance of infrared thermal radiation near room temperature in more objects. The fundamental modes of heat transfer are conduction or diffusion, convection, advection and radiation. The first animation shows how the heat circulates in the process of convection. The second animation shows the process of conduction in non-metals.

Mass Transfer

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Mass transfer is the net movement of mass from one location, usually meaning a stream, phase, fraction or component, to another. Mass transfer occurs in many processes, such as absorption precipitation, membrane filtration, and distillation. Mass transfer is used by different scientific disciplines for different processes and mechanisms. The phrase is commonly used in engineering for physical processes that involve diffusive and convective transport of chemical species within physical systems. In industrial processes, mass transfer operations include separation of chemical components in distillation columns, absorbers such as scrubbers, adsorbers such as activated carbon beds, and liquid-liquid extraction. The animation shows the impact point of the mass transfer stream for varying accretion disk radii.

Momentum Transfer

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Momentum transfer is the amount of momentum that one particle gives to another particle. The animation shows the collision and the transfer of momentum of the bigger vehicle towards the smaller one. Just like this example, during chemical engineering process, the particles transfer their momentum to each other.

Chemical Kinetics

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This aspect of chemical engineering studies the rates of reaction of the chemical processes. Chemical kinetics includes investigations of how different experimental conditions can influence the speed of a chemical reaction and yield information about the reaction's mechanism and transition states, as well as the construction of mathematical models that can describe the characteristics of a chemical reaction. Chemical kinetics deals with the experimental determination of reaction rates from which rate laws and rate constants are derived. The animation shows how a single larger particle collides with a set of 14 smaller particles over a simulated time frame.

Chemical Process Modeling Image Courtesy:

Another aspect of chemical engineering that plays an important role as it uses various purpose-built software to define a system of interconnected components which are then solved so that the steady-state or dynamic behavior of the system can be predicted. Chemical process modeling requires knowledge of the properties of the chemicals involved in the simulation, as well as the physical properties and characteristics of the components of the system. The animation shows the thermoforming modeling carried out during polymer processing.

Process Design

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In relation to chemical engineering, the aspect of process design concerns with the designing of processes for physical or chemical transformation of materials. Process design can be the design of new facilities or it can be the modification or expansion of existing facilities. The design starts at a conceptual level and ultimately ends in the form of fabrication and construction plans. The animation shows the process design in twin screw extruder and the results help in identifying areas of high temperature caused by viscous heating. The quality of mixing is computed by unsteady particle tracking and statistical analysis.

Fluid Dynamics Image Courtesy:

Fluid dynamics offers a systematic structure that embraces empirical and semi-empirical laws derived from flow measurement and used to solve practical problems. The solution to a fluid dynamics problem typically involves calculating various properties of the fluid, such as velocity, pressure, density, and temperature, as functions of space and time. The animation shows a magnetorheological fluid solidifying and blocking a pipe in response to an external magnetic field.

24028   26/08/2014

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