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Transport Processes (CHEN20009)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeCHEN20009
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject covers fundamental concepts of diffusion and conservation within momentum, heat and mass transport. Use of these concepts is integral to the profession of Chemical Engineering. For example, heat exchangers are used throughout Chemical Engineering processes to transfer thermal energy from one stream to another. Knowledge of heat transport and momentum transport (ie fluid flow) is required to design key pieces of Chemical Engineering process equipment, including heat exchangers and distillation columns. Similarly, knowledge of mass transport is required to design other key Chemical Engineering processes, including membrane filtration units and other separation processes.


The specific technical material covered in the course is as follows: Within momentum transport specific topics include Newton’s law of viscosity, viscosity of gases and liquids, conservation of momentum, velocity distributions in simple laminar flows, boundary layer concepts, turbulence and the Reynolds number. Within heat transport specific topics include Fourier’s law of conduction, thermal conductivities of gases, liquids and solids, conservation of thermal energy, steady-state temperature distributions in simple geometries, heat transfer resistance, thermal boundary layer concepts, the Nusselt and Prandtl numbers, definition and use of heat transfer coefficients, and analysis of simple heat exchangers. Within mass transport specific topics include Fick’s first law of diffusion, diffusivities of gases, liquids and solids, binary mixture diffusion and conservation of mass, concentration distributions in simple binary systems (including identifying appropriate boundary conditions), concentration boundary layer concepts, Schmidt and Sherwood numbers, and definition and use of mass transfer coefficients.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Describe the fundamental concepts of momentum, heat and mass transfer
  • Understand the roles of transport processes in chemical and biochemical process equipment
  • Appreciate how material molecular processes affect macroscopic transport properties
  • Formulate transport processes problems relevant to chemical and biochemical systems, deriving the equations that describe these systems and the assumptions that support these equations
  • Perform simple laboratory experiments that deepen and amplify theoretical concepts.

Generic skills


Last updated: 10 August 2019