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Chemical Process Analysis (CHEN20011)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeCHEN20011
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject introduces students to important chemical engineering processes both on the large plant-wide scale and at the single unit operation scale. Students learn how to read process flow diagrams and process and instrumentation diagrams. Process measurement and instrumentation is also covered.

Chemical engineering thermodynamics is introduced through some of the most common quantities of temperature, pressure, enthalpy and entropy. Industrially important thermodynamic cycles are included. The importance of phase behaviour and the ability to predict the behaviour of real gases is covered. Students are introduced to homogeneous reactions and basic ideal reactor types. These concepts are then used to understand basic Chemical Engineering unit operations.

Students are also introduced to steady-state and unsteady-state process simulations using simple spreadsheet packages and commercial-scale simulation packages and basic programming. Being able to simulate simple material and energy balances allows the students to optimally design processes to meet safety and sustainability requirements. The subject will include exercises in process optimisation and the solution of ill-defined process problems.

This subject together with Material and Energy Balances provides the basis for all the chemical engineering subjects that follow. The calculations introduced in these subjects are the most common type of calculations performed by professional chemical engineers working in all sectors of industry.


Important industry processes and unit operations. Interpretation of process flow diagrams, process and instrumentation diagrams. Commonly used process instrumentation and basic process control.

Thermodynamic topics include definitions of important quantities including temperature, pressure, enthalpy and entropy, thermodynamic cycles, phase behaviour, gases, liquids and vapours, P-V-T diagrams of pure substances, ideal and real gas behaviour, use of compressibility factor and generalized compressibility factor charts, equations of state, physical property estimation including vapour pressure and humidity. Homogeneous reactions and basic reactor types.

Training in the use of a commercially-available process simulation package to perform simple material and energy balance calculations and basic programming.

Designing for process safety and sustainability.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Understand reactions in ideal reactors
  2. Be able to model material and energy flows around reacting chemical systems using an appropriate modelling software package
  3. Define and scope engineering problems and formulate suitable strategies for problem solution
  4. Model real gas behaviour
  5. Be able to develop and interpret process flow diagrams, piping and instrumentation diagrams
  6. Be able to apply basic thermodynamic relationships to real problems
  7. Be able to discuss the principles of sustainable design and development 
  8. Be able to recognize the difference between safe and unsafe industrial practices

Generic skills

  • Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance
  • Understand the principles of sustainable design and development.

Last updated: 10 August 2019