1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (CHEN90007)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCHEN90007
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject comprehensively covers the thermodynamics of chemical and physical systems of relevance to chemical engineers.

The laws of thermodynamics, which govern energy and the direction of energy flow, are amongst the most important fundamentals of chemical engineering that students learn during their course. This subject revises and expands the students’ understanding of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, from both classical and statistical perspectives. Students learn about the concepts of entropy and equilibrium in detail, which form the basis for the topics of phase equilibrium, mixture properties, mixture equilibrium, reaction equilibrium and interfacial equilibrium.

The concepts covered by this subject provide the fundamental basis for chemical and process engineering and are utilised throughout all sectors of industry by engineers. This subject provides students with the ability to perform detailed calculations of complex systems to predict the performance of process unit operations, to aid in their design and operation.


This subject focuses on the definitions and applications of the laws of thermodynamics, especially the implications of entropy and equilibrium on phases, mixtures, chemical reactions and interfaces:

  • First law of thermodynamics.
  • Second law of thermodynamics and entropy.
  • Phase equilibria of pure substances, including fugacity.
  • Mixtures and phase equilibria of mixtures, including activity coefficients and vapour-liquid equilibrium.
  • Chemical reactions and reaction equilibria.
  • Interfacial thermodynamics.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to


  • Apply the laws of thermodynamics to closed and open systems including thermodynamic cycles
  • Apply a range of approaches to estimate fluid phase equilibria in one and two component systems
  • Estimate the physical properties of mixtures, especially non-ideal mixtures
  • Predict the equilibria of chemical reactions
  • Identify the different rate controlling mechanisms in reactor design
  • Design key aspects of heterogeneous reacting systems and in particular, catalytic reactor systems.

Generic skills

During this subject the student will practice the ability to:

  • Provide in-depth technical competence in engineering fundamentals
  • Undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance.

Last updated: 4 September 2019