79591 - Fundamentals and Applications Of Process Engineering T

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

The course is an introduction to basic mass and heat balances for process industry operations. Applications will be focussed on the processes involving modifications of physical-chemical properties of the system; typically on energy production, materials, waste treatment.

Course contents


A prior knowledge and understanding of basic general Chemistry and Thermodynamics is required to attend with profit this course.

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and main part of  study material will be in Italian


  1. The chemical plant: flowcharts. Process classification: batch, continuous, semi-batch; steady-state and transient operational modes.
  2. The state of material and energy streams. Process variables: composition variables, flow rate variables, relationships, units. Extensive and intensive properties, partial molar properties. The ideal mixture: application of Euler theorem.

  3. The integral balance equation of an extensive property: accumulation, generation, input and output.

  4. Mass balances for a single unit, for reactive and non-reactive systems, in steady-state and transient conditions, in batch processes. The reaction coordinate. Limiting and excess reactants, fractional conversion, extent of reaction, selectivity and yield. Basis of calculation and process scale-up variables. Degree of freedom analysis. Calculations for typical process and energy industry unit operations.

  5. The integral balance equation of energy: synthesis. Simplifications for the solution of typical process engineering problems.

  6. Energy balances on a single unit, for reactive and non-reactive systems. Enthalpy calculation for pure substances: thermodynamic tables and diagrams, ideal gas heat capacity, latent heats. Selection of the most useful reference state for calculation.

    Basics of Thermochemistry: standard state, heats of reaction, standard heats of reaction, standard heats of formation, standard heats of combustion. Literature data.

    Heat balances for multi-components systems in the case of ideal mixtures and of ideal gas mixtures. Calculation of heat power in chemical reactors. Energy balances on turbines and compressors; calculation of outlet conditions; efficiency.

  7. Fuels: general features. Classification of solid, liquid and gas fuels. Characteristics of oil. Renewable fuels. Fuels from waste. Biogas. Biodiesel.

    Combustion chemistry: excess air, composition of flue gas on wet and dry basis. Heating value and adiabatic flame temperature. Calculations.

  8. Simultaneous mass and energy balances on multiple-units processes in steady-state conditions. Main streams of the process: fresh and combined feed, purge, recycle. Single-pass and overall conversion. Main units; mixers and splitters. Degree of freedom analysis. Calculations for typical processes: fuel pretreatments, steam production for power plants, energy recovery from flue gas, power cycles, refrigeration cycles, gas liquefaction.

  9. Gas-liquid systems: the case of one-condensable component; dew point and dew pressure, relative and absolute humidity. Raoult’s law and calculation of dew conditions. Solutions of refrigeration and de-humidification problems.



  • R.M.Felder, R.W.Rousseau, Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, J.Wiley & Sons, New York, 3rd ed., 2000.

  • F.P.Foraboschi, Principi di Ingegneria Chimica, UTET, Torino ( cap.I)

  • O.A. Hougen, K.M. Watson, R.A.Ragatz, Principi dei processi chimici, vol.1, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 1967.

  • Teacher’s notes uploaded in AMS Campus.

Teaching methods

In-class lessons and tutorial.

Assessment methods


Examination is composed of 1 written section. Numerical solution of heat and mass balances is required; calculation of thermodynamic properties of pure substances as well as of liquid/vapour mixtures is required also.

Reference data, books, and other notes are not allowed, neither personal computer, nor mobile phones, etc..

Maximum score: 34/30; minimum score for a passing grade: 18/30.


A positive score can be repeated (only one call).

Office hours

See the website of Serena Bandini