Pre-requisites: A Level Maths and Chemistry

Aims/Description: The unit aims to develop core skills in molecular and thermal transport and molecular separations building on knowledge gained in the first year of the degree program. The course introduces the fundamental principles of analysis of fluid flow and fluid systems including control volume analysis, differential equations for developed flows and their solution, internal flows systems, non-Newtonian fluid flow, compressible nozzle and duct flow, external flows and steady particle motion in a fluid. Principles of thermal radiation and design methods and practice for basic heat exchange systems are introduced, including consideration of heat transfer equipment with phase change. Background in mass transfer beginning with molecular diffusion in gases, liquids and solids is developed, including kinetic theory of gases. Links are made between the transport of momentum, heat and mass. Students are introduced to the idea of the driving force rooted in chemical potential and prediction of diffusivities in liquids and gasses. Convective mass transfer is also covered and the mass transfer coefficient is introduced. Correlations and their role in predicting mass transfer coefficients are introduced. Dimensional analysis is used to illustrate the pertinent dimensionless groups in mass transfer. This then leads to the analysis of mass transfer over various systems such as single spheres and flat plates, as well as packed beds and channels. The principles for both continuous and stage-wise separation equipment are introduced, as underpinned by equilibrium, with special focus on absorption. Students are introduced to the operating line and graphical analysis to find exit concentrations. The dialectical relationship between equilibrium and mass transfer is discussed. Five key separation processes, namely distillation, absorption, liquid-liquid extraction, adsorption and chromatography are covered along with an introduction to bioseparations.

Staff Contact: Dr J Macinnes
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Tutorials, Problem solving, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Chemical and Biological Engineering):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

URLs used in these pages are subject to year-on-year change. For this reason we recommend that you do not bookmark these pages or set them as favourites.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK