Chemical engineering

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the application of physical science (e.g. chemistry and physics), with mathematics, to the process of converting raw materialschemicals into more useful or valuable forms. In addition to producing useful materials, chemical engineering is also concerned with pioneering valuable new materials and techniques, an important form of research and development. A person employed in this field is called a chemical engineer. or

Chemical engineering largely involves the design and maintenance of chemical processes for large-scale manufacture. Chemical engineers in this branch are usually employed under the title of process engineer.

History of chemical engineering

In 1824, French physicist Sadi Carnot, in his “On the Motive Power of Fire”, was the first to study the thermodynamics of combustion reactions in steam engines. In the 1850s, German physicist Rudolf Clausius began to apply the principles developed by Carnot to chemicals systems at the atomic to molecular scale.[1] During the years 1873 to 1876 at Yale University, American mathematical physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs, the first to be awarded a Ph.D. in engineering in the U.S., in a series of three papers, developed a mathematical-based, graphical methodology, for the study of chemical systems using the thermodynamics of Clausius. In 1882, German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, published a founding thermodynamics paper, similar to Gibbs, but with more of an electro-chemical basis, in which he showed that measure of chemical affinity, i.e. the “force” of chemical reactions, is determined by the measure of the free energy of the reaction process. Following these early developments, the new science of chemical engineering began to develop. The following timeline shows some of the key steps in the development of the science of chemical engineering:[2]

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