chemical engineering scope note


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chemical engineering scope n

Fund 4552

Peggy White

February 28, 2003


Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering serving those industries that
chemically convert basic raw materials into a variety of products, and dealing with the
ign and operation of plants and equipment to form such work; all products are
formed in chemical processes involving chemical reactions carried out under a wide
range of conditions and frequently accompanied by changes in physical state or form.
(Parker, S
ybil ed. Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, McGraw Hill, 5

ed. p.355

Chemical Engineering is the most broadly based of engineering disciplines and involves
the design and operation of a variety of plants and processes. For example, chemical
ngineers design and oversee the processes involved in producing clothing fibers and
dyes, leather, pharmaceuticals, refined petroleum products plastics, and even the
semiconductor chips in computers. (UofC Faculty of Engineering, Department of
Chemical & P
etroleum Engineering,
March 5, 2003

Petroleum engineering is the application of almost all types of engineering to the drilling
for and product
ion of oil, gas and liquefiable hydrocarbons. (Parker, p.1482)

Oil and Gas Engineering

Involves the production of oil and gas in an economical and environmentally safe
manner. The Oil and Gas engineer evaluates reservoirs using reservoir description and
odeling techniques, oversees drilling operations, designs integrated strategies for
primary and improved recovery schemes, and designs hydrocarbon production treating
facilities. Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, Annual Report 2000, p.15

Teaching Focus

ndergraduate programs

Chemical engineering,

Chemical engineering, petroleum minor

Oil and Gas engineering

chemical engineering scope note


Graduate programs

Chemical engineering


specialization in petroleum reservoir engineering


specialization in engineering for the environment

Oil an
d Gas engineering

Environmental Engineering

Research Focus: Areas of Research

(Bolded areas are linked to the areas of prominence and promise in the Academic Plan)

Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology

Biotechnology is the application of scientific and e
ngineering principles to the
processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and service.

Traditionally, biochemical engineering has referred to the extension of chemical
engineering principles to systems using a biological catalyst to brin
g about a
red chemical transformation.

Biochemical engineering is usually subdivided into bioreaction engineering and
separations. It may be viewed as a subset of

biotechnology, in which the
primary engineering techniques are those belonging to
chemical engineering.

Research at the U of C includes

Mathematical modeling and optimization of bioreactors with complex
biokinetics, bioreactor design

Bioremediation through the use of microorganisms

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is a di
scipline that advances knowledge in engineering,
biology and medicine, and improves human health through cross
activities that integrate the engineering sciences with the biomedical sciences
and clinical practice.

It includes:

The acquisiti
on of new knowledge and understanding of living systems
through the innovative and substantive application of experimental and
analytical techniques based on the engineering sciences.


Sukan. F., & Sukan, S. (1992). Recent Advances in Biotec
hnology. Kluwer Academic Publishers


Shuler, M., & Kargi, F. (1992). Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts. Prentice Hall

chemical engineering scope note


The development of new devices, algorithms, processes and systems that
advance biology and medicine and improve medical practice and health care

Research at the U of C includes

Modeling of fluid flow of b
lood, Biomedical and tissue engineering, cell
culture including growing brain stem cells, tomographic imaging of bone and

Catalysis and Fuel Cells
Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that directly
convert fuel and oxygen to electricity. Catalys
ts are an integral part of the
electrodes at which the oxygen and fuel are electrochemically reacted in a
fuel cell. Catalysts are also used upstream of the fuel cell to reform the fuel.
Fuel reforming is necessary to improve the efficiency of the fuel cel

Dr. Josephine Hill’s research covers improved catalysts in the use of fuel

Environmental Engineering

Spans the faculty with over 75 full and part
time students enrolled in
Chemical/Petroleum, Civil, Geomatics and Mechanical/Manufacturing

15 Faculty are involved in this program.

Wide variety of research projects including, control of greenhouse gas emission,
remediation of contaminated sites, control of air and water emissions from
industrial facilities, surface and groundwater
quality, air quality, improving
efficiency in chemical and electrical chemical processes through improved
catalysis and fuel cell technology, increasing liquid yields from fluid coking of
bitumen, purification processes.

Gas Hydrates (alternative energy)

as hydrates are crystalline compounds that belong to a group of solids called
clathrate formed from mixtures of water and low molar gases at high pressures
and low temperatures. The hydrate forming gases include light alkanes,
(methane to iso
butane), carb
on dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen and oxygen.

Gas hydrates are important as an energy resource and as a factor in global
climate change.

chemical engineering scope note


The research group has focused on the thermodynamics and kinetics of gas
hydrate formation and decomposition.
Studies have included modeling of
hydrate formation simulating various conditions.

Modeling, Simulation and Control

Modeling and simulation occurs in most of the research areas. Examples include
flow of fluids through pipes, modeling of combustion process
es, modeling and
control of fluidized catalytic cracking units, modeling multiphase flow in porous
media, modeling completion and production engineering problems, modeling of
asphaltene, dynamic simulation and plant wide control of chemical processes,
modynamic modeling of the combustion of oil shale, gas
solid reaction
modeling, simulation of chemical processes.

Natural Gas Processing & Membrane Separations

Natural gas is a complex mixture of hydrocarbon and non
hydrocarbon gases.
Great variability occ
urs around the world, within a basin and even between wells.
Membranes are used as filters to separate unwanted particles out of the gas.
Membranes compete with other proven technologies as a method of enhancing
recovery. (Dr. Chakma)

Petroleum Recovery, R
eservoir Engineering & Reservoir Characterization

Almost the entire department is involved in these areas one way or another. The
main research groups are

Enhanced oil recovery from conventional oil reservoirs

Improved recovery from natural gas reservoirs

tomography of porous media.

Technologies for heavy oil and oil sand characterization

Novel reactors for wastewater and air treatment

Areas include, advanced core analysis, water influx in gas reservoirs, non
thermal recovery of heavy oil, foamy oil

propagation, NMR core analysis, gravity
assisted immiscible gas injection, reservoir characterization, miscibility
enhancement processes, model of water and gas coning, polymer gel and foam
technologies, bacteria induces plugging, water flooding, bitumen
and oil sand
characterization, network modeling of flow through porous media, centrifuge
technologies, thin section image analysis and coal bed methane development.

chemical engineering scope note


Polymer Processing and Rheology

The focus of research in this area is in powder processin
g, powder densification,
aggregate formation and characterization of oil field chemicals and other
complex materials. (Celine Bellehumeur)

Thermodynamics, Phase Equilibrium and Transport Properties

Thermodynamics is the analysis of energy relationships. I
t is concerned with
equilibrium conditions of initial and final states of chemical changes as affected
by temperature. It is the foundation on which kinetics is built. Similar to reaction
kinetics, research in this area looks at improving this relationship

Examples include research into thermodynamics of bitumen and heavy oil,
transport property prediction, prediction of phase behavior.

Reaction Kinetics and reactor engineering

Kinetics covers the rate of change of a chemical the initial to final state.
The rate
of change and the difficulty in achieving the change are important factors in the
economics of producing a particular product. Research in this area looks at
improving the rate of change through the use of different catalysts, processes or
s. Most of chemical engineering has research dealing with reaction

Examples include, thermal cracking kinetics of conventional and heavy oil,
fluidized bed reactors, bioreactors, spouted and spout
fluid reactors, chemical
reactor engineering, me
mbrane reactors, polymer reactor engineering.

Note: Research into thermodynamics and kinetics is overlapping and most of the
faculty are involved to some degree in this area.

Research Collections:

Artic Institute of North America


pecific indu
stries such as clay

and textiles.

Also areas such as food processing, fermentation, illuminating non

At the U of C, the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering is heavily focused
on petroleum and gas production. A second interest is
biochemical, biotechnology

chemical engineering scope note


Interdisciplinary Considerations:

Enhanced Oil Recovery, Environment, and Bioengineering/Biotechnology span a number
of areas including Medicine, Kinesiology, Chemistry, Geology and Geophysics and EVDS.

Other interdisc
iplinary areas might include history, policy, laws and regulation and the
economics of a particular area of engineering such as petroleum. These constitute
potential gaps.

Finally, all of engineering is heavily interdisciplinary.

No specific agreement
with other funds exists.

Selection Notes


Scholarly monographs, textbooks, conference proceedings, academic journals, selected
handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, theses and standards

Mostly current, (latest 10 yrs)

Mostly North American, B

Duplication of heavily used titles

Key Publishers

Oxford, Elsevier,
Kluwer, McGraw Hill, Springer, Wiley, *Society of Petroleum Engineers

Editions Technip

*buy almost everything