Introduction to Chemical Engineering


Chemical engineering emerged upon the development of unit operations, a fundamental concept of the discipline chemical engineering. Most authors agree that Davis invented unit operations if not substantially developed it. He gave a series of lectures on unit operations at the Manchester Technical School (University of Manchester today) in 1887, considered to be one of the earliest such about chemical engineering. Three years before Davis' lectures, Henry Edward Armstrong taught a degree course in chemical engineering at the City and Guilds of London Institute.

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies the natural (or experimental) sciences (e.g. chemistry and physics) and life sciences (e.g. biologymicrobiology and biochemistry) together with mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals, materials and energy. It essentially deals with the engineering of chemicals, energy and the processes that create and/or convert them. Modern chemical engineers are concerned with processes that convert raw materials or (cheap) chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. They are also concerned with pioneering valuable materials and related techniques – which are often essential to related fields such as nanotechnologyfuel cells and bioengineering.