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Principles of Chemical Engineering Design

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General Principles of Chemical Engineering Design

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General Principles of Chemical Engineering Design

Preface

The present work is intended to deal with general principles only, and merely those which apply to chemical engineering, as distinct from other branches. No attempt has been made to exhaust the subject, and the examples given are merely cited to illustrate the points as they arise.

The chemical engineer is frequently described in terms of opprobrium by both the chemist on the one hand and the engineer on the other, and it is sometimes stated that the chemical engineer when in the company of chemists is an engineer, and when in the company of engineers is a chemist. This observation is not surprising, but it simply serves to show that neither the engineer on the one hand nor the chemist on the other understand the scope of chemical engineering, and whilst it is often said that the chemist and the engineer speak in different languages, it might also be stated that the chemical engineer has still another mode of expression.

The principles stated in this monograph are calculated to show a bird's-eye view of the field of problems presented to the designing chemical engineer, and it will quickly be realized that the problems are essentially different from those encountered in either chemical or engineering problems. The lines of demarcation are, of course, not sharp, and chemical engineering spreads itself into chemistry on the one hand and engineering on the other, but the overlap in each case is not so much as to interfere with the work of either the chemist or the engineer.

Still further importance must be attached to the physical aspect of chemical engineering, and it is in this direction particularly that the scientific investigation of chemical engineering requires further development, in order that a scientific knowledge of the functions of chemical plant can accurately be ascertained. The object of any scientific study is purely economic in the sense that systematic knowledge enables us to transfer experience to a new field with the minimum of mental labor. The scientific study of chemical engineering has this object, and this only, and it is only by studying the operation and design of plant along the lines of functional analysis that a proper scientific knowledge can be secured. The practical object of chemical engineering is of course the production of materials at a profit. It is therefore necessary to consider not only factors of a scientific character, but also to take into account economical considerations, upon which the making of profits depends. In the present work, the field is considered only in general lines, in an endeavor to indicate a method of attack on problems which arise. The detailed treatment of the various points will form other contributions to this series of monographs.

INTRODUCTION ....... 7

I THE ESSENTIALS OF A SUCCESSFUL CHEMICAL PLANT 9

II PHYSICAL FACTORS 18

III CHEMICAL FACTORS . . . . . .26

IV MECHANICAL FACTORS . . . . .32

V USE OF EXPERIENCE AND DATA . . .35

VI PRACTICAL FACTORS 43 VII ECONOMIC FACTORS . . . . . .57

VIII THE FINAL DESIGN . 62

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