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MEng Chemical Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Chemical Reactor Design

Unit code CHEN20141
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science
Available as a free choice unit? No


  • Introduction to Chemical Reactor Design (CRD): Importance, example application areas and basic definitions.
  • Rate laws, stoichiometry, reaction rates and reaction order.
  • General mole balance for ideal reactors including Batch, CSTR and PFR.
  • Design appropriate reactor configurations for simple and complex reaction chemistries, including gas reactions, recycle reactor, CSTRs in series and autocatalytic reactions.
  • Effect of reactor type on product distribution in multiple reactions including series and parallel reactions.
  • Design of adiabatic and non-adiabatic reactors.
  • Optimum temperature progression for reversible exothermic reactions.
  • Reactor stability, pressure effects, feed composition effects and reactor safety.

Examples used throughout this unit will demonstrate the use of the principles taught on process and bioprocess engineering.


The unit aims to:

To introduce and develop an understanding of reaction rate kinetics and apply this to the design of process reactors for homogeneous systems.  


Learning outcomes

1.Explain and derive simple differentiated and integrated rate equations for series, parallel and reversible chemical reactions.

2.Explain and derive mass and heat balance equations for the main types of industrial reactors (batch, PFR, CSTR).

3.Use quantitative methods to design and size reactors for homogeneous reaction schemes.

4.Explain the main drivers in economic and safe reactor design.

5.Analyse and evaluate scientific and engineering information and identify knowledge gaps and opportunities to design a reactor system for simple and more complex reactions.

Teaching and learning methods

Half of the contact hours in this unit will be lectures and the remaining half will be in the form of problem-based tutorials. All lecture notes will be posted on Blackboard and the online discussion board will be used as appropriate.  Students will be assessed via two in-class tests and an exam containing short answer essay and problem solving questions.


Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting
Continuous assessment 30%
Exam style assessment 70%


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 14
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Hosameldin Anwar Mohamed Abdel Aleem Unit coordinator
Philip Martin Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

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