MEng Chemical Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Process Integration

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEN20082
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The use of energy to produce products is fundamental in the chemical process industries. Energy sources such as gas, oil, and coal are becoming increasingly costly, and also lead to environmental problems. Minimising the use of external heating and cooling sources and making the most efficient use of available energy is a cornerstone in the design of chemical processes.

This unit will briefly examine the various types of heat exchanger devices available to transfer heat between streams in chemical processes, and evaluate factors that contribute to the overall specification and design of these heat exchange devices, including heat transfer coefficients, pressure drops, and temperature differences.

The unit will also evaluate opportunities to minimise and target energy use prior to the detailed design of the energy exchange (or heat exchanger) network. Such targets can be used to scope and screen many design options quickly and effectively without having to carry out the designs. Methodologies, including the well established Pinch Analysis, are developed and evaluated for both new design and retrofit (existing design) scenarios. Once design options have been chosen using targets (both energy and capital), then systematic procedures allow the targets to be achieved in practice. The external heating and cooling requirements of the chemical process can also be evaluated and included in this design. The use and design of fired heaters in providing external heating to chemical processes will be considered in some detail.


The unit aims to:

Examine, understand, and evaluate the use of heat exchangers, including networks of heat exchangers, within chemical processes in order to maximise heat recovery, and with regards to operating and capital costs. The unit will evaluate techniques to determine the effective use of energy within chemical processes, maximising heat recovery and minimising the use of external heating and cooling utilities. Techniques will be developed for the design of networks of heat exchangers within chemical processes that meet targeted minimum energy requirements. Additional heating and cooling requirements of chemical processes will be evaluated, and suitable types of hot and cold utilities required to meet this requirement will be appraised. Methods of integrating hot and cold utilities into chemical processes will be assessed. Capital costs of heat recovery will be examined with the use of area targeting approaches. Detailed design of fired heaters will be examined.

Learning outcomes

ILO 1: Assess the sources and sinks of energy contained in chemical processes and the significance of effective integration to achieve energy efficiency

ILO 2: Develop, evaluate, and demonstrate the targeting methodologies available to heat integrate chemical processes in order to maximise heat recovery, minimise externally sourced energy use, and improve energy efficiency

ILO 3: Appraise and assess the implications of the process pinch on heat recovery and external energy use,  and the heat integration potential on the design of heat exchanger networks

ILO 4: Develop, evaluate, and demonstrate methods of heat exchanger network design in order to achieve maximum targeted heat recovery and minimum externally sourced  energy use in chemical processes

ILO 5: Evaluate the sources of heating and cooling supply utilities, and demonstrate and assess methods of heating and cooling supply utilities integration into chemical processes and heat exchanger networks

ILO 6: Examine and evaluate capital cost implications of heat recovery by area targeting techniques

ILO 7: Assess and demonstrate models of fired heater designs for the production of high temperature heat sources for chemical processes

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures provide fundamental aspects supporting the critical learning of the module and will be delivered as pre-recorded asynchronous short videos via our virtual learning environment.

Synchronous sessions will support the lecture material with Q&A and problem-solving sessions where you can apply the new concepts. Surgery hours are also available for drop-in support.

Students are expected to expand the concepts presented in the session and online by additional reading (suggested in the Online Reading List) in order to consolidate their learning process and further stimulate their interest to the module.

Study budget:

  • Core Learning Material (e.g. recorded lectures, problem solving sessions): 24 hours
  • Self-Guided Work (e.g. continuous assessment, extra problems, reading): 44 hours
  • Exam Style Assessment Revision and Preparation: 32 hours

Assessment methods

Assessment Types

Total Weighting

Continuous assessment


Exam style assessments


Please note that the exam style assessments weighting may be split over midterm and end of semester exams.

Feedback methods

Feedback on problems and examples, feedback on coursework and exams, and model answers will also be provided through the virtual learning environment. A discussion board provides an opportunity to discuss topics related to the material presented in the module.

Recommended reading

Reading lists are accessible through the Blackboard system linked to the library catalogue.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Salman Shahid Unit coordinator
Simon Perry Unit coordinator

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