MEng Chemical Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Science of Formulation

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEN40441
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Thermodynamic properties of fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interfaces; adsorption at interfaces, capillarity, Laplace equation, Ostwald ripening, contact angles, interfacial instabilities.

Surfactant and polymer solution thermodynamics, molecular structure and phase diagrams/mesophases.

Mechanical and transport properties of interfaces and mesophases.

Behaviour of complex systems involving interfaces and adsorbed surfactant layers: emulsions and microemulsions.

Mechanism of crystallization, kinetics and process design of crystallization 

Applications to industrial processes 


Introduce the science underlying colloidal and interfacial phenomena Show how interfaces in heterogeneous mixtures are of importance in the understanding of structure, stability and transfer processes 

Learning outcomes

ILO 1. Gain an overview over important consumer products that are based on colloidal systems or interfacial interactions such as in the food, pharma industry.

ILO 2. Compare the molecular, thermodynamic and mechanical properties of interfaces and colloidal systems.

ILO 3. Identify the relevant interfacial properties in the context of a complex industrial formulated products and their process

ILO 4. Evaluate the relevance of available lab-based experimental techniques in the context of a practical industrial problem

ILO 5. Utilize physical intuition to predict multiphase system behaviour

ILO 6. Summarize theoretical concepts and apply them to solve industrial problems related to colloidal systems and crystallization processes.

ILO 7. Acquire the judgment and decision-making skill based on limited interfacial experimental data 

ILO 8. Explain concepts about interface and colloid science to a chemical engineering audience 

Assessment methods

Assessment Types

Total Weighting





Final Exam


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 36
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ashwin Kumar Rajagopalan 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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