Chemical engineers change raw materials into valuable products on an industrial scale
Chemical engineers are concerned with PROCESSES and PRODUCTS.
- Making chemicals and pharmaceuticals
- Processing polymers and foodstuffs
- Energy generation
- Wastewater treatment
- Environmental clean-up
- Inventing a new process
- Designing the equipment for a process
- Operating a process
- Improving a process
- Chemicals - petrol, ammonia, methanol
- Polymers - polythene, PVC, synthetic fibres
- Consumer products - shampoo, washing powder
- Foodstuffs - ice cream, chocolate, beer
- Pharmaceuticals - paracetamol, penicillin
- Choosing a product for an application
- Designing the product
- Improving the product
Chemical engineers know how transformations occur at different lengthscales.
- Chemical reactions
- Changes in physical state (e.g. melting, boiling)
- Mixing and separating
- Molecular level - how molecules behave and react
- Process level - how transformations can be performed
- Plant level - how processes can be put together
- Global level - logistics, management, the environment
Chemical engineers know about mature and new technologies.
- Stirred tanks
- Distillation columns
- Heat exchangers
- Membrane separators and reactors
- Supercritical fluids
- Genetic manipulation of organisms
Chemical engineers have knowledge of many subjects.
- Pure science
- Information technology
- Safety, health and the environment
Chemical engineers are vital in the process industries.
External link: www.whynotchemeng.com gives more information on "what is chemical engineering".