Unit 6: Chemical Engineering

Students explore the field of Chemical Engineering: the discipline which involves the transformation of raw materials to finished products. Students experience how chemical engineers take materials that are not desirable or not useful and use their knowledge of math and science to transform them into products that are needed. Students learn elements of process design, process monitoring, and product characterization as they complete a group project in Chemical Engineering.

6.1 Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Students learn about Chemical Engineering, how chemical engineers scale up processes, and about process flow diagrams.

6.2 Chemical Engineering Project Introduction

Students learn about the process of growing algae in a photobioreactor for use as a biofuel.

6.3 Spectrophotometers

Students build their own spectrophotometer that will allow them to measure the concentration of algae in their photobioreactor.

6.4 Photobioreactors

Students design and build a photobioreactor to grow algae that could be used for biodeisel production.  Students must use their understanding of the needs of algae in their photobioreactor design.

6.5 Spectrophotometer Calibration

Students calibrate their spectrophotometers so that they can relate the measured resistance to algae concentration.

6.6 Transesterification and Product Characterization

Students observe the transesterification reaction to transform vegetable oil into biodiesel.  They perform product characterization to compare the properties of biodiesel, diesel, and vegetable oil.

6.7 Chemical Engineering Student Presentations

Students present their research into a technology they have chosen that is related to Chemical Engineering.

  • Lesson Plan (6.7 Student Presentations on Chemical Engineering Technology)
  • In Class
    • Assignment 6.7.1: Presentation Summaries
  • Homework
6.8 Chemical Engineering Project Memo

Students complete their Chemical Engineering project by writing a memo report explaining what they have done.

  • Lesson Plan (6.8 Chemical Engineering Project Memo)
  • In Class
  • Homework
    • Review for unit quiz.
6.9 Chemical Engineering Review and Unit Quiz

Students review for and take a quiz on the Chemical Engineering unit.