Chemical Engineering

CHEE311: Phase and Reaction Equilibrium

CHEE311 : Phase and Reaction Equilibrium



J. Scott ParentDupuis Hall 409scott.parent@queensu.ca(613) 533-6266


Stuart BaconDup B50stuart.bacon@queensu.ca613-533-6000 x79471
Alexander Fritza.fritz@queensu.ca
Karolina Dawidziuk0kd16@queensu.ca

Course Description

This course is concerned with the application of thermodynamics to practical problems of the chemical industry. Emphasis is placed on the study of phase equilibrium, including vapour-liquid equilibrium and liquid-liquid equilibrium. Contemporary methods of calculating the thermodynamic properties of non-ideal vapours and liquids will be presented and applied. The principles of chemical reaction equilibrium will also be studied. The design component of the course will require students to perform theoretical vapour-liquid equilibrium calculations and recommend proper operating conditions for a single-stage unit (flash drum) that separates a non-ideal binary mixture. Prerequisite: CHEE 210.

Objectives and Outcomes

The principal objective of the course is to provide the necessary tools to help engineers design and operate processes and unit operations in chemical engineering and engineering chemistry. The students will learn how to apply the principles of chemical reaction equilibrium and phase equilibrium to the calculation of complex separation processes.

Specific course learning outcomes (CLO) include:

  1. Identify and understand the principles of chemical equilibrium thermodynamics to solve multiphase equilibria and chemical reaction equilibria.
  2. Analyze the conditions associated with ideal and non-ideal vapour-liquid systems at equilibrium through the construction and interpretation of phase diagrams for ideal and non-ideal binary mixtures.
  3. Use empirical correlations and experimental data to evaluate thermodynamic quantities that relate to the vapour-liquid or liquid-liquid equilibria of ideal and non-ideal chemical mixtures.
  4.  Determine equilibrium constants for chemical reactions and equilibrium point compositions for multiple reaction systems.
  5. Solve single- and multistage separation processes involving non-ideal chemical mixtures using numerical methods and simulations, and recommend appropriate operating conditions.

This course develops the following attributes:

  • Knowledge base for engineering, KB-THE (CLO 1-4):  Constructs phase diagrams for single and multi-component systems, as well as for ideal and non-ideal binary mixtures; uses empirical correlations and experimental data to evaluate thermodynamic quantities that relate to the vapour-liquid or liquid-liquid equilibria; determines equilibrium constants and analyzes the influence of thermodynamic equilibrium on reaction and separation systems; solves single and multi-stage separation processes with non-ideal chemical mixtures.
  • Problem analysis: Selects and applies appropriate quantitative model, analysis and boundary conditions to solve problems (CLO 3-5). 
  • Design: Develops a process or product design incorporating performance requirements and constraints such as quality, yield, reliability, economics, safety, and standards and codes as appropriate (CLO 5).
  • Engineering tools: Selects and applies appropriate software/models/simulations (CLO 5).

Relevance to the Program

This engineering science course covers advanced topics in thermodynamics, which is a fundamental topic of chemical engineering and engineering chemistry. The engineering science skills taught in this course are required for 3rd year courses (Design of Unit Operations; Heat and Mass Transfers) and 4th year courses (Laboratory Projects III; Design of Manufacturing Processes), and form the basis of essential knowledge to understand chemical engineering processes and reactions.

The course assumes knowledge of 2nd year thermodynamic properties of fluids, and requires general applications of engineering and mathematical tools taught in previous years of study.

Course Structure and Activities

3 lecture hours + 1 tutorial hour per week.  Refer to Solus for times and schedules.


“Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics” 7th Ed., by Smith, Van Ness, Abbott

This textbook (referred to as “SVNA”) is available from the campus bookstore in hard copy and e-book formats. The textbook is listed as mandatory, and a hard copy is required for the mid-term and final exams. Previous editions may be used; however contents may not match references listed in course material.

A course reader is available at the campus bookstore. This courseware includes a copy of the syllabus; lecture notes; tutorials; assignments; problem sets; and equations sheets.