Chemical engineering is an area of chemical engineering that deals mainly with the study of the design and functionality of chemical manufacturing and facilities. Chemical engineers apply theories of thermodynamics, kinetics, chemical bonding, fluid mechanics, and electronics to efficiently design, develop, manufacture, and operate chemical products. The main function of chemical engineers is to improve the quality of materials used in the manufacture of chemicals and other compounds. Other functions of chemical engineers include development of new materials and equipments. They implement their ideas into novel construction and design for chemical product industries.
Chemical engineering was first recognized as a separate branch of science in gases and fuels in the early 1900s. Later, it was acknowledged as a subdivision of chemistry. The developments in various branches of chemistry led to the application of various techniques in the area of chemical engineering. Thus, several theories of heat, light, electricity, sound, and motion were clarified by the applications of these natural principles. Later on, these chemical engineering and technology concepts gave birth to many useful technologies.
One such breakthrough in chemical engineering and technology was the recognition of the importance of energy dissipation in the efficient performance of various processes in the chemical industry. This led to the development of new types of machinery and devices that consume lesser energy to carry out the same tasks. An integrated strategy for the efficient utilization of energy, water, and space was also developed. These processes are vital for the smooth running of the chemical industry.
Chemical engineers must be equipped with both the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to design, develop, and maintain the machines and facilities essential in the chemical engineering and technology. A degree in chemical engineering and technology is usually a two-year program. The first year covers lectures on organic chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, and physical laws applicable to gases, solvents, fluids, and other solutes. In the second year, students apply their learning by participating in projects focusing on practical problems arising in chemical engineering and technology. During the course of the study, several core courses are also offered, which prepare the student for his career. These include solid state batteries and semiconductor technology.
The trainees who successfully complete the two-year program are awarded a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering disciplines. Achieving this objective requires a comprehension of the major topics in the field of chemical engineering. Important topics included physical sciences, crystal chemistry, organic chemistry, electronic chemistry, and biological chemistry. Students are also given an overview of the basic research practices, teaching methods, and practical details regarding the topics they studied.
Specializations in chemical engineering and technology are gaining widespread popularity because of their wide-ranging applications in numerous fields. Two of the most important fields affected by chemical engineering and technology processes are energy production and pharmaceuticals. Due to their interdependence in processes and products, these two processes need detailed knowledge of both physics and chemistry. As part of their training, students learn the theoretical concepts through lectures, hands-on laboratory activities, internships, and independent study.
Aside from the practical application of knowledge learned in chemical engineering degrees, chemical engineers may also be involved in the development of new processes, products, or products. These may include innovations in the fields of manufacturing and nanotechnology. Manufacturing processes and products, for instance, have become quite complex due to nanotechnology and genetic engineering. Pharmaceutical engineers can be credited for the discovery of many medicines that are crucial in treating diseases. Chemical reactions are also responsible for the formation of innumerable materials such as fuels, lubricants, polymers, plastics, and fabrics.
As technology continues to develop and grow, industries require engineers with a broad understanding of the subject. Chemical engineering degrees provide the foundation necessary in this regard. Graduates are expected to be able to identify problems related to emerging technologies and devise solutions. The resulting innovations provided by chemical engineers will hopefully benefit mankind.