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Real Chemical Reactions Vertically Integrated Throughout The Curriculum

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.967.1 - 7.967.11



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Paper Authors

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Robert Newland

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Stephanie Farrell

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Robert Hesketh

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C. Stewart Slater

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Kevin Dahm

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1526

Real Chemical Reactions Vertically Integrated Throughout the Curriculum

Robert P. Hesketh, Kevin Dahm, Stephanie Farrell, Mariano Savelski and C. Stewart Slater in Chemical Engineering, and Robert Newland in Chemistry

Rowan University


At Rowan we are putting into practice an emphasis on hands-on experiments throughout the cur- riculum. We are attempting to employ an inductive learning style, in which students first con- duct an experiment and visualize relationships; then they learn the related theory; and finally they design experiments in the engineering clinics.

The pedagogy of teaching chemical reaction engineering is continually advancing through the use of new computational tools such as POLYMATH and MATLAB; interactive computer ap- plications; and a new emphasis in textbooks on relating theory to industrially relevant chemical reactions. What is currently lacking in this area are chemical reaction engineering experiments that employ realistic reaction engineering systems. Nearly all of the reaction engineering ex- periments, reported in the literature, employ simple experiments that can be described using a single overall reaction. In addition most laboratory experiments do not examine the process fluid mechanics of the reactor and how this effects the product distribution. As a result, students only visualize reactors through theory and do not experience realistic reactor systems in their under- graduate courses. This lack of experience eliminates a major engineering challenge in designing and troubleshooting a reactor in which the yield and selectivity are optimized along with the process economics.

In this proposal we will develop several experiments that employ the following features that are currently not being addressed in published reaction engineering experiments: 1) byproduct for- mation, 2) green engineering, 3) scale-up fluid mechanics and 4) equilibrium limited reactions. We will adapt a series of experiments from the research and educational literature using 3 chemical and 1 biological reacting systems. These experiments will be vertically integrated through the following series of courses: chemistry, organic chemistry, and process fluid trans- port, chemical reaction engineering, industrial process pathways, biochemical engineering, and unit operations. We believe that these realistic reactor experiments will produce students with a clear understanding of the fundamental issues in reaction engineering.

Project Description

Reaction engineering is one of the cornerstones of chemical engineering education. In a recent 1 report titled, “Technology Vision 2020: The U.S. Chemical Industry ,” chemical synthesis was recognized as one of the three primary areas within the chemical sciences that requires long term

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copy- 1 right  2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Newland, R., & Farrell, S., & Hesketh, R., & Slater, C. S., & Dahm, K. (2002, June), Real Chemical Reactions Vertically Integrated Throughout The Curriculum Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11182

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