Chemical engineering education ( Journal Site )

Material Information

Chemical engineering education
Alternate Title:
Abbreviated Title:
Chem. eng. educ.
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 22-28 cm.
American Society for Engineering Education -- Chemical Engineering Division
Chemical Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education
Publication Date:
annual[ former 1960-1961]


Subjects / Keywords:
Chemical engineering -- Study and teaching -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
serial   ( sobekcm )
periodical   ( marcgt )


Chemical abstracts
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
1960-June 1964 ; v. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 1965)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Publication suspended briefly: issue designated v. 1, no. 4 (June 1966) published Nov. 1967.
General Note:
Title from cover.
General Note:
Place of publication varies: Rochester, N.Y., 1965-1967; Gainesville, Fla., 1968-

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 01151209
lccn - 70013732
issn - 0009-2479
lcc - TP165 .C18
ddc - 660/.2/071
System ID:

Full Text

chmia engineering edcaio


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In fact at Sun Oil we've just adopted a new system
that promotes it. Internal Placement System.
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learn more and you learn faster.

Why do we encourage job hopping? Because
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* know, the stronger we are. Now-you want to
know more? Ask your Placement Director when
a Sun Oil recruiter will be on campus. Or write
for a copy of our Career Guide. SUN OIL
COMPANY, Human Resources Dept. CED.
1608 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.

An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F

Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Editor: Ray Fahien
Associate Editor: Mack Tyner
Business Manager: R. B. Bennett
(904) 392-0881

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Chemical Engineering Education


40 4wa4d .etede 197
Biotechnology-An Old Solution to
New Problems, E. Gaden

2 The Educator
Bruce Finlayson of U. of Washington

4 Departments of Chemical Engineering
University of Waterloo

32 Classroom
An Introductory Design Course for
Engineering Freshmen, G. Younquist

8 Views and Opinions
Some Comments on ChE Laboratory
Courses, J. M. Douglas

31 Book Review

31 News

10 Flow Curve Determination for Non-
Newtonian Fluids,
W. Walawender and T. Chen

16 Teaching Process Synthesis, K. Overholser,
C. Woltz and T. Godbold

22 Preliminary Appraisal of a Self Paced
Laboratory, H. Rase

24 Reporting Precision of Experiments
K. Hall, D. Kirwan and 0. Updike

28 Some Simple Experiments for First Year
Students, A. Gerrard

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION is published quarterly by the Chemical
Engineering Division, American Society for Engineering Education. The publication
is edited at the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Florida. Second-class
postage is paid at Gainesville, Florida, and at DeLeon Springs, Florida. Correspondence
regarding editorial matter, circulation and changes of address should be addressed
to the Editor at Gainesville, Florida 32611. Advertising rates and information are
available from the advertising representatives. Plates and other advertising material
may be sent directly to the printer: E. 0. Painter Printing Co., P. 0. Box 877,
DeLeon Springs, Florida 32028. Subscription rate U.S., Canada, and Mexico is $10 per
year, $6 per year mailed to members of AIChE and of the ChE Division of ASEE,
and $4 per year to ChE faculty in bulk mailing. Write for prices on individual
back copies. Copyright 1975. Chemical Engineering Division of American Society
for Engineering Education, Ray Fahien, Editor. The statements and opinions
expressed in this periodical are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the
ChE Division of the ASEE which body assumes no responsibility for them. Defective
copies replaced if notified within 120 days.
The International Organization for Standarization has assigned the code US ISSN
0009-2479 for the identification of this periodical.

FALL 1974

educator :



Bruce has developed an enviable reputation as a

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195

is an Okie-from-Muskogee in our midst!
Bruce Finlayson-musician, hiker, sailor, skier,
plumber, carpenter, committee chairman, hus-
band, father, chemical engineer, talented research-
er, dedicated teacher-grew up in Muskogee,
went to high school in Muskogee, played in the
Muskogee High School band. Indeed, his interest
in the band (He was a drummer), was to alter
the course of his life. From high school he went to
Rice University, joined the band, and there met
a lovely lyre player, Pat Hills. That in turn led to
Mark, aged 10; Catherine, aged 8; Chris, aged 6;
and numerous other manifestations, great and
Bruce worked his way through Rice by
scholarships, by playing in a dance band, and by
waiting on the training table. He also worked
summers, and on employment applications de-
scribed his occupation as "unemployed waiter."
The relation between this description and the

summer jobs he took is obscure; he sold pots and
pans, was a gas station attendant, and taught
goat lassoing on a dude ranch. Now, it is comfort-
ing to think that this last experience stimulated
his interest in the noble profession of teaching,
but to tell the truth it was quite irrelevant. In
reality his interest in teaching developed by acci-
dent. We return to the band and Pat.


which forbade getting married before getting
a commission at the end of a five-year program.
That proved too long for Bruce and Pat, so he
was commissioned after four years, took an im-
mediate leave of absence from the Navy, got
married, and stayed at Rice to complete a Master's
degree program in his fifth year. That year proved
to be a fateful one; while working on his thesis
on nucleate boiling, he became interested in teach-
ing and research and decided once again to post-
pone his Navy duty and continue graduate study
instead. The next year he enrolled in the graduate
program at the University of Minnesota, where he
worked on a Ph.D. program under Professor L. E.
(Skip) Scriven, a demanding but stimulating ex-
perience. His studies of the essential differences
between true variational principles and quasi and
ad hoc ones were published in a series of papers
with Skip Scriven. This led to a unity of viewing
approximation methods for solving differential

The bulk of his research is in
applied math but he is committed to
studies that have application, and many
of his students do experimental work.
. His studies of variational and
approximate methods were collected in a
book which appeared in 1972 amid
numerous favorable reviews.


January 1974. Some of his current research
centers on extending some of the ideas in the book
to more than one dimension. Bruce believes that
the method of orthogonal collocation on finite ele-
ments may greatly reduce the machine computa-
tion time required for two- and three-dimensional,
non-linear problems, and he has begun to test out
these ideas in the field of petroleum reservoir

research, Bruce has developed an enviable
reputation as a teacher. He enjoys teaching and
acquires a sense of excitement as each quarter
approaches and new classes begin. He keeps his
office door open; there is no buffer between him
and students. The students in turn regard him
not only as a helpful teacher but a stimulating,
innovative one as well. Together with Professor
Norman Sather, he has developed self-paced ma-
terial for the teaching of mass and energy

S* Bruce bicycles to work
-rain or shine.

equations of fluid mechanics and heat and mass
transfer which Bruce then applied to an investiga-
tion of the motion of certain fluids having a non-
symmetric stress tensor. After completing his
graduate studies at Minnesota, he embarked on a
two-year period of duty with the Navy in Wash-
ington, D. C.
In 1967 Bruce and his growing family moved
to Seattle, where Bruce joined the Chemical En-
gineering Department at the University of Wash-
ington. In the seven short years he has been here,
he has developed a research program that has
achieved national and international repute. The
bulk of his research is in applied mathematics,
but he is committed to studies that have applica-
tion, and in consequence many of his students do
experimental work. His current experimental
work is on the effects of magnetic fields on liquid
crystals and on flow properties in radial flow re-
actors. In the applied mathematics area he began
to apply approximate methods to model chemical
reactors, axial dispersion in packed beds, and
catalytic mufflers. This work made use of the
method of orthogonal collocation, some of it
applied to three-dimensional, transient situations,
and recently he was asked to write a review paper
on orthogonal collocation in chemical reaction
engineering (Cat. Rev.-Sci.-Eng., 10, 69-138,
Bruce's studies of variational and approximate
methods were collected (and extended) in a book,
"The Method of Weighted Residuals and Varia-
tional Principles," which appeared in 1972 amid
numerous favorable reviews. One result of the
publication of the book was an invitation to be
an invited speaker at the International Sym-
posium of Finite Element Methods in Flow Prob-
lems, held at University of Swansea, Wales in

Bruce enjoys backpacking with his family in the
Cascade and Olympic Mountains.

balances and chemical thermodynamics, which
are the first two courses in the under-graduate
chemical engineering curriculum. The students
find these courses to be a unique and valuable
learning experience. Students particularly like
the personal assistance given to those who need
it and the healthy exchange of ideas that occurs
as students develop their own approaches to a

(Continued on page 23.)


[9j department


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University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
into being in 1957, and after some birth
pains, announced its intention to be the first
Canadian university to undertake cooperative
education in engineering and other professional
programs. Significantly, the first building con-
structed was the Chemistry and Chemical
Enginering building. Because the concept of co-
operative engineering education was new in
Canada (although old and well tested in Europe
and the U. S. A.), the faculty members first at-
tracted to the new-born institution were a group
devoted to educational innovation. Indeed, the first
Chairman of Chemical Engineering, T. L. (Ted)

Batke, went on a few years later to become Aca-
demic Vice-President of the University, in which
post he served during its early development.
The unprecedented growth of the University
in its first decade was due almost entirely to the
immense success of the cooperative programs and
to their complete acceptance and support by
Canadian industry. By 1970 the University of
Waterloo had the largest undergraduate engineer-
ing school in Canada, and the second largest
graduate school. In emulation of our success, two
other Canadian Universities have since started
cooperative engineering programs.
The growth in engineering at Waterloo was
paralleled by the growth in applied mathematics
and computer science, in which cooperative pro-
grams were also initiated. A large part of the






The unprecedented growth of the university was due almost entirely to the immense success of the
cooperative programs and to their acceptance and support by Canadian industry. By 1970 we had the largest
undergraduate engineering school in Canada, and the second largest graduate school.

strength of the University is still founded in these
two areas, with about 50 % of the total enrollment
of 13,000 students being in them.

ported with soaring enrollment and generous
government aid, the atmosphere of the early days
was "Gung-ho!" and the Department grew to its
present form and size in barely 14 years.
In 1962 Batke left the Department to serve as
Vice-President of the University and L. E. (Lou)
Bodnar became acting Chairman. In 1964 D. S.
(Don) Scott was appointed Chairman. The rapid
growth at this time meant that some long-range
objectives needed to be formulated. The basic
organization into discipline-oriented and industry-
oriented areas (described later) was set up and
future growth was directed towards developing
excellence in them.
During this period some Departmental "sacred
cows" in educational philosophy also evolved: no
more than two courses per semester as an average
teaching load; no more than about 20 contact
hours per week for undergraduates; no teaching
or research area should be started or maintained
unless at least 3 full-time faculty members were
primarily devoted to it; about 10% of the teach-
ing salary budget for visiting professors; student
representation on all curriculum-related com-
mittees. Our basic organization remains the same
today but with some modifications including the
introduction of essential business-oriented and en-
vironmental courses.
In 1970, K. F. (Ken) O'Driscoll came from
S. U. N. Y. (Buffalo) to assume the Chairman's
post. At about this time, in common with the
general North American scene, the University
entered a period of more limited growth. "Ma-
turity" has crept up on the Department and life
is more stable now. The pursuit of excellence in
teaching and research is a long task and as we
enter maturity, we feel that we are well on the
way. Our family has become large, probably the
largest of the 19 Canadian ChE families. The

present level of activity includes 400 under-
graduates and 80 postgraduates, including post-
doctorals, and 28 full-time faculty members.

At Waterloo, the undergraduate programs are
designed to teach students that responsible
engineers are involved not only with the tradition-
al role of providing material needs but also with
the quality of life which is affected by the creation
of their processes and products. Since chemical
engineers can contribute to the solutions of cur-
rent world problems in health, nutrition and pollu-
tion, relevant course material has been built into
the programs and the curriculum is constantly
under revision to meet changing needs.

Prof. Turner (right) with specially designed equipment for measuring
thermal properties discussed in his recent book.

A basic education appropriate for a variety
of careers is stressed. Our graduates may go di-
rectly into jobs, continue with further studies in
Science or Engineering, or as many have done,
enter other professions such as Medicine and Law.
In the early years, chemistry, physics and mathe-
matics form the usual foundation. Later, subjects
such as economic analysis, design, and entre-
;preneurship enable the student to reach a
practical appreciation of his earlier studies.


Specialization is available through six options:
(1) Biochemical and Food Engineering (2) Ex-
tractive and Process Metallurgy (3) Pollution
Control Engineering (4) Polymer Science and
Engineering (5) Transport Processes (6) Mathe-
matical Analysis and Control.
At present about one-quarter of the curricu-
lum consists of elective courses, both technical and
non-technical. Three of the technical electives are
selected from one of the six options.
Student-faculty contact outside of lectures is
facilitated by frequent get-togethers organized
-__W1,.' .&. _,3 '7 ...= -LW t_ _-_ -I

View of Engineering Complex (floor space 477,035 sq. ft.), ChE
Dept is T-shaped section in foreground (floor space 124,626 sq. ft.).
by the Chem. Eng. Club, the Waterloo student-
chapter of the C. S. Ch. E. Each class has a class-
professor who looks after the general well-being
of each student. Class professors handle academic
as well as non-academic problems, usually by
referral services, e.g. Counselling, Health Services,
course-tutors, banks. This particular student-
professor relationship is especially helpful to the
first-year students. Another, probably unique
feature is the final-year study-room which is
"home" in the department for all seniors. Each
has his own desk and facilities are available for
coffee, magazines, calculators, etc.

career normally involves formal academic
studies followed by practical experience. The co-
operative education system at Waterloo provides
an integrated pattern of both academic study and
practical experience for the undergraduate. The
degree program covers almost 5 calendar years,
comprising eight 4-month terms of academic
training, alternating with six 4-month terms of
practical training which brings a student into di-
rect contact with the engineering profession.

The cooperative system provides the student
engineer with a career perspective and the op-
portunity to secure financial assistance. Work-
term jobs are found and supervised by the Uni-
versity Co-ordination Department, which ar-
ranges on-campus interviews and maintains a
staff throughout the country to arrange on-site
details with the over 700 participating companies
and agencies. Undoubtedly, the success of this
program is largely due to the efficient organiza-
tion of our Co-ordination Department.
programs leading to the M.A.Sc. and Ph.D.
degrees. The minimum credit requirements for
the M.A.Sc. are 4 courses and a research thesis,
or 8 courses and a design project; for the Ph.D.,
4 courses and a research thesis. As with other
Canadian programs, these requirements represent
a compromise between the British and American
While the undergraduate programs are all
based on the co-operative education system, al-
most all the postgraduate programs are not. How-
ever, special arrangements are made for part-time
and off-campus studies, which are encouraged for
the continuing education of engineers. At present,
in addition to on-campus evening lectures, off-
campus classes are given in two locations: Sarnia,
Canada's largest chemical industrial complex;
and Sheridan Park, the largest industrial research
community in Ontario.
Research at Waterloo is currently organized
into five groups. Faculty members associate with
these groups voluntarily; some members belong to
more than one group and occasionally some change
their group affiliation as interests change. The

Prof. Fahidy (left) tutors on the finer points of computer applications.


Prof. Moo-Young (center) and research assistants with fermentor
which helped to bring biochemical engineering fame to Waterloo.

groups exist to co-ordinate course offerings and
to optimize the use of equipment, space and
graduate-recruiting facilities. The current areas
of research are shown below.

Mass transfer, heat transfer, mixing, cell-growth and
enzyme kinetics in biotechnology. Design of fermentation,
food processing and waste treatment facilities. Hydro-
carbon and cellulose fermentations, food rheology, micro-
bial proteins, immobilized enzymes, manure utilization.
(Moo-Young, Robinson, Scharer, Silveston, O'Driscoll)

Pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical and electrometal-
lurgical processes. Solvent extraction, ion exchange, leach-
ing, inorganic chemistry, theoretical high temperature
metallurgy. (Byerley, Enns, Rempel, Spink, Wynnyckyj,
Fahidy, Scott)

Diffusion through modified membranes, radiation graft
polymerization, emulsion polymerization, stress relaxation
in elastomers, adhesion, polymer compatibility, kinetics
and thermodynamics of polymerization reactions. (Burns,
Huang, O'Driscoll, van der Hoff, Macdonald)

Simulation, process control, applied statistics, computer
control, process analysis and dynamics, operations re-
search, optimal design and control of chemical plants.
(Chang, Fahidy, Gall, Mueller, Reilly, Rhodes, Heatley)

Heat and mass transfer in multiphase systems. Con-
current flow transport processes, boundary layer theory,
turbulence at mobile interfaces, frequency response

methods, diffusion. Reaction rates in inorganic and organic
systems, selectivity studies in catalysis, diluent gas effects.
(Batke, Bodnar, Dullien, Ford, Hudgins, Macdonald, Pei,
Rhodes, Scott, Silveston, Turner, Moo-Young, Robinson)
In addition to the above five groups, there is a
nascent Environmental Engineering group which
presently draws on the relevant expertise of the
other groups. As with the undergraduate pro-
grams, the department is organized to move rapid-
ly with the restructuring of its research groups
as dictated by student need and faculty expertise.
It should be also noted that interdisciplinary pro-
grams are available with such departments as
Chemistry, Biology and Management Science.
Research laboratories covering over 50,000 sq.
ft. of space are housed in a modern, air-condition-
ed building. The wide range and diversity of
equipment have never failed to impress visiting
ChE faculty. One recently tried to see it all in
one day with the result that he found himself
"completely dehydrated" at the end of a gruelling
A departmental Reading Room, a glass-blow-
ing shop, machine-shops and an electronics-shop

The programs . teach students that
responsible engineers are involved not
only with the traditional role of providing
material needs but also with the quality of life

further extend the research facilities. The Uni-
versity Computer Centre also contributes greatly
to the departmental research facilities.


THE OVERALL QUALITY of a department
is determined to a large extent by its faculty
members. Ours have a diversity of cultural and
education backgrounds that we treasure. Faculty
Ph.D's are from 19 different universities repre-
senting 5 different countries. As quoted in the
report of the "Advisory Committee on Academic
Planning," Council of Ontario Universities, Sept.
1974, "This is certainly an extremely important
factor in enriching the collective way of thought
and methods of training students in the depart-
ment . There is a large group of very produc-
tive people (in research) and there is an excellent
spirit of cooperation among the staff, providing a
stimulating milieu for students." To give an idea
(Continued on page 39.)


views and opinions


University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002

T HERE HAS BEEN A considerable amount of
discussion of chemical engineering laboratory
courses taking place at national AIChE meetings
for the last several years. The multiple, educa-
tional purposes of these courses have been de-
scribed in some detail, and included in these goals
are: to familiarize the student with chemical
processing equipment, to help the student gain
proficiency with instruments and measurement
methodology, to teach students how to deal with
experimental errors, to allow students to practice
technical report writing, etc. Another major goal,
not included in the abbreviated list above, is to
show that the experimental data agree with the
theory that the student has learned in his courses.
In actual fact, however, very few of the experi-
ments do agree with the theory, and so the student
is required to find reasons for the discrepancies
and to discuss his reasoning in his laboratory re-
port. At this point, students normally engage in
an exercise, which I call "creative B. S." They
demonstrate an imaginative capacity far exceed-
ing even the wildest science fiction authors, in
order to find some justification of why the equip-
ment did not work properly. Although I think it
is always worthwhile to find ways to excite the
imaginations of students, I am somewhat worried
that we are doing this in the wrong context.
In addition, it seems to me that it is a
dangerous pedogogical practice to have students
carry out an experiment to verify a theory. If they
are not successful in their attempt, they can easily
draw the conclusion that the experiment (reality)
is no good, while the theory (an abstraction) is
correct. Thus the theory becomes a better de-
scription of reality than the experiment, which
becomes unreal. Obviously, faculty would not
agree with this conclusion, nor am I certain that
students accept it either; but perhaps much of
the dislike students often have for laboratory
courses is caused by this hidden conflict.

Editor's Note: The following pages deal with
the chemical engineering laboratory. We begin
this special laboratory issue with a provocative
article that suggests a new approach to
our laboratory courses.

A better approach to laboratory experimentation
might be to ask students to develop a theory to describe
the behavior of a particular piece of laboratory appara-
tus. With this approach they would need to know not
only the results of the simple theory discussed in their
courses, but also to have a good understanding of the
assumptions behind that theory. Then, when the simple
theory fails to predict the observed behavior, the students
would have to determine which one, or more, of the
assumptions were not valid and to modify these assump-
tions in an attempt to develop a more realistic model. In
this way, they would evolve a workable theory.
Although this approach is more time con-
suming than a traditional experiment and is much
more difficult (it requires a great deal more
thought on the part of the student) it should
give them an improved understanding of the re-
lationship between theory and practice. In
particular, some clever students may recognize
that there are alternate approaches to the prob-
lem; some groups may attempt to redesign the
equipment so that the assumptions for the simple
theory are satisfied, others may develop a set of
correlations to provide correction factors for the
simple theory so that it agrees with the observed
data, and others may develop more sophisticated
theoretical models. Thus, the class would learn
that there are no unique solutions to engineering
problems, they would gain additional insight into
the differences between interpolation and extra-
polation, and they would have a better apprecia-
tion for the real world they will encounter when
they leave the university.
As an alternate approach to resolving the discrepancy
between experimental observations and simple theories,
the student could be asked to develop a trouble-shooting
procedure for a particular piece of equipment. That is,
he would be assigned a task of devising a way of im-
proving the performance of the system (assuming that
the simple theory predicts a better performance than
that exhibited by the equipment) or to determine why


I ChE "I

the existing equipment fails to meet the designed specifi-
cations (where the design is based on simple theory).
Problems of this type will be more time consuming than
conventional experiments but they have the advantage of
exposing students to some engineering concepts that are
not normally treated in the curriculum, such as the time
and cost required to make additional measurements or to
modify existing equipment, the use of intuition rather than
theory to design flow distributors and other apparatus,
the difficulty of communicating your ideas clearly to
technicians, etc.

lacking in laboratory courses is the idea of
solving engineering problems experimentally.
Most of the effort in chemical engineering curricu-
la is directed toward analysis, and we describe
successively more sophisticated theories for solv-
ing selected engineering problems. Laboratory
courses are used to demonstrate the validity of
these theories, more or less, and the design
course is used to introduce the ideas of synthesis,
as well as to integrate the previous courses in
analysis. Depending on the individual who teaches
the design course, I'm certain that there is some
discussion of how to select the "right" tool to
solve a particular problem, although none of the
design texts that I am familiar with treat this
topic. Moreover, I doubt if there are many design
courses that are so closely integrated with a
laboratory course that students ever gain much
feeling for how to decide whether to take an ex-
perimental or theoretical approach to solve a
particular problem.
One method we might use to help students
understand the limitation of simple theories, the
relationship between theory and practice, and the
relative effort associated with both experimenta-
tion and analysis, is to orient at least some of the
laboratory course more toward the solution of
engineering problems. For example, we could ask
students to develop correlations for head losses in
pipe fittings, pump efficiencies, film heat-transfer
coefficients, etc. for a non-Newtonian fluid. It
should be easy to find examples where Newtonian
data are available in the literature, but the cor-
responding results for a power-law fluid, for
example, are lacking. Moreover, it should be re-
latively simple to convince students of the poten-
tial applicability of the results, so that perhaps
they will become better motivated towards ex-
perimentation. Of course, before taking data with
a non-Newtonian fluid, it would seem reasonable

to attempt to reproduce the reported results for
Newtonian fluids (which would mean that we
would carry out many of the normal fluid
mechanics and/or heat transfer experiments in
a context where they were a means to an end,
rather than an end in themselves). In addition, a
focus on non-Newtonian fluids might make it
possible to develop a better integration between
lecture and laboratory courses by deriving the ap-
propriate solutions for simple flow configurations
and demonstrating the extension of dimensional
analysis for complex systems in the lecture for
the systems that will be studied in the laboratory.
Still another concept that is probably best presented
in a laboratory context is that most engineering problems
must be approached in an iterative fashion, that it is
necessary to know the answer to a problem, at least ap-
proximately in order to formulate the problem. Thus if
we recognize that we will be forced to solve real engineer-
ing problems more than once, (in contrast to text book
problems), we want to start with very simple, even though
crude, predictive methods, and then proceed to more
sophisticated algorithms as long as there is an economic
incentive. As a simple although possibly painful, illustra-
tion of the importance of this "engineering method," we
could ask students to develop a statistical experimental
design for a batch reaction system where they have
difficulty in finding any published information on the
approximate half-life or reaction rate period. Indeed, an
assignment of this type might provide an interesting
"academic" experiment of how much engineering intuition
students gain from an engineering education.

..It is a dangerous pedogogical practice
to have students carry out an experiment to
verify a theory. If they are unsuccessful, they
can easily conclude that the experiment (reality)
is no good, while the theory (an
abstraction) is correct.


In conclusion, perhaps I should admit that it is always
easy for a poor experimentalist like myself to criticize the
efforts of others. Also, I recognize that the program I am
proposing calls for more sophistication on the part of
the student than our traditional laboratory courses. How-
ever, perhaps a portion of the class would respond more
favorably to an open-ended laboratory such as I suggest,
and the remainder of the students could do the convention-
al experiments. Another advantage of the laboratory is
that it may produce some data which prove to be useful
to the profession, and thereby encourage more contact
between the university and industry. []


[0 0 laboratory



and T. Y. CHEN
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas 66506

T HIS REPORT DESCRIBES a student labora-
tory experiment for the determination of the
flow curve of a non-Newtonian fluid using a
capillary viscometer with continuously varying
pressure head. The experiment exposes the
student to the concepts of non-Newtonian flow
analysis, as well as non-linear parameter estima-
tion techniques. Computer aided data analysis is
included as part of the experiment.

The viscometer is shown schematically in Fig.
1. It is a modification of one described some years

ago by Cerny [1]. The instrument consists pri-
marily of a precision bore capillary A and a 50
c.c. buret B. The capillary A is placed horizontally
with one end inserted into a rubber stopper which
is sealed to the collecting flask F and the other end
connected to the buret B by means of a piece of
tygon tubing. The pinch clamp C is a convenience
for filling the viscometer. The flask F has a side-
arm which is extended with a piece of tubing
to the atmosphere. The buret B is jacketed by a
2-inch diameter glass tube. The water bath is
kept at a desired temperature by a regulator G.
The regulator unit contains a pump which is used
for circulation of water through the jacket. This
arrangement assures constant temperature for
the measurements.
In operation, the buret, connecting tubing and
capillary are filled with the test fluid and the
clamp C put in place. Care should be taken to
avoid trapping bubbles in the line. Generally the
buret is filled well above the top graduation. If
the test fluid is not at the bath temperature, about
10 minutes should be allowed to bring it up to
bath temperature before starting a run. A run is
started by opening clamp C, permitting the fluid
in the buret to flow through the capillary. A stop-
watch with a split hand feature is used to time
the descent of the meniscus in the buret at selected
graduations (i.e. 0, 5, 10, 15, . .). The times
corresponding to the selected graduations are re-
corded. Readings can be taken until the meniscus
passes the last graduation on the buret or until
the descent of the meniscus is too slow to be
measurable. A minimum of three sets of gradua-
tion (x) versus time data are taken for a given
sample. An average of the three sets is used for
data analysis.


T HE LENGTH OF THE capillary is measured
directly. The capillary radius is determined
by filling it with mercury, weighing the thread of
mercury, and calculating the radius from the


Fig. I Schematic diagram of the apparatus.


A lm .....,

Walter P. Walawender is an Assistant Professor of Chemical
Engineering at Kansas State University. He received his under-
graduate training in Chemistry at Utica College and his M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Syracuse University.
His current research interests include modeling of blood flow in
the microcirculation and gasification of agricultural wastes. He
teaches a variety of courses at both the graduate and undergradu-
ate level.
Te Yu Chen received his bachelor's degree from National Taiwan
University and his master's degree from Kansas State University,
both in Chemical Engineering. He is a graduate research assistant at
KSU. His current research areas are fluidization and the gasification
of agricultural wastes.

volume of the thread. The volume is given by V =
(mass of Hg) (density of Hg at measurement
temperature). The radius then follows from R =
(V/ 7rL)1/2. A minimum of three determinations
are recommended.
The buret cross section is determined by
measuring the distance between terminal gradua-
tions (i.e. ho hso) and dividing the buret volume
by this result.

A = 50/ (h0 h50)
A relation between the buret graduations and
the height of the meniscus relative to the capillary
outlet is also required for data analysis. Noting
the buret graduation as x and the measured
distance between the last buret graduation and
the capillary outlet as (hso he), the following
expression can be written
h=50-x xh
h = 50 A- x + (h50 h
This gives the height of the meniscus relative to
the capillary as a function of the buret graduation
reading x.
The test fluid density, if unknown, is deter-
mined at the bath temperature with the aid of a


T HE FLOW SITUATION of the present vis-
cometer is very similar to that of a problem
presented by Bird et al. [2]. Hence a quasi steady-
state approach is used for the theoretical analysis.
The theoretical development for Newtonian flow
in this viscometer has been discussed by Cerny
[1] and is outlined below. This will be followed by
the analysis for non-Newtonian flow. The flow of
a Newtonian fluid in a capillary tube is described
by the Poiseuille, equation,
AP = 8n LQ
This expression relates the pressure drop AP
across the capillary (of radius R and length L) to
the volume rate of flow Q and the coefficient of
viscosity 7T. For the viscometer the pressure drop
at any moment is also given by
AP = pgh
where h is the height of liquid column in the
buret relative to the capillary, p the fluid density
and g the acceleration of gravity. The volume rate
of flow at any moment can be expressed as
Q -A dt
where A is the cross sectional, area of the buret.

The experiment exposes the student to the
concepts of non-Newtonian flow analysis as well
as non-linear parameter estimation techniques.
Computer aided data analysis is included
as part of the experiment.

The combination of equations (2), (3) and (4),
followed by integration results in an expression
relating h and t

n h t + C = t +C = mt+ C
8LAn n


B =-

and m= -Bp
and m =

Thus a plot of logoh versus t should be linear.
The viscosity of a Newtonian fluid can be evaluat-
ed from the slope (m) provided that the instru-


mental dimensions and the fluid density are
In the case of a non-Newtonian fluid, the "vis-
cosity" is not constant and varies with the rate of
flow or more properly the rate of shear. The log
h versus t plot gives a curve with m varying from
point to point. This variation can be utilized to
relate the wall shear rate yw to the wall shear
stress Tw from which a flow curve T, versus yw
can be constructed. An approach similar to that
developed by Krieger and Maron [3] is employed.

The experiment described in this
report provides for student exposure
to non-Newtonian flow as well as
computer aided data analysis.
Several types of fluids can be employed
to illustrate types of flow behavior.

First, an effective fluidity is defined, v
reference to equation (2) as
= 1 -8LQ
e e TR4AP

where -e is the effective viscosity. From the
pressions in equation (5) it can be seen tha
is given by
e Bp

Under conditions of steady, laminar flow
a time-independent fluid through a cylinder
tube, it can be readily shown [4, 5] that

Q3 = :
'irR TW

rw T f (t) dr

RAP ; f(T) = y
w 2L
Combination of equations (6), (8), and

= 4 W T2 f(T) dT
e R T r

Differentiation of equation (11) with respect


tv using Leibnitz's rule and rearrangement of the
result gives
T d In e
w w
The terms in 0, and r7, in equation (12) are re-
placed by equations (7) and (9) so that after
some algebais manipulation equation (12) be-
-W m ( 1 dm
T Bp (1 + dt
w 4m
Equation (13), coupled with equation (9), is
used to determine the flow curve of a non-New-
tonian fluid.

T HE AVERAGE OF the x versus time data is
first converted into h versus t with the aid
of equation (1). Equations (3) and (9) give the
wall shear stress
w 2pgh
w 2L

(6) (14)
ex- which can be readily evaluated. To evaluate the
t e wall shear rate from equation (13) values for m
and dm/dt are required. This information can
be obtained from the h versus t data with the aid
of a non-linear parameter estimation technique
(Bard's method [6]). Bard's method is in the form
of a computer program provided by IBM. The user
of must supply the mathematical model, initial
ical guesses and the bounds on the parameters, and
the experimental data. The outputs include the
estimated parameter values and the deviation of
computed values from observed data values. From
the deviation one can judge how well the proposed
(8) model fits the data points.
From the data examined, it appears that the
h versus t data can be described by a function of
the form


t to

h = h exp {-kt + (a + b t)c}
ho = h value when t equals to zero
k, a, b, c = parameters to be estimated
The parameters a, b and c in equation (15) result
from the non-linearity of a In h versus plot. For
the initial guesses of the parameters, k can be


taken as the negative value of the slope of a line
fitting the first few points of the In h versus t
plot. An initial guess for the parameter c is taken
as 2. The parameters a and b can then be
estimated as the intercept and the slope of the
least-square-fit line of a V8 versus t plot, respec-
tively, with 8 defined by*
6 = In h In h + kt
Only a rough estimation for these parameters is
sufficient and this can be easily done on a pro-
grammable desk calculator, or available computer
program such as the IBM scientific subroutines
Both upper and lower bounds must be supplied
in the input. The determination of these bounds
is somewhat arbitrary. The bounds as suggested
from this study are the following,

1) k: initial guess x (1.00 0.30)

2) a: 0 < jai < 0.1 (17a)

3) b: 0 < b < 0.01 (17b)
4) c: 1 < c < 5 (17d)
where the upper bounds of |ai and b are arbi-
trarily chosen as one order of magnitude greater
than the values ordinarily encountered.
The parameters estimated by the computer
program can be used to analytically evaluate mn
and dm/dt. From equation (15),

m d I- h -k + cb(a +bt)c-
m dt
From equation (18), dm/dt results,
dm 2 c-2
d- = c(c-1) b (a + bt)
For the special case of slight curvature of the In
h versus t data one can generally obtain a satis-
factory description of the data by setting c = 2.
This reduces the computer time required and
eliminates one parameter from the parameter esti-
mation. Substitution of equations (18) and (19)
into equation (13) gives an expression for
yw/rw in terms of the parameters. The evaluation
of m, dm/dt, rw, and yw /rw can be done on the
computer with a slight addition to the original
Bard's program. In this way, the flow curve in-

*It is apparent that 8 represents the deviation of a In
h versus t plot from linearity. This deviation usually is
a quadratic function of t. Accordingly, equation (15) was

fable 1. Results for thl trust fluid

Tim., L ". I,
(sec) (cm)

In exp'1

heI'd (dn
(-m) (dyne/cm2) (-ee-1)

4.0342 56.54
4.0153 55.45
3.9762 53.31
1.9155 51.15
1.8932 'I 49.06
3J.h4 2 .0'2 .14 38.42
1. 59, .00)7 .,)8 21 .91
3.2(144 .017 .1 2' .6
:.961 .l .13 19.35
2.6405 .h41 .3 14.05
2.1645 .143 .38 8.67

formation, r and y, is obtained directly as com-
puter output. A print-out of the program can be
obtained by writing the authors.


PRESSURE FLOW DATA (in the form of h
versus t) for a non-Newtonian fluid are used
to illustrate the procedure. The fitted h versus t
curve is then compared with experimental values.
The best fit parameters are then employed for the
determination of the flow curve for the fluid. For
this example, it was assumed that c = 2.
Reference is made to Table 1. Column 2 gives
the h values converted from raw data of x versus
t by equation (1). Column 3 presents In h values
which are used for the initial guess of k. A least
square fit of these data in the form of In hexpi
versus t is made with a programmable Wang cal-
culator. The result for this case gives a slope of
-0.0024819. Hence the initial guess of k is taken
as 0.0024819. Values of 6 are then calculated as

1 .a1. 2. Vales For varies ODaramleters

initial guesss
lower bound
upper bound
estimated parameter

0. 0024819 -0.031137 0.00049889
0.001737 -0.1 0.
0.0032263 0 0.01
0.0024855 -0.025336 0.00054924


indicated by equation (16). The values of 8 and
V8 are tabulated in columns 4 and 5. The V8
data are used for the initial guesses of parameters
a and b. The (V8 versus t) data are fitted by least
squares with the aid of a programmable calcula-
tor. The resulting intercept and slope give the
initial guesses of a and b, respectively. These
values are presented in Table 2. Bounds for para-
meters calculated by the program are also shown
in Table 2. These parameter values are used in
the program to calculate h values by equation
(15). The resulting h values are presented in
column 6 of Table 1. A comparison between the
best fit curve and the experimental data is given
in Fig. 2. As can be seen from the figure the fitted



o. 0 rFitted curve
o Doto Points

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Time, sec
Fig.2. A typical fitted curve for h vs.t data.

curve describes the experimental points very well.
The error in hcnad, as can be seen in Table 1, never
exceeds 1%.
Next T,- and w,., as given by,
S Rpgh -i + 1 din
T = ; and Y = T {i +
w 2L w w Bp 4m2 dt
(15, 13)
are evaluated, using the estimated parameters.
Here h, m and dm/dt are given in terms of the
parameters by equations (15), (18) and (19).

The results are shown in column 7 and 8 of Table
1 as well as in figure 3. As shown in Fig. 3. the
shear rate range from a single determination
covers about one cycle. The flow curve of non-unit
slope indicates the non-Newtonian behavior of the


Tw sec'I

Fig.3. The flow curve.


SEVERAL STUDENTS conducted the experiment with
a 0.05% (wt) solution of CMC in water. The
capillary employed was 19.88 cm long and had an inside
diameter of 0.1020 cm. Reproducibility of the raw data
(x vs t) was quite good with agreement within '/2% on
the total flow time of approximately 750 seconds. For this
fluid, the parameter c could not be taken as 2 and was
estimated along with the other parameters. A typical h
versus t curve is shown in Fig. 4. As can be seen the
agreement is quite good. A typical flow curve is shown
in Fig. 5. For the CMC sample employed, one can observe
the trend towards the "zero shear" limiting viscosity by
replotting the data in the form of 7 versus y
(77 = T/y).


filled curve "
0 dot. 0oi.

F 4 H vst cmrve


N SUMMARY THE experiment described in
this report provides for student exposure to
non-Newtonian flow as well as computer aided
data analysis. Several types of fluids can be em-
ployed to illustrate the various types of flow be-
havior. In utilizing this experiment it is suggested
that several diameters of capillary be available in
order to ensure reasonable experiment length
(total flow time) as well as to provide for greater
variation in shear rate. ]l


ow curve for c'
Fig 5. Flow curve for CMC solution.

This work was supported in part by a

Kansas Heart Association #KR-72-10. This support is
gratefully acknowledged. The efforts of the junior
Chemical Engineering students (1973-74) in testing the
experiment are greatly appreciated.

1. Cerny, L. C., Am. J. Phys., 29, 708, 1961.
2. Bird, R. B., Stewart, W. E., and Lightfoot, E. N.,
Transport Phenomena, p. 237, problem 7.M, John
Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1960.
3. Maron, S. H., Krieger, I. M., and Sisko, A. W., J. Appl.
Phys., 25, 971, No. 8, 1954.
4. Skelland, A. H. P., Non-Newtonian Flow and Heat
Transfer, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1967.
5. Wilkinson, W. L., Non-Newtonian Fluids, Pergamon
Press, London, 1960.
6. Bard, Y., "Non-linear Parameter Estimation and Pro-
gramming," IBM New York Scientific Center, De-
cember 1967.

A printout of the computer program is avail-
able. It consists of seven decks; a main program
and six subroutines. Definitions of the variables
o' ',ooo added are given in the comment statements.
Names of the other subroutines are given to show
the entire structure of the program. For details of
the entire technique, reference can be made to
grant from Bard's original manual [6].


At Fluor Engineers and Constructors, Inc. our 4
billion dollar plus backlog offers all kinds of practical
applications opportunities for chemical engineers to
help provide solutions to the energy problem.
At Fluor Engineers and Constructors, Inc. we de-
sign and build facilities for the hydrocarbon processing
industry-oil refineries, gas processing plants, and
petrochemical installations. We are very active in
liquefied natural gas, methyl fuel, coal conversion, and
nuclear fuel processing.

If you want to find out about opportunities, loca-
tions you can work in (world wide) and why Fluor is
the best place to apply what you have learned, meet
with the Fluor recruiter when he comes to your campus
or contact the College Relations Department directly.

Fluor Engineers and Constructors, Inc.
1001 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92805





The Integration of Plant Design and Senior Laboratory

Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee 37235

University is to organize our undergraduate
chemical engineering curriculum around process
synthesis and design, rather than around trans-
port phenomena or the traditional unit operations
sequence. The students acquire a firm foundation
in the engineering sciences of mechanics, thermo-
dynamics, and the transport and electrical phe-
nomena, but the emphasis in the ChE core
courses is on design, beginning with flow sheet
generation in the sophomore "stoichiometry"
course and culminating in the senior plant design
project. Such an approach requires a careful
effort to develop problems and case studies, but
we feel that the effort is justified by a closer ap-
proximation to modern ChE practice.
Until recently, the laboratory courses have
not contributed directly to this curriculum. They
have tended to emphasize the understanding of
physical principles, report writing, team work,
and the development of planning and reasoning
abilities, but they have done so through a series
of self-contained experiments which were all too
often unrealistically well defined.
Nevertheless, a second-semester senior de-
velops a curious enthusiasm for his ChE labora-
tory work. He sniffs the air, realizes what may be
expected of him in a few months, and begins to
approach his laboratory work in mature and pro-
ductive fashion.

We saw an opportunity to combine the phe-
nomenon of senior lab motivation with our design
emphasis. It seemed particularly appropriate to
seek the close involvement of industry. This paper
describes our first serious attempt to combine
laboratory work, industrial contact, and "plant de-
sign" into one five-semester hour course. We as-
signed, with the help of chemical engineers and
chemists in local practice, a semester-long process
design for which data might be unavailable. The
students had to decide what information to obtain
in the laboratory, perform the appropriate experi-
ments, complete their process design, and report
to their industrial and faculty advisors. Because
many other schools are moving toward a design-
oriented curriculum, we felt that our experience
might supply some insight into the advantages
and disadvantages of an integrated laboratory-
design approach.

W HEN TIE COMBINED course was in the
planning stages, we identified five objec-
First, we hoped that the students could gain
some confidence in their ability as engineers. In
order for this objective to be realized, we would
have to pick a difficult project with a good chance
of successful completion. If the class could com-
plete such an assignment, they would justifiably
feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was
important that the assignment not be totally
artificial, but be as realistic as possible.
Second, we wanted the students to see the real

The integration of plant design and lab was sol successful that we see no reason to return to our old
system . We enthusiastically recommend the joint lab design approach. If you try it, you might
consider four points which we feel to be of paramount importance. The cooperation of an accessible
industry is essential; a suitable problem must ibe chosen; a great deal of advance planning is
necessary; consider your equipment constraints' in advance planning is necessary. Consider your
equipment constraints in advance.


utility of engineering experimentation. Instead of
requiring the students to spend one afternoon a
week verifying physical laws or measuring proper-
ties, they would be expected to resort to labora-
tory work only when the data required for the
plant design could not be obtained from alternate
sources. They would have to decide what informa-
tion was needed. They would have to design the
Our third goal involved the development of the
managerial skills required to efficiently carry out
a long, complex project. It is important for young

.4 .

engineers to learn how to organize and communi-
cate among themselves.
Next, we hoped that the lab would help give
a physical feel for the plant design project. Most
of us, when assigned an engineering job, have at
least seen the materials and processes with which
we are asked to work. This is rarely the case in
a senior design project.
Finally, we hope to develop contact between
the students and practicing chemists and chemical
engineers, contact based on technical matters of
joint interest. Seniors want this contact; too often
they get it only in job recruitment situations.

students at the first plant design session and
during the first lab period in the following form:
"Design a plant to produce 100 million pounds of
polyester melt from the raw materials DMT and
ethylene glycol. The plant is to be located on a
1000 acre spread on the Cumberland River near
Nashville, Tennessee."
The process to be used was basically that of the
DuPont Old Hickory Plant. This facility produces
Dacron (polyethylene terephthalate) from nitric

K. A. Overholser, the laboratory instructor in this project, re-
ceived his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of
Wisconsin and was a N.A.T.O. postdoctoral research fellow at Im-
perial College, London. His research activities include hemorheology
and combustion physics. (Left)
C. C. Woltz was the student project leader. He is now a gradu-
ate student in chemical engineering at Vanderbilt. (Left above)
T. M. Godbold, instructor for the Plant Design course, received
his B.S. and M.S. from the University of South Carolina and his
Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He has industrial ex-
perience with DuPont and Celanese and has been a consultant for
several companies. His areas of interest include process control and
diffusional operations. (Right above)

acid, xylene, methanol, and ethylene glycol. Para-
xylene and nitric acid react to form terephthalic
acid which is then combined with methanol to
form dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). The DMT is
fed to transesterification reactors where it is com-
bined with ethylene glycol to form methanol and
ester monomer (bis-hydroxyethyl terephthalate,
or BHET). The monomer is polymerized under
vacuum, yielding ethylene glycol for recycle; the
resulting highly viscous polyester melt is spun
and packaged.
Some initial ground rules were stated:

The entire ChE faculty will answer all questions to
which they know the answers and will supply any fac-
tual information to which they have ready access. The
students were encouraged to make use of all of the
faculty as consultants.
The DuPont staff will help and answer questions within
proprietary limitations.
Any of the ChE lab and computer facilities may be
used at any time, subject to our safety rules.
The library and the patent files should be used as ex-
tensively as time allows. Don't take data in the lab if
you can find it (and trust it) elsewhere.
Data and information discovered by anyone will be
made available to the class as a whole.


Tfail' '4"'

* Each student must design his own plant, although stu-
dents may work together until all laboratory data re-
quired are obtained.

The class was given a supply of raw DMT by
DuPont. The firm also supplied a small quantify
of recrystallized BHET for quality comparisons
and determination of physical properties.
The ChE Program supplied antifreeze from
which the class could obtain ethylene glycol if
they so chose.

. a second-semester senior develops a
curious enthusiasm for . laboratory work.
He sniffs the air, realizes what may
be expected of him in a few months,
and begins to approach his lab work
in mature and productive fashion.

From this point until the end of the semester
the class was on its own in the design and lab
project, receiving only occasional unrequested
advice from the faculty.

for three semester credit hours. In the frst
third of the course (while the lab was getting
started), the students reviewed and practiced
equipment sizing and design decisions on several
case studies. Although the class had had a course
in Engineering Economy, methods of economic
analysis and optimization were briefly reviewed
and expanded to meet the anticipated needs of the
Plant Design. The primary texts for this course
were Perry's Handbook [1] and Peters and Tim-
merhaus [2]. During the latter half of the
semester, the class did not meet formally, but stu-
dents were strongly encouraged to meet with the
design professor once a week to discuss design
problems and report their progress. This weekly
meeting provided an opportunity to discuss design
and lab progress as well as exchange information.
The Laboratory portion met once a week from
8 a.m. to noon. All lab work was devoted to the
design project. Each session began with coffee,
donuts, and a report meeting, after which, the
students would begin experiments, library re-
search, or planning. It was often necessary to
work additional hours outside of this period. The

students had obtained much of the physical
property data that they needed about six weeks
before the end of the semester. The overall
process flow sheet was fixed by discussion at this
time and the students began sizing equipment for
their design. Laboratory data on the kinetics for
the process was completed about three weeks be-
fore the end of the semester. At that time, the lab
stopped meeting formally.

T HE FIRST TWO LAB meetings were, predict-
ably, mixtures of order and chaos. The prob-
lem was laid before the class, a temporary discus-
sion chairman was appointed, and the group was
left on their own to lay plans.
After an hour or so, the group decided to go
to the laboratory and get started (they planned
to measure the melting point of DMT). At this
point the laboratory instructor established an ap-
parently arbitrary rule:
* Even though this is a lab course, no one may go to the
lab for the first two weeks.
(Note that intervention was essential at this
point-left entirely to their own devices in the
initial planning stages, the class might well have
embarked on a course which would surely have
led to failure in the end.) The students were thus
forced back on the track, and they finally got
around to posing such questions as "what do we
need to know in order to design this plant?" and
"How can we find the information we require?"
The discussion proceeded relatively smoothly
through the next four hours. The instructors did
not participate, except to supply factual informa-
tion as requested, but did assign a new discussion
leader every forty minutes. By the end of the day,
after much backing and filling, it had been decided
that the following information would be sought:
* Kinetic and thermodynamic equilibrium data for the
reaction of DMT and ethylene glycol over a range of
different temperatures, initial concentrations, and
catalyst concentrations.
* Kinetic data for the polymerization step.
* Information on the nature of polymerizers and stirring
* Information on possible catalysts for the DMT/glycol
reaction so that a suitable catalyst might be selected.
* Physical properties (viscosity, melting and boiling
points, thermal conductivity, specific gravity) and
thermodynamic data (heats of fusion, vaporization,
solution, and reaction) for all components and mix-
tures involved.


* Heat transfer coefficients for the process streams.
* Methods for analyzing the samples from reactor ex-
* Phase equilibrium data for the glycol-methanol-DMT
* Costs of raw materials, utilities, transportation, etc.
* Information on appropriate safety precautions against
burns, fires, and dust explosions (these and other haz-
ards were identified at the outset by the instructors
and by the industrial advisors).
The class split into three groups, each group
taking responsibility for obtaining some of the
data in the above list. The Kinetics group was
responsible for identifying and gathering all in-
formation necessary for the specification and de-
sign of the transesterification reactor. The Sepa-
rations group took responsibility for all labora-
tory separations (e.g., separating ethylene glycol
from antifreeze) and for obtaining information
relevant to the process separations. The third
group was responsible for obtaining all physical
properties which might be needed to estimate heat-
transfer coefficients and friction factors. They
were also charged with devising laboratory
analytical procedures and with analyzing samples
generated by the other two groups. This third
group was called FHA (flow, heat transfer, and
analysis) group.
The lab instructor picked a team leader for
each group based on past performance and on
performance during the initial discussion 'period.
One student was charged with the responsibility
of coordinating the three groups, acting as liaison
between students and faculty, and setting up a
timetable to insure that all data would be obtained
before the end of the semester.
The organizational structure is shown in
Figure 1.

ticularly important in this project. It was es-

It was necessary for the instructors
to guide the group away from a
proposed semi-infinite series of
univariant experiments. To avoid excessive
experimentation, the group chose to plan
their work using an incomplete
factorial method.

Figure I

sential, for example, that the necessary experi-
mental equipment and supplies for a week's work
be set up beforehand. The project and group lead-
ers had to anticipate their needs and communi-
cate them to the lab instructor and shop tech-
nician. Since each student had to design his own
plant in the end, it was essential that he under-
stand where the data were coming from and
learn how the other groups were solving their
To accommodate these communications needs,
a reporting system was set up. Once a week, each
group member would submit a short written re-
port of last week's results and this week's plans to
his group leader, who would read them, add a
cover report of his own, and pass them on to the
student project leader. The project leader met
with the lab professor each Friday afternoon to
discuss reports and problems and to compare
progress to the timetable. Group leaders and
group members were often asked to attend these
Friday meetings.
In addition to the written reports, short oral
reports were given by representatives of each
group at the beginning of each lab period.

Kinetics Group
Based on a preliminary library investigation
and on a limited acquaintance with the DuPont
process, the Kinetics group identified three


variables upon which production rate might de-
pend and set ranges over which they would take
data on the reaction of DMT and glycol to form
BHET. These ranges were:
Reactor temperature: 180-200 C
Manganese acetate catalyst
concentration: 175-275 ppm
Reactor feed mole ratio:
4:1 to 6:1 mole glycol/mole DMT
Time was not available to investigate the effect
of pressure and different catalysts.
It was necessary for the instructors to guide
the group away from a proposed semi-infinite
series of univarient experiments. To avoid ex-
cessive experimentation, the group chose to plan
their work using an incomplete factorial method.
The reaction was carried out in two electrically-heated,
stirred, batch reactors at constant pressure. The concen-
tration of BHET as a function of time was determined by
condensing the methanol and measuring its volume as it
was evolved. The reactor system was quite complicated
and plagued with problems such as non-isothermal ope-
ration, loss of methanol and boil over of ethylene glycol.
The students also got bogged down a few times in the
kinetic analysis of their data.
The kinetics group finally obtained thirteen sets of
smooth concentration-time data. Their library search,
meanwhile, had turned up one appropriate study of the
kinetics of their reaction [3]. The reaction rate equation
proposed in the reference, however, was found inadequate
for conversion levels above 85%; it was necessary for the
students to fit their own rate expression. They proposed
a model involving a monosubstituted intermediate. The
model was found to fit the data quite well, even at high
conversions. A computer program was written to integrate
the set of differential equations. Given molar feed ratio,
catalyst concentration, reactor temperature, and physical
properties, the program predicted per cent conversion
and rate of BHET production. It was invaluable in later
repetitive attempts to seek optimal plant design.
An energy balance around the reactor re-
vealed that the heat of the transesterification step
was approximately 115 Kcal/mole DMT. This
value along with the kinetics computer programs
and some qualitative information on similar re-
actors as found in the literature, was all that the
students felt was needed to design the ester ex-
change reactor.
Since the necessary equipment was unavail-
able, the polymerization reaction could not be
studied in the laboratory. Fortunately, the stu-
dents found a paper [4] and a patent [5] with the
essential information.

Separations Group
This group had no difficulty obtaining the

ethylene glycol from antifreeze, and they rather
quickly located vapor-liquid equilibrium data for
the methanol-glycol system [6]. A series of glass-
ware experiments revealed that the presence of
DMT should have little effect on the design cal-
culations for the separation of methanol and gly-
col. Since their work was finished early, the Sepa-
rations group spent the rest of the semester help-
ing the other two groups.

FHA Group

The most important task of this group was
to obtain enough information to enable the class
to size the heat exchange equipment and pipes and
pumps. They realized from the start that the job
was most efficiently accomplished not by designing
and building special devices for measuring heat-
transfer coefficients, friction factors, etc., but in-
stead to measure or find physical properties
(particularly for mixtures) and use presently
design correlations.
The physical properties of the glycol were easy
to find, the properties of molten DMT a bit less
so. It was necessary to measure many of the pro-
perties of BHET and almost all of the properties
of glycol/DMT/BHET mixtures over the relevant
temperature and concentration ranges as specified
by the Kinetics group. Melting points, densities,
heat capacities, and viscosities were measured.
Interesting experimental problems resulted from
the relatively high (2500 C) temperature involved.
All three groups were successful in obtaining

The students . saw a finished piece
of work; they performed in a mature,
professional fashion; and they demonstrated a
strong sense of accomplishment and pride
after their presentation to industry . .

the data needed in the design project before the
end of the term. The data, along with useful cor-
relations found in the literature, were compiled
by the group leaders and distributed to the class.


written design report at the end of the
semester. Although some ideas (and all raw data)
were common to the reports, the students did not


work together on equipment design. They were
allowed to discuss their ideas on data require-
ments and the overall process flow sheet. When it
was agreed that all the essential data were avail-
able, each student worked independently.
Both the lab and the design courses culminated in a
seminar presented jointly to representatives from DuPont
and to the Vanderbilt ChE faculty and students. Class
representatives spoke for five minutes each on aspects
of the laboratory or plant design; the talks were arranged
so that the presentation would proceed smoothly and
logically from problem statement and organization
through experimentation and design to economic evalua-
tion and optimization. The formal presentation was fol-
lowed by an informal luncheon discussion between the
student participants and their industrial advisors.


T HE JOINT PROJECT WAS successful from
the standpoints of students, industry, and
faculty. The two courses complimented each other
appropriately, and all of our objectives were met,
at least to some degree. The students were able
to see the results of a finished piece of work. They
did well; they performed in a mature, professional
fashion. They demonstrated a strong sense of ac-
complishment and pride after their oral presen-
tation to industry. Our goals were accomplished
with a minimum of artificial rules, imitation
engineering or pressure and guidance from the
faculty. There were problems:
* Students from one group had a difficult time fully under-
standing what was being done in the other groups, or
occasionally even by a different member of their own
group. In order to gather data as rapidly as possible,
specialization was the order of the day. For instance,
one student would analyze samples for a month while
another group would run the reactor. While this may
be efficient it is not a desirable situation since the man
analyzing the samples would not have a good feel for
the kinetics.
Although our industrial consultants were always ready
to help, the students failed to take full advantage of
the situation; student industry interaction could have
been better.
The weekly reports were often poor; insufficient feed-
back was provided.

T HE INTEGRATION OF plant design and
laboratory was so successful that we see no
reason to return to our old system.
We are working on a new project for next
year, again involving local industry. This time,
we will arrange for the student groups to visit

The two courses complimented each
other appropriately, and all of our objectives
were met, at least to some degree.

the plant regularly and discuss their problems
with the practicing engineers and scientists. The
final report will be presented at the plant site.
Financial support from industry seems in the


joint lab design approach. If you try it, you
might consider four points which we feel to be of
paramount importance:
* The cooperation of an accessible industry is essential.
The company should be willing to help provide ideas,
materials, and (within proprietary limits) information.
* A suitable problem must be chosen. If it is too old, all
the necessary information will be readily available in
the literature. If it is too new, it may be too "secret."
* A great deal of advance planning is necessary. The
faculty members in charge must familiarize themselves
with the process and with its problems. They must de-
velop a feel for the feasibility of the assignment.
Consider your equipment constraints in advance. The
project is unlikely to succeed if the students have to
wait for orders, shipments, and deliveries.


mours and Co., Old Hickory, Tennessee, is
gratefully acknowledged, particularly the help of
Mr. A. B. Alexander and Miss Martha Andrews.
Joint efforts of this sort make a real contribution
to the future of the profession.
Much of the equipment used in this project
was provided by the Olin Foundation.

1. Perry, R. H., and Chilton, C. H. (eds), "Chemical
Engineer's Handbook" (5th Ed.), McGraw-Hill, 1973.
2. Peters, M. S., and Timmerhaus, K. D., "Plant Design
and Economics for Chemical Engineers (2nd Ed.),
McGraw-Hill, 1968.
3. Tomita, K., and Ida, H., Polymer, 14, 55 (1973).
4. Tomita, K., Polymer, 14, 50 (1973).
5. U. S. Patent 3,174,830 by A. Watzl et al. (to Vereinigte
Glanzstaff-Fabriken A. G.) (March 23, 1965).
6. Baker, T. S., Fisher, G. T., and Roth, J. A., J. ChE
Data, 9, 11 (1964).




University of Texas
Austin, Texas 78712

has received the greatest attention in
standard courses which have traditionally been
taught by the lecture method. In the continuing
debate on the value of the self-paced approach
the most convincing disadvantages cited are the
lack of regular instructor contact and of group
interaction. Although these deficiencies can
theoretically be eliminated, they seldom are be-
cause the system inherently operates more smooth-
ly, but not necessarily for the student's good,
when such aspects are minimized. It has been in-
teresting, therefore, to discover that a self-paced
laboratory can combine the advantages of self-
paced instruction without the major disadvant-
ages, while at the same time making the labora-
tory an interesting and challenging experience.

chemical engineering usually involves a
number of set experiments which are repeated
each semester. These normally include experi-
ments in unit operations and other areas such as
reaction kinetics. In many cases the laboratory
has been made more interesting by adding special
projects which are never assigned more than once
and which are similar to technical service or de-
velopment problems soon to be encountered by
the young engineer in industry.* Invariably,
however, experiments and reporting periods are

The results of this effort were
astoundingly gratifying. The students
worked enthusiastically, with a level of
skill which indicated hours of planning and
thought seldom found in an undergraduate lab.

Howard F. Rase is the W. A. Cunningham Professor of Chemical
Engineering at the University of Texas. He was a process engineer
with Foster Wheeler Corporation and Dow Chemical Company before
joining the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 1952. He
has served as Chairman from 1963-1968. His researches are in catalysis
and process design in which areas he has written over fifty (50)
articles and three books.

scheduled so that the course is completed just be-
fore the final examination period as are typical
lecture courses. There is no incentive for working
harder and smarter in order to finish earlier.
This aspect of the laboratory experience bears
little resemblance to real-life situations where
time pressures are often great and where indeed
the professional is self-paced.

laboratory based on the premise that since
the course requires a set number of experiments
and a major special project, students will find it
more stimulating to be allowed to complete the
course as rapidly as possible. Students were as-
signed the required set experiments along with a
special project at the beginning of the course. A
special lecture was given on organizing and exe-
cuting experiments, and methods for solving
technical-service and development type problems

*Chem. Engr., page 66, Sept. 8, 1969.


1. Batch reactor study of ethyl acetate spaonification
2. Batch distillation of selected binaries and scale-up
3. Operation of pilot-scale forced circulation evaporator
4. Study of major characteristics of fluidized beds
5. Operation of a tubular reactor

characterized by the special projects were de-
scribed. Typical set experiments and special
products used in the laboratory are summarized
in Tables 1 and 2.

1. Study of the mechanism of plugging in fixed beds
2. Osmotic drying of fruit
3. Optimum continuous production conditions for
compression molding
4. Purification of biuret
5. Purification of glycerine still bottoms
6. Removal of 4 ppm of chlorinated hydrocarbons
from air
7. Optimizing precoat and body-feed ratio of filteraid
in the filtration of a viscous mixture of alkylene

It has been interesting to discover that a
self paced lab can combine the advantages
of self paced instruction without the
major disadvantages, while . making
the laboratory an interesting
and challenging experience.

T HE RESULTS OF THIS effort were astound-
ing and gratifying. The students worked en-
thusiastically and with a level of skill which in-
dicated hours of planning and thought seldom ob-
served in an undergraduate laboratory. The
healthy competition which was fostered by a
general desire to finish at a suggested early time
or earlier had several desirable side effects.
* It fostered a great deal of interest in all the projects
on the part of each group such that students learned
more and gained broader range conceptual insights on
problem solving.
* Because of the high level of interest and the strong de-
sire to complete the work, both the professor and his
teaching assistant were drawn into more frequent one-

on-one tutorial opportunities. The students were much
more strongly interested in probing meanings and
Innovation was much more prevalent in this atmosphere
created by the time pressure. Students were not only
innovative technically but also in their planning and
time management. The common loss of time experienced
in starting and stopping work soon prompted several
groups to schedule longer but fewer work periods. Other
groups found that two set experiments could be done
at the same time when one required long periods to
equilibriate. These highly desirable attributes seldom
flower in the traditional laboratory.


A SELF-PACED SENIOR laboratory in chemi-
cal engineering has many advantages as a
teaching tool for the development of competent
professionals. A successful course of this type re-
quires a great deal of planning by the professor,
procurement officer, and departmental mechanic
and electronic technician. Delays caused by the
establishment itself can be damaging to the zeal
of the young but eager learner. El

(Continued from page 3.)


L IKE MANY WHO come to live in the Pacific
Northwest, Bruce and his family have grown
to love the out-of-doors. He bicycles to work, rain
or shine. Now that his children are old enough
(> 5), he and his family of three children and
one foster child have backpacked together in both
the Cascade and Olympic mountains. In the winter
all six members of the family take to skiing. Bruce
has also continued his interest in music, though
drums have given ground to the guitar. He and
Pat also enjoy attending the Seattle Symphony
concerts and plays, and for other relaxation
Bruce will occasionally read a mystery.

In addition to his dedication to his family, re-
search, and teaching Bruce is an integral part of
the Department and of the College of Engineer-
ing. He has been chairman of many committees
and now represents the College on the Faculty
Senate. All of us on the faculty are pleased and
proud to have Bruce among us. The future holds
great promise for him. D



Texas A & M University
College Station, Texas 77843
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901

SIMPLE CONCEPTS OFTEN receive the com-
ment, "but everyone knows that!" Un-
fortunately, everyone seldom includes all persons.
In particular, we feel this generalization applies
to one of the basic responsibilities of the scientific
community-reporting the precision of experi-
mental data. Many times in theses, dissertations
and even in technical papers this straightforward,
mathematically obvious exercise is either ignored
or applied improperly.
The concept of precision is precisely defined
and is a statistical quantity not to be confused
(though it frequently is) with the equally precise
concept of accuracy. Precision is a measure of
the experimental reproducibility, that is, of the
random errors associated with the apparatus and
operator. The accuracy is a measure of the abso-
lute quality of the data, that is, how closely the
data approximate the true values of the ob-
servables. We can calculate precision by standard
statistical techniques (and approximations), but
we must estimate accuracy based upon knowledge
of the apparatus, calibration against known
standards, and confidence in its operation.
The standard deviation is the preferred repre-
sentation of precision and is defined as the square
root of the variance of the data. For example, if z
is an observable, its variance is the expected value
of the square of the deviation between the ob-
served quantity and its expected value:

var (z) = <(z )2>

Assume we are collecting data which meet the
usually-satisfied continuity requirements allowing
z to be approximated by a Taylor series
truncated to first order,

z <> ( ) (x. )
i xx x i i

where the xi are the independent variables deter-
mining z. To obtain an estimate of the standard
deviation, square each side of equation (2) :

1 x

+ ( -z (x-) (x.-)
jli i i

(x. )
1 1

then take the expected value of the result (as-
suming the derivatives are exact) :

var(z) (--)x var(xi)
i 2ci 9i

S 1 1

The standard deviation of z, ao-, is simply the
square root of equation (4).
Unfortunately, we rarely have even an esti-
mate of cov (xi, xi). Fortunately, we seldom need
one. The covariance represents a correlation, or
interdependence, between the subject variables
(in this case xi, x,). The observables are usually
measured independently, therefore the covariance
is zero and the variance of z reduces to

var (z) (- --) var (x.)
ax x. -
1 1 1

Using equation (5) requires knowledge of z
as a function of the xi and of the variances of
the xi. The data themselves satisfy the first re-
quirement, although a more convenient situation
would be to have a mathematical function
z = z (x,, x, . .) which can be differentiated. The


variances of the xi are seldom available, but can
be replaced with estimated errors of the x1, E2i.
The equation for estimating the standard devia-
tion then becomes

1 x

An attractive and valid geometric model for
the additivity of variances results from consider-
ing z as uncertainly located in n-space, with the
uncertainty arising from the errors in the n in-
dependent variables, which combine orthogonally
if each independent variable acts along its own
coordinate of the space. (Correlations, in this
model, correspond to non-orthogonality of the
error-component vectors.)
Reviewing the assumptions involved in equa-
tion (6) :

* z can be approximated by a first-order
Taylor expansion;
errors in the independent variables, xi, are not
variances of the independent variables may be
approximated by their apparent experimental
errors, Ei.
(Along with the third assumption, we caution
that there are occasional cases where badly
skewed or bimodal error distributions make
simple addition of the variances, or second mo-
ments, inadequate.)
A common and less defensible technique for
assigning precision to data is to use the deriva-
tives themselves as weighting factors. Assuming
z = z(xX, x2 . .),

dz = (Z.-) dx.


dz is assumed to be o-z and the dxi are all replaced
with e1. Of course, the partial derivatives and
E, can be negative; so the absolute values are
commonly used:

Tz E <(xz)
1 X.


Equation (8) is often said to provide the "maxi-
mum error estimate." This statement has no valid
theoretical basis; a defensible worst-case error
estimate would actually be 3o-z from equation (6).
Furthermore, when absolute values are used,
physical significance becomes obscure, and geo-
metrical significance is destroyed. Effectively,
equation (8) contains all the assumptions of equa-
tion (6) plus one more-that the square root of
a sum is the sum of the square roots. This latter
assumption is not generally valid-

V4 9 16 29 = 5.4
2+3+4 = 9
Now consider some examples, the first involv-
ing the precision in measuring liquid composi-
tion by interferometry. Kirwan (1967) provides
the difference between interface composition and
that of the bulk liquid

y0 ( n)

where AN is the fringe shift at the interface, Xo
is the wavelength of the light, t is the thickness
of the optical wedge and n is the refractive index.
Kirwan also reports that the percentage errors in
AN, Xo, t and (Dn/Dy)T are respectively 20%,
<0.1,% 10% and 5%. In this case (when all ob-
servables appear as multiples in the equation), it
is convenient to divide both sides of equation (6)
by the dependent variable:

L E j ( 12 jo.5

Now percentage errors can be substituted direct-
ly, yielding o-y/Y = 0.23. From equation (8), the
value would be o-,/Y 0.35.
A second example involves a PvT experiment.
For illustration, assume a van der Waals gas with
the properties T =- 356.37K, P, = 3.700 MPa,
a = 1.000 X 10-6, b 1.000 X 10-4 and the gas


Many times, in theses dissertations and even technical papers, this straightforward
exercise (of reporting precision) is either ignored or applied improperly.

Otis L. Updike, Professor of Chemical and of Biomedical Engineer-
ing at the University of Virginia, received the B. Ch. E. from Virginia
and the Ph.D (1944) from the University of Illinois; he also has held
an NSF Science Faculty Fellowship at Caltech. In industry, chiefly with
Westvaco Chemical (now part of FMC) and Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, he worked in process development, design, and systems
process control. With interests, and system identification in both
the process and the biomedical fields, he is a member of AIChE, BmES,

Kenneth R. Hall received his B. S. from Tulsa University, M. S.
from U. of California at Berkeley and Ph.D. from the University of

constant, R = 8.3143 X 10-6 MPa m3/mol K. We
desire the precision in determining the volume at
360.82K and 100.OMPa. The following equation
is applicable:
RT a
Note that the observables do not appear as simple
multiples, so an equation similar to equation (10)
does not exist. Using ET = 0.01K and e, = 0.01
MPa (both reasonable values for these measure-
ments), equation (6) estimates o- = 1.3 X 10-9,
or 0.0011, while equation (8) produces o-,=1.7 X
10- on 0.0015%. These precisions are reasonable
because the gas is in a low compressibility region.
Our third example concerns measurement of
oxygen concentration with the Westinghouse con-
centration-cell sensor (Updike, Dammann, and
Bowers, 1968). The response of this device is
Nernstian, and may be described by the relation
SE = In frf
nF f02
where AE is the cell output voltage; R and F are
the gas constant and Faraday's constant; T is
absolute temperature of the zirconia electrolyte;
n is the number of electrons transferred in the
electrode reaction; and f is the fugacity of oxygen
in reference and sample stream, as indicated by
the subscripts. Equation (14) can be rearranged
conveniently, with substitutions for the fugacities,
to the form

2 ( sap 'samp nFiE
Y02 Yref Pref I\ fef RT

= Yref a e
where Psm5 and Pref are total pressures in the
sample and reference regions; 4samr and Oref are

Oklahoma. He held a NATO Post-doctoral fellowship in Belgium and
had industrial experience with Chemshare, Inc. and Amoco Produc-
tion Research. He taught at the University of Virginia for a number
of years and is currently on the Chemical Engineering Faculty at
Texas A & M University. His primary research interest is in the thermo-
dynamic properties of fluids.

Donald J. Kirwan received his B. S. degree from Illinois Institute
of Technology and the M. S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University
of Delaware, all in Chemical Engineering. He worked at the Mon-
santo Company in St. Louis for three years prior to joining the
faculty of the University of Virginia. His research interests are in
the areas of mass transfer, crystallization and enzyme engineering.

the corresponding fugacity coefficients; and a, P3
and y are introduced for convenience as shown in
form (13a).
For the factors in equation (13a), the un-
certainties are estimated as
e,- = 0.001, e, = 0.002, eC = 0.001, EAE
= 0.0001 V, and Er = 3K (at 1123K).
(The pressure and fugacity ratios are handled
as single variables because errors in these terms
are, by design compensating.) The expression for
the estimated standard deviation results from
differentiation of equation (13) and substitution
in equation (6) ; the derivatives are conveniently
developed from the concise form 13a). Substitu-
tion of these derivatives into equation (6) yields

-0 )20 + --, + 1 + 1 f F-. 1

Thus, at yo., = 0.500, and AE = 0.0210 volts
r -6i '5
y- (5.7 + 1.0 + 0.3 + 4.3 + 1.3)x 10 = 0.0035
This third example shows several points:
(a) the exponential factor does not allow the
simple combination of percentage errors which
was possible in the first case; (b) the independent
variables contribute unequally to the overall un-
certainty, and equation (6) displays clearly the
minor contribution of uncertainties in /j (the
fugacity ratio) ; (c) with more error contributors,
the ratio between the more defensible estimate of
equation (6) and that of equation (8) has in-
creased; (d) expected correlations were handled
by using ratios of variables in factors a and (3;
and (e) because of the exponential form, the
error level changes with y0o and y,.ef-arguing for
care in the choice of the reference gas concentra-
tion when this sensor is used.
(Continued on page 30.)


One of the best fire fighters in your town

is a pair of pajamas.

Every town, big or small,
needs experienced fire fighters.
The ones you see here in
full battle gear belong to
Engine Company No. 1 of Free-
port, NewYork.
The fire fighter that looks
out of place is the pair of paja-
mas on the child.
You see, by law all sleepwear
up to size 6X must be made
And these pajamas are made
of 100% Dynel modacrylic, a

flame-retardant fiber created by
Union Carbide.
When exposed to fire, properly
constructed fabric of Dynel
does a very sensible thing. It
shrinks from it.
And if a flame should reach
it, it extinguishes itself as soon
as the flame is removed.
Dynel has a lot more going
for it. It's soft, non-allergenic,
durable, colorfast, mothproof.
So you're likely to find this
versatile fiber in all sorts of

things. Wigs, draperies, carpets,
tents, paint rollers.
But we doubt that there will
ever be a better use for Dynel
than helping protect young chil-
dren against a very old enemy.

Today, something we do
will touch your life.

An Equal Opportunity Employer



Teesside Polytechnic
Cleveland County, England

F IRST YEAR STUDENTS of the Polytechnic's
sandwich (co-operative) BSc in Chemical
Engineering are taught transport phenomena
[1, 2] and some elements of process design. This
early introduction to Chemical Engineering
fundamentals allows them to make a real contri-
bution when they join industry for four months
of project work after completing one academic
year of study. This situation has led to the de-
velopment of some simple experiments to suggest
to the embryo engineer that some parallels do
exist between the, at first, apparently dissimilar
processes of heat, mass and momentum transfer.
These experiments are carried out in the first few
weeks of the term, often before the subjects are
handled formally in class.
The common link we chose was the simple first
order differential equation:

dx= ky (1)
indeed all the three systems to be studied can be
modelled by this equation.


In the first experiment, the rate of drainage
of a Newtonian fluid through a capillary is
measured against time. The vertical reservoir is
filled with water, say, and allowed to drain, the
height of the interface being measured at given
time intervals. A mass balance over the system
coupled with hydrodynamic considerations yields
the well known expression:

dL = -Kt, where K = 12d P(
dt 128ZAi (2)
Integration then gives:

H = Ho exp (-Kt) (3)
which is the required model of the system.
To obtain the previous expressions the student
must know the Hagen-Poiseuille equation and



Drainage through
Experiment Capillary

Cooling of Glycerol

Dissolution of
benzoic acid

Momentum transfer
Transient mass
balance and steady
state force balance
Laminar flow

Allowance for
entry effects

Heat transfer
Transient heat

Natural convection

Allowance for
variation in heat
transfer coefficient

Mass transfer
Transient mass

Whitman's film
Effect of agitator
speed on mass

Use of log-linear graph paper, normalized plots and curve
sketching from the basic model.
Treat results using regression analysis.


Method of

Extension of
Handling of



/ d

FIGURE 1. Flow through a capillary

hence have an understanding of laminar flow to-
gether with the definitions and use of viscosity,
shear stress and strain in order that the equation
can be derived. As soon as the model has been
formulated the student is asked to sketch the H-t
curve, noting that it will tend to an asymptote as
t- oo. It is also worthwhile demonstrating that
the curve has no maximum or minimum by the
classical calculus approach. These points are
generally brought out in an extended 'viva' during
the laboratory session. The students, working in
pairs, have already produced a short planning re-
port prior to their carrying out the experiment;
this ensures that they are well prepared for the
cross-examination which follows!
As soon as the experiment is concluded, the
results can be compared with the theoretical pre-
dictions. Thus, the predicted and experimentally
determined values of K can be computed, the
latter being facilitated by the use of semi-log
paper. Then a discussion of errors can be made,
indeed the log (H/Ho) against t curve can be cal-
culated using regression analysis [3], the more
able student can also introduce here the idea of
entry effects and attempt to make some allowance
for them. If 'the essence of science is prediction'
then this experiment is a fine example.

the system. Many student's first attempt at this
involves defining the system over which the tran-
sient mass balance is to be carried out as the solid
benzoic acid plus the water-this approach does
not allow much progress to be made-hence em-
phasizing the care needed in choosing control
volumes! The simplest differential model is, of
V dc
dt = KLA (Cs-) (4)
its integration being straight forward, again
semi-logarithmic paper allows a straight line
representation of the experimental data. The dis-
cussion of errors centres around the importance
of the area of the cylinder and the solution volume
changing slightly throughout the proceedings, A
useful-and often neglected-check on the titra-
tions is the measurement of the overall weight
loss of the benzoic acid block. As before, the basic
experiment can be extended, this time by investi-
gating the influence of agitator speed N on the
mass transfer coefficient, K, where:

L 0 6 (5)

to demonstrate this conveniently the student is
introduced to the use of log-log paper, perhaps
for the first time.

with a study of heat transfer. A lagged beak-
er full of a hot non-volatile liquid, glycerol say, is


T HE NEXT EXPERIMENT introduces some
simple ideas in mass transfer. A cylinder of
some sparingly soluble solid is dissolved in an ap-
propriate fluid in a stirred flask. (We use benzoic
acid in water, the solution being sampled at
regular intervals, say 5cc every 15 minutes, and
titrated against 0.01 N caustic soda). Some
familiarity with Whitman's theory of interphase
mass transfer is needed prior to the modelling of

Mr. Gerrard graduated in Chemical Engineering from Edinburgh
University and then worked in the Research and Development De-
partment of Cadbury-Schweppes. Since joining his present post his
technical interests have included particulate technology, process
economics and optimisation together with the development of the
undergraduate laboratories.


allowed to cool in a draught proof perspex case,
the principal mode of heat loss being natural con-
vection. The temperature of the fluid and the sur-
roundings are noted for an hour or two. Again
a transient (heat) balance yields the desired
-MCp dF = hA (0-0a) (6)
whose integrated form can be represented by a
straight line on log-linear graph paper. An exten-
sion of the basic theory which allows for the de-
pendence of heat transfer coefficient with
temperature difference where:
0.25 (7)
h (0-0a) (7)
can also be made.
All of the experiments can be repeated using
different initial heights, concentrations and
temperatures respectively. The results then for,
say, all the fluid flow experiments lie on the same
line if the normalized ordinate (H/Ho) is used.
Indeed if the normalized abscissa (Kt) is also
used then the results from different diameter
capillary experiments also can be reduced to a
one line representation. This dimensionless
plotting is yet another important concept for the
student to grasp.

W E HAVE FOUND THAT these three inex-
pensive and simple experiments have aided
our student's comprehension of, and belief in, the
analogous behaviour of the various forms of trans-
port phenomena. Equally importantly, the writing
of full engineering reports on their findings pro-
vides useful training prior to their early in-
dustrial baptism. Perhaps as a postscript we can
also mention two further experiments which are
given to our first year men which again are
governed by:
dy ky
dx (8)
these being the transient mass balance over a
stirred tank containing acid diluted with water
and a rig on the rates of batch sieving.
The author is happy to acknowledge the help-
ful comments of his colleague C.J. Liddle in the
development of the experiments described above.

A Area
C', C (Saturation), concentration
Cp Specific heat

Ho, H
K, k

a i, 0

Capillary diameter
Acceleration due to gravity
(Original), height
Heat transfer coefficient
Mass transfer coefficient
length of capillary
Rotational speed
(Ambient, initial), temperature

1. Bird R. B., Steward W. E., Lightfoot E. N., "Trans-
port Phenomena," J. Wiley, 1960.
2. Welty J. R., Wicks E. C., Wilson R. E., "Funda-
mentals of Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer,"
J. Wiley, 1969.
3. Chemical Engineering Laboratory Manual, Teesside
Polytechnic, September 1973.

PRECISION: Hall et al.
(Continued from page 26.)
Equation (8) approximates o-r as greater
than the more valid estimate of equation (6). The
difference depends on the number of error-con-
tributing independent variables and on the deriva-
tive-weighted contributions of each. For the
common case where three or four factors each
contribute comparably to the overall variance, the
linearly-additive equation (8) produces estimates
not more than twice the orthogonally-additive
estimate of equation (6) ; for only one major con-
tributor, results are essentially the same. Since
the calculation required is only negligibly greater,
the theoretically defensible equation (6) should
always be used.
We hasten to add that nothing new is present-
ed here. Equation (6) is available in many
references, for example Mickley, Sherwood and
Reed (1957) ; but we find that an overwhelming
majority of students-and even colleagues!- use
equation (8). This communication is an attempt
to advocate the more rigorous, well documented,
largely neglected approach. -
Kirwan, D. J., "Crystallization Kinetics of Pure and Binary
Melts," Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Delaware
Mickley, H.S., T.K. Sherwood, and C.E. Reed, "Applied
Mathematics in Chemical Engineering," 2nd ed., Mc-
Graw-Hill (1957).
Updike, O.L., J.F., Dammann, and D.L. Bowers, "Per-
formance of a Fast-Response Respiratory Oxygen
Sensor," Proc. Rocky Mtn. Bioeng. Sympos. (Denver,
1968), 109-116.


Pral J1news


In Memorium
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan 48202
W ITH THE SUDDEN DEATH of Professor Julius
L. Jackson on July 5, 1974 the scientific
community lost a productive, stimulating and
wonderful colleague. Dr. Jackson was buried in
the special memorial plot at the Weitzmann In-
stitute of Sciences, Rehovot, Israel, where he was
a visiting scientist for the summer. Dr. Jackson
served from 1969 to 1974 as the Chairman of the
Department of Chemical Engineering and
Material Sciences, Wayne State University, a
post he resigned this June in order to devote more
time to teaching and research. He recently served
as a member of the Publications Board of CEE.
He is survived by his wife, three sons and a
Professor Jackson was born on 9 November,
1924, in New York City and received degrees in
Physics at Brooklyn College, Princeton, and New
York University, where he earned his Ph.D. in
1950. He served as a visiting professor at the
State University of Iowa prior to joining the
Applied Physics Laboratory of the John Hopkins
University as a research physicist in 1951. He
also served at the Office of Naval Research and in
1956 he became a research physicist at the Nation-
al Bureau of Standards where he worked in the
Free Radicals Program and in the Statistical
Physics Section. In 1961 he joined Howard Uni-
versity as Professor of Physics.

A memorial Festschrift is being prepared, a
memorial lecture series will be held at Wayne
State University, and a fund for the education of
his children has been established. Contributions
to any of these should be sent to Julius Jackson
Memorial Fund, Wayne Fund, Detroit, Michi-
gan 48202. Jacob Jorne, Wayne State University,
Detroit, Mich.

s"I book reviews

Polymer Materials Science, by Jerold M. Schultz,
Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N. J. 1974.
Reviewed by A. T. DiBenedetto, U. of Connecticut;
Storrs, Conn.

book for senior level or first year graduate
students majoring in chemical engineering,
physics or materials science. It presupposes a
good background in physical chemistry, crystal-
lography, solid mechanics and mathematics. The
text is divided into three sections. The first four
chapters cover the science of polymer crystals
in a rather unique way, emphasizing the experi-
mental techniques of characterizing polymer
crystals and the interpretation of such measure-
ments. The second section is a very brief two
chapters on polymerization and molecular weight
distribution, included to describe the character of
polymeric chains. The third section is a loosely
connected set of five chapters on the properties
of polymeric materials. Some of the material in
these latter chapters are analytic descriptions of
the relationships between structure and proper-
ties (e. g. rubber elasticity) while the rest is by
necessity more qualitative (e. g. the mechanics
of semi-crystalline polymers).
Like most polymer texts that have been
written in recent years, it reflects a point of view
by the author of what should be in an introduc-
tory course in polymeric materials. Those who
feel that students should be exposed first to the
technology of polymers will not want to use this
book as a text. There is no information here on
plastics fabrication and end use. Those who feel
that polymer synthesis and the control of proper-
ties through chemical reaction kinetics deserves
at least equal time with structure-property rela-
tions, also will not want to use this book as a text.
(Continued on page 48.)


fi classroom



Clarkson College of Technology
Potsdam, New York 13676

students to the profession in a meaningful way
has long been a problem. At Clarkson College of
Technology a variety of techniques have been
tried, many meeting with a singular lack of real
success. The methods used have ranged from in-
formal orientation sessions to design to nothing
at all. The long range effects of these attempts
are difficult to measure, but one can be reasonably
certain that the engineering profession loses a
significant number of potentially productive mem-
bers when capable students are "turned off" by
their first exposures to engineering in college.
During the 1969-70 academic year, Clarkson's
Engineering School faculty completed a major
revision of its undergraduate curricula. These
curricula provide for a common Freshman pro-
gram for all engineering students including a two
course sequence (3 semester credits each) in
engineering taught jointly by faculty from each
department. The first of these, titled "Introduc-
tion to Engineering," is devoted primarily to de-
veloping skills in engineering graphics and digital
computing as a means of solving engineering prob-
lems. Some orientation to engineering and its
major branches is provided by lectures on topics
related to engineering design, the engineering
profession, or the relationship of engineering to
society. The second course, titled "Introduction to
Complex Design," is much more loosely structured
than the first. Depending on the faculty involved,
the course has been conducted in a wide variety of
ways but generally involving a design project of
one sort or another. Typically, near the end of the
first course engineering faculty members submit
project descriptions to the students who are asked
to indicate their preferences. Students are then
assigned to sections for the second course, taking
into account preferences and number limitations
imposed by the nature of the project.

What follows will describe the methods that I
used in teaching a section of "Introduction to
Complex Design" each of the past two years.
Centered about the design of a chemical plant, the
course content and organization will be given in
some detail and some measure of the students'
response as well as my reactions to the course will
be provided. Hopefully the information provided
will be of some value to those teaching or planning
a Freshman engineering course.

I MUST CONFESS THAT I went into the
course the first time with some trepidation. It
never has been entirely clear to me just what
such a Freshman engineering course should con-
sist of. Broadly, the engineering school agreed
that the course should provide an introduction to
the engineering profession through a design ex-
perience. However, no specific guidelines as to
content or structure existed. Moreover, I had
never taught Freshmen and therefore had
relatively little insight into the kinds of problems
they could handle.

Gordon Youngquist received his BS from the University of Min-
nesota and his MS and PhD from the University of Illinois. Since
1962 he has been at Clarkson College of Technology where his
teaching and research interests are in reactor analysis, crystallization
and porous media.


I felt that the course should somehow intro-
duce the student to a variety of engineering ac-
tivities, hopefully in such a way as to motivate
him to continue in engineering and to provide in-
sight into his future course of study and career.
More specifically, the following objectives

1. To provide experience at defining problems.
Nearly all of the problems students do have been
defined for them by someone else. Consider typical
textbook problems in science or engineering, for
example. A student's candid response to some prob-
lems he was confronted with in this course: "How
can I give an answer when I don't know what the
question is?"
2. To provide some introduction to the various aspects
of engineering design.
Emphasis was placed on the distinction and inter-
relationships between process design and equipment
design and also the important role of economics.
3. To provide experience at working with and for others
on a long term problem of broad scope.
Most of the work that students have done at this
point has been on short, well-defined problems that
they have completed by themselves. They have had
little experience at planning work on a long term
problem which requires the joint efforts of several
4. To provide some experience at decision making.
Few engineering problems have but one solution!
5. To provide a means of applying accumulated back-
ground to completely new problems.
6. To provide experience at technical report presenta-
tion, both written and oral.
7. To provide experience at evaluating the work of


cided to have the class do a chemical plant
design using a format not unlike the one often
used for our Senior design course. Table I pro-
vides general information about the staffing and
structure of the course. The first four weeks of
the course were devoted to relatively short, in-
troductory problems The next eight weeks were
spent on the design of a chemical plant. The final
two weeks were devoted to evaluation of written
design reports by the students themselves and to
oral presentations by the students. The class met
twice each week for two periods each day using
two adjoining classrooms. These were standard
classrooms with movable chairs, each accommo-
*Evolved is a most accurate description here. Some of
these I had in mind before the course started. Others
developed as the course progressed.

dating about 50 students. In 1972, I had six and
in 1973, eight teaching assistants working with
me. The assistants, all undergraduate chemical
engineers, were allowed 1 academic credit and

Students who took the course had, early
in their course of study, a broad range of
experience and exposure to engineering
that our typical student has never had in the past.

given a very modest stipend for their participa-
tion in the course.
The initial four week period served to orient
the student's thinking toward the solution of
engineering problems and to develop certain prob-
lem solving skills that they would need later in
the semester. Typically, the first half hour or 45
minutes of the class was devoted to lecture-dis-
cussion of a problem. During the remainder of
the class period, the students divided into 5 or 6
man groups to pursue the problem further



Instructor: G.R. Youngquist, Associate Professor of
Chemical Engineering.
Assistants: One undergraduate assistant for each 6
students. These were juniors or seniors
in Chemical Engineering.
Students: All were Freshmen. In 1972, 34 students
and in 1973, 42 students, took the course.
Of these about 2/3 were intending to be
Chemical Engineers, a few were intending
to be Civil or Mechanical Engineers, and
the rest were undecided at this point.
Classrooms: Used two adjoining standard classrooms.
Schedule: Class met two days per week, each day for
two 50 minute class periods.
Overall The semester was fourteen weeks long,
format: divided as follows:
4 weeks-Introductory problems covering
some principles of material and
energy balances. Some lectures,
some group activity, some in-
dividual activity.
8 weeks-Plant design project by student
groups of 5 to 6 culminating a
written design report.
1 week Student evaluation of written de-
sign reports
1 week Oral presentations of designs;
award made for best presenta-


Clarksen's curricula has a two semester common freshman program taught jointly by faculty
from each department . the first is devoted to orientation to engineering,
engineering graphics and digital computing . the second involves
a design project of some sort.

through discussion and analysis. Three or four
groups worked in each classroom to avoid con-
gestion. One assistant was assigned to each group
to answer questions, to stimulate discussion if
necessary, and to provide general guidance. I
circulated from group to group to provide addi-
tional assistance. In some cases, this activity cul-
minated in a homework assignment to be sub-
mitted by individual students.
The basic subject areas introduced during this
time were only two: energy conservation and
mass conservation. Generally I started with an
ill-defined problem and worked towards a well-
defined problem which could be made quantitative.
For example, on the first day of class I asked
the students to "design a system which could be
used to heat 10,000 gallons of a solvent from am-
bient temperature to 100C." The problem state-
ment was made deliberately vague to cause them
to ask a large number of questions, the answers
to which would serve to define the problem. The
students worked on the problem in groups,
making up a list of such questions, and also de-
veloping a number of alternative ways that could
be used. All of the groups considered batch-wise
steam heating as an alternative, placing the sol-
vent in a tank with an internal heating coil. For
the next class period, I restated the problem pro-
viding answers to many of the questions they had
posed. We then looked at quantitative aspects of
the problem, asking in particular how one might
determine the required size of the steam coil. This
led naturally to a discussion of the factors which
influence the rate of heat transfer. The notions
of the temperature driving force and the overall
heat transfer coefficient were introduced. From
these, we developed an unsteady state energy
balance for the system making use of the defini-
tion of the derivative to arrive at an appropriate
differential equation. Then, for a group activity
I asked them to solve the differential equation and
to calculate the required heat transfer area. Al-
though they had no prior exposure to differential
equations, they quickly caught on to separation
of variables and recognized how to solve the re-

sult either analytically or numerically. Following
this, I introduced the log-mean temperature
difference, albeit in the context of a batch system.
Subsequently, I asked the students how the heat
exchange system might be made continuous. Of
course, they first suggested using the tank of the
batch system with continuous flow. We discussed
the merits of this suggestion and with a little bit
of prodding they soon arrived at the concepts of
double pipe and tube and shell exchangers. I
brought a small tube and shell exchanger to class
for their inspection. The students found this heat
exchange problem very satisfying. Among other
things, it was easy for them to visualize; they
could use their intuitive skills readily; they saw
how the mathematics they were studying could
be applied to a practical problem; and it revealed
the broad implications of batch versus continuous
systems. Above all, they got some feel for the im-
portance of defining a problem and using what
they already know to solve a problem they had
never seen before.
From here, we went on to look at a couple
of elementary mass balance problems involving
chemical reactions, then to combined mass and
energy balances (adiabatic flame temperatures,
e.g.), ending the four week period with a qualita-
tive discussion of rates of chemical reactions and
the characteristics of various types of chemical
At times when they were struggling with the
definition of a problem, the students were quite
frustrated. In this respect, I tried to emphasize
strongly that adequately defining a problem often
is the most difficult part of finding a solution. I
was continually amazed at the students' ability to
use intuitive reasoning-much better than seniors,
I often felt. They were adept at generating sound
ideas, both for processes and equipment, and were
especially sensitive to the economic implications
of their ideas. The latter I found especially
pleasing, the importance of money in design arose
quite spontaneously throughout.



T HE NEXT EIGHT WEEKS of the semester
were devoted to the design of a chemical
plant. At the beginning of this period, I asked
the class to divide themselves into 5 or 6 man
engineering "companies," each selecting their
own chief engineer. One teaching assistant was
assigned permanently to each company as a
technical consultant. Half of the companies, each
doing its own design, designed a plant for the wet
oxidation of sludge from a waste treatment plant
while the other half designed a plant for convert-
ing the sludge to oil. Table 2 shows the letter
which was used as the problem assignment. These
two processes were selected because of their
obvious relevance, because a reasonable amount of
background information was available, and be-
cause the problems were sufficiently broad in
scope that the interests of potential Civil and
Mechanical as well as Chemical Engineers could
be served. Furthermore, I have some related re-

Integral Chemical Company
209 Peyton Hall
Potsdam, New York 13676
February 6. 1973
Consultants, Inc.
342 Snell Hall
Potsdam, New York 13676
Our chemical processing facility in Potsdam has a
waste treatment plant which produces 300,000 gallons of
effluent per day. The effluent is about 3% by weight solids
(the rest is water) and the solids are 75% organic. The
composition of the organic material can be represented
by the empirical formula C11sH1700oN17P.
At present we are dewatering the effluent by vacuum
filtration to 25% solids and the solids are incinerated
using fuel oil as an auxiliary fuel. The residual ash is
landfilled. This process costs us about $20 per ton of dry
solids. The filtration step has been no end of trouble to us,
however, since to be efficient incineration requires rather
close regulation of the water content and our filters have
been difficult to control. In addition, both the State and
Federal Environmental Protection Agencies are putting
pressure on us to reduce both particulate and chemical
emissions from our incinerator stacks.
As a result, we have been looking for alternatives to
incineration for disposal of our wastes. Two such methods
which have come to our attention recently and which
appear potentially attractive for our purposes are: 1) wet
oxidation (i.e., the Zimpro process) and 2) conversion of
the wastes to oil.
Some of the possible advantages we see for these
processes are the following. In the wet oxidation process,

the organic may be more or less completely oxidized to
carbon dioxide and water in the presence of liquid water
and air. With liquid water present fly ash is no problem
and many of the oxidation products will form water
soluble salts. Filtration of the effluent possibly may be
unnecessary. Also, it might be possible to generate elec-
trical power by expanding the high pressure, high
temperature gases which result from the process through
a turbine.
In conversion to oil, the organic are reacted in the
presence of carbon monoxide and liquid water to produce
fuel oil. This oil may be especially valuable to us in light
of recent shortages. As with the wet oxidation process,
the emissions problems attendant to incineration should
be largely checked.
On the negative side, with either of these processes
we will still have to meet the local pollution standards
for both our off gases and our waste water. The residual
insoluble solids will likely have to be separated and land-
filled. In addition, since both processes require moderate
reactor pressures and temperatures, capital costs for
plant installation may be high.
Since these processes do look reasonably attractive to
us, we would like your firm to do a plant design for one
of them. This design should provide us with the basis
for determining the advisability of proceeding to the final
design and construction stage. As a minimum it should
include reasonably complete process and equipment speci-
fications along with your best estimates of capital and
operating costs. We require that your final design report
be submitted to us by April 19, 1973. You should also be
prepared to make an oral presentation to our staff on
May 1, 1973.
Very truly yours,
I. N. Tegral, President

search interests and the two processes are quite
similar so I would not spread myself too thin in
terms of background. At the outset, I provided
each of the groups with a few pertinent papers
about each process. Each group organized its
activities as it saw fit. I asked for very brief week-
ly activity reports from each company and two
progress reports in addition to a final written
design report, but beyond this imposed no specific
structure. No formal lectures were given during
the project period. I did expect the students to
show up for each scheduled class, so that they

. The course should provide an introduction
to the engineering profession through a
design experience . and motivate
the student to continue in engineering
and to provide insight into his future
course of study and career.


could consult with the assistants, myself and each
other. Most of the companies stumbled around
for two to three weeks trying to get themselves
organized effectively and, subsequently, trying to
define the problem. I did not interfere with this,
except to make suggestions when asked. It took
the students a while to recognize the value of a
process flowsheet, but once this was done they
were off and running. To assist the companies in
getting started with the necessary material and
energy balance calculations, I made up two lec-
tures on cassette tapes. This proved quite effective.
In addition, I regularly brought to class references
such as Perry's Handbook, Popper's Handbook
for Cost Estimation, Handbook of Chemistry and
Physics, and Peters and Timmerhaus Plant De-
sign and Economics. Especially towards the end
of the project, these were used heavily. The stu-
dents often had considerable difficulty in using
library sources, primarily because most of the
potentially useful texts were written in language
that was too advanced.
The companies organized themselves in a
variety of ways, but I am certain that all came
away from the design project with a good ap-
preciation of the difficulties of working with and
for people in a situation where crossflow of in-
formation is vital. In most cases, the company
engineers became "experts" in different aspects
of the process, sharing their knowledge in dis-

The competitive spirit which pervaded during
this time was tremendous . companies
went all out to make good presentations . .
Students were able to ask penetrating
questions and discussions following
were very spirited.

cussions both in and out of class. The assistants
were quite effective in working with the
companies, developing good rapport with their
groups. As in the first four weeks, I circulated
from company to company during-class meetings
providing guidance wherever it was most needed.
At the start of the design project, most of the
students were a bit overwhelmed, feeling that a
plant design was more than they could handle.
By the end, most were surprised and pleased at
how far they had progressed. (Frankly, so
was I!). Their final written reports were sub-
mitted on time, were remarkably complete, and

generally of high quality. The reports reflected
some technical naivete, as you might expect, but
I felt showed considerable imagination and
creativity in treating some genuinely complex
engineering problems.

ON THE DAY THAT the final reports were
submitted, I asked each student to evaluate
the members of his company, without identifying
himself. An evaluation form was provided for
this purpose. Many of the students commented
later that they did not like this peer evaluation,
but I felt that they responded conscientiously. At
this same time, I also requested a course evalua-
tion by written response to four questions. The
results were very interesting and will be present-
ed later.
In class during the week following submission
of the final reports, each company read and
evaluated the written reports of two other
companies. Identifying features of the reports
were removed so that the companies did not know
whose report they were evaluating. The students
took this seriously and did a good job of construc-
tive criticism. I believe they found this activity
very revealing, for it demonstrated the importance
of good written communication and also gave
them the opportunity to see in detail what ap-
proaches other students took in solving the design
The final week was devoted to presentation
of oral reports on their design work. Four judges
(a faculty member, a graduate student, a senior,
and a freshman not involved with this section of
the course) were asked to evaluate the presenta-
tion and an award was made for the best report.
The competitive spirit which pervaded during
this time was tremendous, and the companies
went all out to make good presentations. Because
they all had worked on substantially the same
design problem, the students were able to ask
penetrating questions and the discussions which
followed each presentation were very spirited.
For the most part, I tried to play down the
importance of grades in the course. No examina-
tions were given. A few homework assignments
at the beginning of the course were collected and
graded, but these were not considered at all in
determining final grades. Final written reports
and oral reports were given a letter grade, but
these were considered as collective grades for the


company. To determine grades for individuals,
I relied on 1) the peer evaluation mentioned
above, 2) evaluations by the assistants, and 3)
my personal evaluations as they developed over
the semester. Generally I looked for such qualities
as leadership, creativity, analytical ability, re-
liability, cooperation and effort by the students.
Since both the assistants and I worked closely

Students found their design project challenging
and realistic engineering . they liked
the relatively flexible and informal
organization of the course. They
discovered engineering can be a lot
of work and that information gathering
is a significant part of that work.

with the students, it was relatively easy to deter-
mine which students knew the various aspects of
the problems, which were leaders, and so on. The
three evaluations cited above were remarkably
consistent, and I have full confidence that the
grades assigned were fair and justified. Con-
sidering the nature of the course, a pass-fail
grading system may have been more appropriate.


EVALUATING A COURSE is never very easy.
The standard evaluation forms that one often
uses for lecture courses are inappropriate for a
course of this type, so I decided to ask the students
for written responses to four questions. These
1) What aspects of the course did you like
the best? 2) What aspects of the course did you
like the least? 3) What are your chief criticisms
of the course? Do you have any suggestions for
improving it? 4) Has the course encouraged you
to continue in engineering or discouraged you
from doing so? Why?
The students responded conscientiously with
some very candid, meaningful, and interesting
comments. These are too lengthy to reproduce
here, but interested readers may obtain copies
typed exactly as they were written by contacting
the author directly. Table 3 briefly summarizes
the responses. It is clear that the students found
their design project to be challenging and realistic
engineering from their vantage point and that
they liked the relatively flexible and informal
organization of the course. They discovered that

No. of
1972 1973

What aspects of the course did you
like the best?
1. Work on a realistic engineering
problem; opportunity to see the
work of an engineer.
2. Work in small groups; learning
how to work with others.
3. Informal class organization; flexible
scheduling of work; freedom to
work independently.
4. Challenging, relevant, different. 1
interesting design problem.

What aspects of the course did you
like the least?
1. Materials or information hard to
find, or interpret; design problem
too sophisticated.
2. Design problem too much work;
work not shared equally by
company members.
3. Course organization; location; 1
4. Difficulty in getting started on
design problem.

What are your chief criticisms of the course?
Any suggestions for improving it?
1. Give a better idea of what is expected
early; provide more information
2. Provide more reference materials
written at our level; give additional
lectures; better assistants.
3. Do shorter project, simpler project.
4. Arrange field trips.
5. Make scheduling more flexible; do not
require class meetings.

Has the course encouraged you to continue in
engineering or discouraged you from doing
so? Why?
1. Encouraged me.
2. Discouraged me.
3. Neither.

9 13

9 8

9 14

0 10

8 10

3 10

.0 6

3 5

22 30
4 1
4 8

engineering can be a lot of work and that infor-
mation gathering is a significant portion of that
work. Many suggested that I provide more infor-
mation through additional lectures and materials,
but this seems directly related to inexperience at
defining problems and organizing work effort.
Others suggested that the design problem was
too advanced for their background, but judging
from what they were able to achieve I do not feel
that this was the case. Significantly, only a small


fraction (5 of 69) indicated that the course had
discouraged them from continuing in engineering.
Some of these made comments like "Now that I
have seen what engineering may be like, I have
decided it is not for me."
On the whole, I feel that the course was highly
successful. The course was exciting and challeng-
ing to teach and I enjoyed it immensely. The
response of students was quite gratifying. It
seems clear that much of what I tried to build into
the course met with reasonable success. Whether
any long term benefits will accrue remains to be
seen. Certainly the students who took the course
have had very early in their course of study a
broad range of experience and exposure to en-
gineering that our typical student has never had
in the past. Several of the assistants commented
that they wished they had had such a course as
freshmen, indicating that it would have given
them much insight into their subsequent courses.
At the beginning of the semester, at least the
first time I taught it, the course consumed a great
deal of my time. This was due partly to my in-
experience with the course, but partly due to the
fact that all of the planning and course develop-

ment had to be done by the instructor. I found
no suitable text to use as a guide or to provide
problems. (The course just might be pretty sterile
if there were!) Moreover, the course needs to be
very flexible if it is to respond to the needs and
interests of the students. Towards the end of the
semester, especially as the design projects got well
under way, little time was required beyond that
spent in class. Teaching the course the second
time was much easier. I made some minor modi-
fications, but used essentially the same material
and format as the previous year. This, plus the
fact that I then knew how the students would
react, reduced my time commitment to a mini-
Provided assistants are available, I believe that the
course could be run in this fashion with as many as 50
students per section. For group projects, there should be
no more than 6 students per group. However, as the class
size increases one does risk destroying the informal and
personal atmosphere of the course. This could defeat the
purposes of the course. Also, larger class size probably
would mean a greater diversity of interests among the
students. This makes it more difficult to select projects
consistent with their interests. In any case, the instructor
should limit the spectrum of design problems going simul-
taneously in the course to avoid spreading himself too
thin in terms of his own interests and background. []





CHEMICAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION, in cooperation with the CACHE (Computer Aides to Chemical
Engineering) Corporation, is initiating the publication of proven computer-based homework problems as
a regular feature of this journal.
Problems submitted for publication should be documented according to the published "Standards for
CACHE Computer Programs" (September 1971). That document is available now through the CACHE
representative in your department or from the CACHE Computer Problems Editor. Because of space
limitations, problems should normally be limited to twelve pages total; either typed double-spaced or
actual computer listings. A problem exceeding this limit will be considered. For such a problem the article
will have to be extracted from the complete problem description. The procedure to distribute the total
documentation may involve distribution at the cost of reproduction by the author.
Before a problem is accepted for publication it will pass through the following review steps:
1) Selection from among all the contributions of interesting problems by the CACHE Computer Problem
Advisory Board
2) Documentation review (with revisions if necessary) to guarantee adherence to the "Standards for
CACHE Computer Programs"
3) Program testing by running it on a minimum of three different computer systems.
Problems should be submitted to:
Dr. Gary Powers
Carnegie-Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Penn. 15213


ChE Department: WATERLOO
(Continued from page 7.)

of the personality of the Waterloo department,
some accomplishments and hobbies of the faculty
are noted below:

T. L. Batke, Ph.D. (Toronto) is a past vice-president of
the University and was the first department chairman. He
has recently been cross-appointed to the Philosophy De-
partment where he teaches a graduate course. L. E.
Bodnar, Ph.D. (Master) is a past acting chairman, an
outstanding amateur photographer and an authority on
weaving. C. M. Burns, Ph.D. (Brooklyn Polytech. Inst.)
has a wide range of interest in polymers and as editor
for several years developed the CSChE Research Directory
into an important survey of research activity in Canada.
J. J. Byerly, Ph.D. (U.B.C.) is co-inventor of a patented
process to control water pollution by certain metallic com-
pounds. K. S. Chang, Ph.D. (Northwestern) is a consistent-
ly highly-rated teacher and is an accomplished amateur
magician, two attributes which prove valuable in his work
on control theory. F. A. Dullien, Ph.D. (U.B.C.) is an
active consultant to industry; his work on porous media
has found extensive applications. K. Enns, Ph.D. (Toronto)
is co-inventor with John Byerley of the water pollution
control process, and holder of a law degree. T. Z. Fahidy,
Ph.D. (Illinois) is an associate editor of Can. J. Chem.
Eng. also manages to come up with a minimum of one
joke per day. J. D. Ford, Ph. D. (Toronto) established our
Unit Operations lab. C. E. Gall, Ph. D. (Minnesota) man-
ages to bridge the two cultures of applied math and
theatre. He appeared in the Stratford Shakespearian
festival for a season and has worked in a T.V. drama
series (in a white lab coat!). A. H. Heatley, Ph.D.
(Toronto) is semi-retired, but is still active enough to
have purchased a small computer for his continuing work
on numerical methods of solving differential equations.
R. Y. M. Huang, Ph.D. (Toronto) works on polymers, has
served as President of the University Faculty Association,
and was the leading force in the University's annual
Hagey Lectures which brings to the campus such figures
as Fred Hoyle and George Wald for several days of dis-
cussion. R. R. Hudgins, Ph. D. (Princeton) is our current
associate chairman (undergraduate studies) and, when
not studying catalysis, plays the harpsicord, organ or
piano. I. F. Macdonald, Ph.D. (Wisconsin) has interests
that range from blood to polymers. M. Moo-Young, Ph.D.
(London) is the 1973 ERCO award winner for "distinguish-
ed contribution to ChE. in Canada," an associate editor of
"Advances in Biochemical Engineering," an active con-
sultant and, as a professional folksinger, has been record-
ed in live-concert on an album (Capitol-Dominion). G. S.
Mueller, Ph.D. (Manchester) is a University Residence
Tutor, coordinator of the Canadian Government-sponsored
aid-program to the University of Havana, and plays his
self-built organ. K. F. O'Driscoll, Ph. D. (Princeton) is
our present chairman, co-inventor of a patented process
for a soft-contact lens material; author of "Nature and
Chemistry of High Polymers" (Reinhold), co-editor of
Reviews in Macromolecular Chemistry, and has his own
company, (Polymeric Enzymes, Inc.). D. C. T. Pei, Ph.D.

(McGill) is a past associate chairman, and is currently
on sabbatical helping to establish a ChE curriculum in
Singapore. E. Rhodes, Ph.D. (Manchester) is our current
associate chairman (Graduate Studies), has developed a
successful format for our annual departmental visits by
high-school students, is co-editor of a two-phase flow
volume (Plenum). P. M. Reilly, Ph.D. (London) is winner
of a 1973 OCUFA "Outstanding Teacher" award. G. L.
Rempel, Ph.D. (U.B.C.) is very active in putting Chemistry
for all 800 first-year engineering students on a firm basis.
C. W. Robinson, Ph.D. (Berkeley is interested in PSI
teaching methods and has prepared a PSI manual for
mass transfer. J. M. Scharer, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania) has
interests in microbiology and nature in general. D. S.
Scott, Ph.D. (Illinois) is a past chairman, a past acting
Dean, the 1972 president of C.S.Ch.E., a Centennial Medal
winner, an active consultant, and co-editor of a two-phase
flow volume. D. R. Spink, Ph.D. (Iowa State) has been
a School Board member and still skates hard in the grad
students hockey games. P. L. Silveston, Ph.D. (Munich)
is an accomplished flyer and has his own consulting firm.
G. A. Turner, Ph.D. (Manchester) is author of "Heat and
Concentration Waves" (Academic Press). B. M. E. van
der Hoff, Ir. (Delft) is an associate editor of J. of Macro-
molecular Chemistry, who recently returned from a
sabbatical in Nigeria where he established research and
teaching in polymer Technology. J. R. Wynnyckyj, Ph.D.
(Toronto) is an active consultant, is interested in the role
of minority ethnic groups in Canada.

Location of University of Waterloo.


FOUNDED IN 1957, the University was the first of
several "new universities" in Canada. Today, it is
co-educational and multi-faculty with both conventional
and co-operative programs. The campus occupies 1,000
acres of landscaped grounds and is rated as one of Canada's
most beautiful.
The university is situated in the Regional Municipality
of Waterloo. Because Waterloo city is part of the larger
twin-city of Kitchener (overall population: 165,000) it is
often not shown on maps. Toronto is 60 miles to the
northeast, and Niagara Falls is 80 miles to the southeast.
The maps shows the spot! D


/1974 4wa'd iec&te

To New Problems

Columbia University,
New York, NY 10027

commonly said to be "food, clothing, and
shelter." In the parlance of an industrial civiliza-
tion a better statement might be (1) food, (2)
energy resources, and (3) material resources.
Food and energy resources can be considered to
be consumed immediately if we ignore processing,
transportation, and storage lags; material re-
sources, are those which are converted into
durable or semidurable goods.
The needs of pre-industrial man were satis-
fied in large measure by renewable resources.
Food supplies were completely renewable, al-
though somewhat uncertain. Although coal was
known to the Romans, its use was limited before
the 18th century; useful energy was obtained
mainly from water, wind, and wood. Non-renew-
able resources were exploited substantially only
in the fabrication of utensils, weapons, and struc-
tures, and even here recycling was significant.
Many a European farm house and villa in-
corporates carefully chiseled stones from Roman
walls and roads.
One consequence of the industrial revolution
was a rapid increase in dependence on non-renew-
able resources. Iron, and then steel, replaced
wood in structures, machinery, vehicles, and
ships; fossil fuels, coal, then oil and gas, became

One consequence of the industrial revolu-
tion was a rapid increase in dependence on
non-renewable resources. Iron, then steel
replaced wood in structures, machinery, vehicles
and ships; fossil fuels, coal, then oil and gas
became primary sources of energy.

-HYDROPOWE .------



O -s

'1850 1875 1900 1925 15 1975 000

the primary sources of energy. The rapidity of
this change is evident from the familiar data of
Figure 1 (1), indicating the energy sources em-
ployed in the United States since 1800.
Technological man has dramatically increased
this dependence on non-renewable resources.
Over the last thirty years the seeming abundance
of low-cost petroleum and natural gas give birth
to and sustained a burgeoning petrochemical in-
dustry. Through it a significant component of our
material as well as energy needs became de-
pendent on hydrocarbons. Synthetic polymers
have replaced cellulosic substances, wood, paper,
and cotton, in a host of applications while many
industrial chemicals, once prepared from renew-
able raw materials, are now synthesized from
petrochemical intermediates. Ethanol is the classic
example. In 1939 about 85% of the industrial
(non-beverage) alcohol produced in this country
was manufactured by the fermentation, most of
it from molasses and cereal grains. By 1960
ethylene had replaced these raw materials almost
Parallel with, and in part related to this shift


At a point like this, one expects a clarion call for the development of new technology
but I believe that much can be accomplished with technology already at hand . .
also that biotechnology-deliberate exploitation of the potential for chemical change
inherent in living cells-can contribute significantly to this effort.

in our resource base we have witnessed a signifi-
cant and accelerating deterioration of the physical
environment. The factors contributing to this
decay have been discussed many times but one
is directly related to the shift from wood to fossil
fuels. This is a massive, environmental carbon
imbalance. Carbon, fixed by photosynthesis and
subsequently converted to coal, oil, and gas over
millions of years, is being rapidly returned to the
atmosphere through the combustion of fossil
fuels. We do not know whether the consequences
of this imbalance will be as serious-even
dangerous- as some suggest but I would certain-
ly rest easier if carbon dioxide production were
better balanced by current photosynthetic activi-
ty (Figure 2).
We are now confronted with several vital and
interconnected problems arising from our great

CO2 + 120

- -. Solar energy






CO2 + H20



dependence on non-renewable resources:
* Petroleum and natural gas are in short supply and
expensive. Availability may be increased for a time but
the real cost will not decline. Furthermore, the en-
vironmental cost of substantially increased supplies
may be catastrophic, e.g. shale oil.
* Our agriculture has become intensive and productive
but at great cost, especially in terms of energy from
fossil fuels.
* The accumulation of wastes from this technological
structure has reached staggering proportions, especial-
ly in and around urban centers. Traditional methods
of disposal either consume large amounts of energy
or are environmentally unacceptable.

Most important, we now recognize that tech-
nological man has reached the point where his
needs for food, energy, and durable goods are
complex and interactive. The choices which can
be made in satisfying them are highly constrained
and often competitive. This is illustrated, albeit
in grossly simplified terms, by the schemes pre-
sented in Figures 3 and 4. They summarize the
various relationships, existant or potential, be-
tween the production of food proteins, energy for
transportation and power generation, and petro-
chemicals. In fact Figures 2 and 3 should be one
but such a presentation, even in the simple terms
employed here, would be excessively complicated.
I have therefore divided the total problem into
those elements which are pertinent to food protein
production (Figure 3) and those which provide
energy for power and transportation and feed-
stocks for petrochemical manufacture (Figure 4).
The significant points to be noted with respect
to Figure 3 are:
Cereal grains comprise the primary protein source for
most of the world's population. Increased productivity
can be achieved but only at the cost of relatively greater
expenditures of fossil fuels, Heichel [2] has pointed out
that modern agriculture derives practically all of its
"cultural" (other than solar) energy from fossil fuels
or other sources which replace labor. Increases of 10-
to 50-fold in the cultural energy employed have only
doubled or tripled the yield of digestible food energy.
Major sources of protein for animal feeding are cereal
grains, soy bean and fish meal. In addition, molasses,
supplemented with nitrogen and phosphorus, has be-
come a popular component of livestock feeds during the



* N AT' ~-.-'Wi'I I

- ET g'C::

- LSH 1

FIGURE 3. Food Relationships

past two decades. In 1946 less than one-third of
molasses consumed in the United States was used
livestock feeding. U. S. molasses consumption todd
more than double that in 1946 and over 80% of
used for liquid animal feeds. This escalation in den
coupled with shortages of soybean and fish meal,
resulted in a three-fold increase in molasses prices
the last two years.
* Microbial protein is another potential contribute
both animal and human diets. Virtually all of the m
bial protein produced so far has been derived
molasses, primarily cane and beet. It is also techni
possible to produce microbial protein from met
(very low yields) or methanol,. from paraffins, and
ethanol. Commercial production from both alcohols
in fact, been announced [3, 4].
* Molasses was the dominant raw material for eth
production prior to 1940. As we have seen, ferm
tion alcohol has subsequently been replaced al
completely by the ethylene-based product.
* Waste or virgin cellulose offers another potential
material for the production of either microbial
tein or ethanol.

With respect to Figure 4 it should be noted thf

* Electric power generation in the United States is
rently dependent upon coal, natural gas, petroleum,
hydropower almost exclusively. Methanol is a pote
fuel, either directly or following reconversion to
* Methane may also be produced by the anaerobic di
tion of cellulose and other solid wastes. Prolysi
such materials can also give oil and gas fractions
to be suitable as burner fuels.
* Transportation is almost totally dependent
petroleum. Here we face a growing conflict beti
petrochemical needs and increased demands for
matic components in gasoline to compensate for
reduction in performance occasioned by the elimina
of lead.
* Ethanol is another potential fuel for internal com
tion engines. As we have seen, it can be produced f
a wide variety of saccharides including the glu
generated by cellulose hydrolysis,


s of



anaero.bic digestion
CELLULOSE p. Tolys s




I _-


SFIGUntr e rw mEneriagy Relationships

FIGURE 4. Energy Relationships


.. No matter what time scale one accepts for the
continued availability of our fossil fuel resources,
it is apparent that we must redress the imbalance
of recent decades and move toward a greater de-
pendence on renewable resources. This must be
done in a manner which maximizes benefits by
coupling material and energy generated in one
sector as closely and efficiently as possible with
material and energy needs elsewhere. Szego and
Kemp [5] and Klass [6] have recently presented
T. EI. provocative analyses of the technical and
economic aspects of renewable fuel resources.
These proposals are based on direct combustion
of wood (Szego and Kemp) and anaerobic diges-
tion to methane (Klass).
the There is no question that such a trend will
I for have immense social impact. It will therefore be
ay is necessary to achieve a finer degree of integrated
it is technical, economic, and social projection and
has planning than we have ever achieved before.
over At a point like this one expects a clarion call
for the development of new technology but I be-
*r to lieve that much can be accomplished with tech-
icro- nology already at hand. I also believe that bio-
from technology-deliberate exploitation of the poten-
cally tial for chemical change inherent in living cells-
from can contribute significantly to this effort. I pro-
has pose to support these contentions by examining a
specific proposal-the production of ethanol for
hanol use as an internal combustion engine fuel. I am
enta- not going to argue for this proposal-although it
most would be false for me not to confess an attraction

raw for the prospect. Rather I want to use it to il-
pro- lustrate the opportunities which have been creat-
ed by the sudden and, I believe permanent, rise in
at: the real, relative cost of petroleum.
Before we look at this specific case, however,

FIS --

a few points about biotechnology and its potential
role in the utilization of renewable resources are
in order.

role which I expect biotechnology to play in in-
creasing our dependence on renewable resources.
Now I want to briefly outline the basis for that
belief. Biotechnology can best be defined as the
exploitation, under reasonably controlled condi-
tions, of the potential for chemical change in-
herent in biological systems. Important applica-
tions include (1) isolation, purification, and modi-
fication of biologically active materials, (2) the
use of individual enzymes and complete enzyme
systems to effect chemical transformations, and
(3) the use of populations of whole cells for the
same purpose (fermentation, biological waste
treatment, etc.).
As tools for generating chemical change,
biological systems are powerful but often circum-
scribed [7]. They can catalyze a wide variety of
chemical reactions, organic and inorganic, includ-
ing oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, substitutions,
group transfers, etc. [8]. Products can be ob-
tained through both endergonic (AG=- +) and
exergonic (AG -) reactions, thanks to the
unique energy transfer and coupling mechanisms
found in living cells.
A considerable spectrum of raw materials is
available for biological processes. In the realm of
organic reactions these are referred to as "carbon
sources." The traditional-and still the most wide-
ly used-carbon sources in biotechnology are the
carbohydrates, especially starch and sugars. Re-
actions involving the exergonic degradation of
sugars to products, alcohol production from glu-
cose for example, are common. In other cases the
energy obtained from sugar oxidation is coupled
to energy-demanding processes (endergonic) to
permit biosynthesis of complex structures, cell
protein for example.
Recently hydrocarbons have become the focus
of considerable interest as potential carbon
sources for biotechnology. They supply much
more energy per unit mass and yields of cell pro-
tein are correspondingly higher. On the other
hand they introduce many problems for which
satisfactory solutions are available, but expensive.
In addition, recent rises in the costs of hydro-
carbon raw materials have cast a pall over this
whole matter.

Cellulose is another carbon source of potential
value. Biological degradation of cellulose is an
obvious and dominant feature of the natural
world. But it is also a painfully slow process in
nature. Generations of biologists have sought
organisms and conditions which will achieve more
rapid degradation of cellulose but success has not
come easily. The great advantage of the carbo-
hydrates-starch, cellulose, and the lower saccha-
rides derived from them-is, of course, their po-
tential renewability. Cultivation of carbohydrate
producing plants represents the conversion-ad-
mittedly at low efficiency-of solar energy to
available chemical energy.

. biotechnology . is relatively simple.
Inherent in the use of biological systems
is the employment of only moderate
temperatures and pressures. Equipment is
therefore relatively inexpensive and
process plants are not so

Another aspect of biotechnology which has
been overlooked is that it is relatively simple. In-
herent in the use of biological systems is the em-
ployment of only moderate temperatures and
pressures. Equipment is therefore relatively in-
expensive and process plants are not so capital-
intensive as are those employed in the petro-
chemical area. Another point which follows from
these observations is that plants employing bio-
logical processes are less sensitive to scale-factors.
It is therefore possible to build several smaller
units at a cost not much greater than one large


pluses of the 1920's and 30's led to the de-
velopment of the "chemurgic" movement [9].
Chemurgy included a number of specific pro-
posals whose general objectives were to channel
farm surpluses into the chemical industry for con-
version to non-food products. Specific aims of the
movement were:
to discover new uses for established farm crops
to develop new crops for acreage producing surpluses
of established crops
to make use of agricultural residues and wastes from
industries consuming agricultural materials


Biotechnology was a key element in the overall
chemurgic concept because biological processes
offered some of the most promising avenues for
utilizing agricultural materials. One of these was
the proposal to hydrolyze starch from cereal
grains to glucose and then ferment the glucose
to ethanol for use as a motor fuel. We will look
at this more closely in the next section.
The great hopes of the chemurgic movement
came to naught because:
* increased needs for food crops during and after World
War II largely eliminated low-cost surpluses and led
to a steady rise in the prices of commodity grains.
* rapid development of the petrochemical industry, based
on low-cost hydrocarbon feedstocks, offered direct com-
petition in many of the areas which seemed most at-
tractive for chemurgic development. The example of
ethyl alcohol, cited earlier, is typical.
Recently the chemurgic concept has been trotted
out, dusted off, and presented anew [10]. Its pitch
has been changed, however. The raw materials of
interests are no longer the cereal grains but
rather the wastes and by-products generated by
an industrialized agriculture and the society
which it feeds.


CELLULOSE, AS WOOD, is man's oldest fuel.
It was not replaced by coal until the 19th

century (Figure 1) and it is still the primary fuel
for large segments of the world's population. The
various natural woods exhibit somewhat higher
heats of combustion that pure cellulose because of
the oils and other materials which they contain
but the differences are not significant. Wood is,
of course, unsatisfactory for metallurgical ope-
rations because combustion temperatures are too
low. It was therefore necessary, before coal be-
came available, to convert wood to charcoal.
The great advantage offered by cellulose as a
fuel is its renewability. This is the key to the pro-
posal by Szego and Kemp [5] for "energy planta-
tions." Substantial use of cellulose as a fuel would
permit a more favorable environmental carbon
balance, as we have seen (Figure 2). Carbon
dioxide returned to the atmosphere would be
equivalent to that removed. On the other hand
cellulose cannot be used as a fuel for one of tech-
nological man's most prized possessions, the in-
ternal combustion engine. If renewable fuel re-
sources are to be seriously considered, effective
means must be found to convert them to useful
liquid or gaseous forms.
The various proposals which have been made
for the employment of cellulose as a fuel fall into
four main categories (Table 1). These are:

* direct combustion
* pyrolysis to combustible oil and gas fractions


Comparison Of Cellulose-Based Fuels

Direct combustion
of cellulose

Pyrolysis to oil
and gas fractions

Anerobic digestion
to methane

Conversion to

Heat of
3.5 kcal/gm

12.4 kcal/gm

7.1 kcal/gm

efficiency (a)

35% (11)

65% (11)


11.2- 11.3

(a) Energy efficiency refers to the fraction of the energy available in
final fuel.
(b) Other than CO and CO,

External combustion
only: conventional
External combustion only:
conventional burners.

External combustion-
pressure storage.
Internal combustion:
conventional design.

Pollution (b





the original cellulose which is available in the


I am convinced that most current assessments of the future potential for various fuels
is unrealistic because they are based upon established ratios between energy
and other costs . Ethanol is the only reasonable candidate fuel for internal
combustion engines which can be derived from renewable resources.

* anaerobic digestion to methane
* conversion to ethanol

Direct combustion of cellulose, usually in mix-
tures with other wastes, is already widespread.
The use of wood wastes and shredded garbage in
steam generating units are the most common
examples. Pyrolysis schemes are still largely in
the development stage but methane from the di-
gestion of sludge and similar organic wastes has
long been used as a fuel in waste treatment plants
and sometimes in the surrounding community.
The fourth possibility, hydrolysis of cellulose
to ethanol, is the only one which offers a liquid
compatible with contemporary internal combus-
tion engines. Alcohols, methanol and ethanol al-
most exclusively, enjoy a long history of use as
internal combustion engine fuels. They were used
experimentally in the early development of these
engines when petroleum-based fuels were less
readily available and have been widely employed
when petroleum was in critical supply (Germany
during the first World War; Eastern Europe after


T HERE IS ABUNDANT experience with
ethanol as a motor fuel. It offers several ad-
vantages over, and suffers from some disadvant-
ages in comparison with, gasoline. The most ob-
vious disadvantage is its lower energy content
(heating value) per unit weight (Table 1). This
means that a larger volume and weight of fuel
must be carried for the same vehicle range. Fuel
lines, pump, etc., will also have to be larger to
deliver the same fuel energy to the engine. Etha-
nol also exhibits a higher heat of vaporization
which means that more heat must be supplied to
the intake manifold of a carburetted engine. This
is usually waste heat from the engine, however,
and therefore represents no thermal penalty to
the engine.
On the other hand, ethanol has a high octane rating
(RON = 106). It should therefore be possible to design
an Otto cycle engine for alcohol with a higher compression
ratio, and hence higher thermal efficiency, than can be

realized with gasoline. With the removal of lead, it has
already become necessary to increase the aromatic content
of gasoline in order to maintain current octane ratings.
This has placed an additional demand on already pre-
carious supplies of petrochemical feedstocks. Indeed, the
question is widely asked whether we can afford to burn
such precious commodities. Alcohol also offers substantial
advantages over gasoline with respect to air pollution
control. It contains no sulfur, leads to no unburned hydro-
carbon, and the lower engine temperatures involved reduce
NO. formation.
So far, alcohol has been used almost exclusive-
ly in engines which were designed for gasoline.
The development of smaller, higher compression
engines for light-duty personal vehicles, com-
muter buses, smaller carriers, etc., is an especially
attractive concept. Such an engine could exploit
the unique advantages of ethanol as a fuel and
could find immediate application in captive
market services-urban transit, delivery fleets,

SpOWER ALCOHOL" HAS had a checkered
record in ordinary times [12, 13]. During
the 20's and 30's many European countries either
made the supplementation of gasoline with al-
cohol (10-15% was typical) mandatory or pro-
vided tax incentives to encourage it. These pro-
grams reflected both the general agricultural de-
pression affecting much of the world during this
period and the availability of surplus alcohols-
from excess wine production, for example-in
some countries.
Although these alcohol-supplemented fuels
were satisfactory in a technical sense, the overall
programs were less so. It has been claimed [14]
that the essential difficulty was the instability of
alcohol supplies. Since surpluses were the basis,
the supply of alcohol for incorporation in fuel
varied greatly and government regulations were
changed frequently. This necessitated equally fre-
quent engine adjustments followed by increasing-
ly negative consumer reaction.
Willkie and Kolachov [14], in a provocative
argument for an extensive, carefully planned


alcohol program, urged the use of pure (190-proof
or 90%) alcohol, rather than blends. They argued
that "captive" markets existed, farm tractors
for example, which could support such a program
and that the use of pure alcohol rather than
blends would eliminate the greatest short-coming
of the earlier program. Willkie and Kolachov's
proposal was published on the very eve of
America's entry into the second World War. It
represented the culmination of one of the

We must recognize the vital importance
of developing renewable resource bases for our
energy needs.

strongest arguments in the "chemurgy" program
of the 1930's, conversion of grain surpluses to
power alcohol. The exigencies of a war economy,
however, overwhelmed it. Grain surpluses disap-
peared as we were called upon to feed our allies
during the war and much of western Europe after
it. There was considerable production of alcohol
from grain during the war but this was needed
to supply increased industrial requirements and
to replace the imported molasses previously used.
Since 1945 the United States has helped to
supply the food needs of nations which had pre-
viously been cereal grain exporters but whose
population growth had outstripped their own
productive resources. The grain surpluses of
earlier decades steadily dwindled away until, in
the 1970's, we encountered shortages, for export
at least, and rapidly increasing prices. Even in
this unfavorable climate, the possibility of pro-
ducing alcohol from starch for motor fuel use has
been resurrected [15, 16]. In 1971 the Nebraska
Legislature took the first positive step with pas-
sage of a law [17] providing for an allowance
of 3-cents per gallon on the state motor fuel tax
when fermentation ethanol is added to lead-free
motor fuels. As the specter of fuel shortages be-
came more real, pressure for the use of gasoholl,"
a 90% gasoline-10% alcohol blend increased.
One Nebraska legislator suggested last year [17]
that should gasoline prices rise to 65-70 cents per
gallon, alcohol would become competitive.
At the same time that these predictions were being
offered, however, the violent shifts in the world's grain
markets experienced over the last year were just coming
into play. These dim the prospects for grain-based ethanol
for motor fuel just as petroleum price increases favor it.
Once again we see at work the increasingly close inter-

actions between food and energy production previously
outlined in Figures 3 and 4.

T HE HYDROLYSIS OF cellulose to glucose by
various agents has held the interest of gene-
rations of applied scientists. Acid saccharifica-
tion processes were described early in the 19th
century and were successfully employed in
Europe, especially Germany [18]. Much of the
glucose produced was then fermented to ethanol.
Alcohol has also been produced commercially from
the sugars in waste sulfite liquors and other
similar materials [18]. Acid hydrolysis of cellu-
lose is an expensive, relatively low-yield process,
however, and the advantages of enzymatic pro-
cesses were recognized early. Unfortunately, satis-
factory cellulase preparations were not available.
More recently, however, the technology of cellu-
lase preparation and its application has developed
rapidly [19, 20]. Yields of glucose from waste
cellulose of 50% and greater have been reported
[21]. Cost estimates for the enzymatic production
of glucose from cellulose vary widely, however,
because of still unresolved questions about the
amount of pretreatment necessary. Using a range
of glucose costs covering most of the predictions
made so far, plus past experience with ethanol
fermentation costs, it is possible to estimate costs
for ethanol production from cellulose (Table 2).
These estimates include a rough credit for the
protein-rich "distillers solubles" which are pro-
duced as a by-product but they do not include any
credit for the elimination of solid wastes, mixed
municipal refuse (MMR) for example, which
may be applicable.
One should properly ask, "How much alcohol
could be produced in this way and what impact,
if any, would this have on the nation's fuel
needs?" At this point the only answer to this
question must be a crude estimate. We are said to
produce about 200-million tons of MMR per year
in the United States and these solid wastes are
about half cellulose. Assuming demonstrated
yields for glucose from waste cellulose and ethanol
from glucose, these wastes could yield 25-million
tons of ethanol, or about 8-billion gallons (190-
proof), per year. This is equivalent to 0.58 x 15'"
BTU/year. Current U.S. gasoline consumption is
about 100-billion gallons or 11.5 x 10"5 BTU per
year. Conversion of all our MMR to ethanol would
therefore provide only 5% of the energy now con-
sumed in gasoline engines. Even so, this fraction


TABLE 2 Cost of Ethanol From Cellulose

Raw material



$0.15 0.30(1)
(0.10 0.15) (2)
0.15 0.30
(0.10 0.15)
0.15 0.30
(0.10 0.15)

(1) Higher estimate based on past experience in production of ethanol from waste sulfite liquor; lower estimate by
(2) Figures in parentheses reflect higher credits for conversion by-products utilized in animal feeds.

is not significant, especially if the use of fuel al-
cohol were concentrated in captive services for
urban areas. These services--street level trans-
portation, delivery vans, refuse trucks, etc.-are
major contributors to urban air pollution and the
employment of ethanol as a fuel would be par-
ticularly advantageous in reducing emissions.


forward in this discussion and I will con-
clude by summarizing what I believe to be the
most important of these:

* We must recognize the vital importance of developing
renewable resource bases for our energy needs.
* Ethanol is the only reasonable candidate fuel for in-
ternal combustion engines which may be derived from
renewable resources. While it is unlikely that ethanol
can supply a substantial portion of the total national
requirement for such fuels, it could contribute sig-
nificantly to captive market needs in urban areas.
* Finally, I am convinced that most current assessments
of the future potential for various fuels are unrealistic
because they are based on established ratios between
energy and other costs. The problem is not simply a
matter of providing inflationary allowances in cost pro-
jections. It is a question of the essential relationship
between the future cost of energy from conventional
sources and the other costs involved in fuel production.
Energy intensive technologies, e.g. shale oil, coal con-
version, etc., will suffer increasing penalties as the
relative cost of energy rises and projections based on
past energy cost experience are bound to be in
error. []


1. Cook, E., "The flow of energy in an industrialized
society," Scientific American, September 1971.
2. Heichel, G. H., Comparative Efficiency of Energy
Use in Crop Production, Bull. 739, Connecticut State
Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven (No-
vember, 1973).

3. Rozenzweig, M., and Ushio, S., "Protein from
methanol," Chem. Engr., January 7, 1974, p. 62.
4. Chem. Engr. News., April 22, 1974, p. 29.
5. Szego, G. C., and Kemp, C. C., "Energy forests and
fuel plantations," Chemtech, 275 (May, 1973).
6. Klass, D. L., "A perpetual methane economy-is it
possible?," Chemtech, 161 (March, 1974).
7. Rainbow, C., and Rose, A. H., Biochemistry of In-
dustrial Microorganisms, Academic Press, London
8. Stodola, F. H., Chemical Transformations by Micro-
organisms, Wiley, N. Y. (1958).
9. Herrick, H. T., "New and better uses for our crops,"
in Crops in Peace and War; the Yearbook of Agri-
culture, 1950-1951, p. 6-9, U. S. Government Printing
Office, Washington (1951).
10. Davis, J. C., "Chemurgy's second coming," Chem.
Engr., p. 90, April 29, 1974.
11. Klass, D. L., and Ghosh, S., "Fuel gas from organic
wastes," Chemtech, 689 (November, 1973).
12. Jacobs, P. B., and Newton, H. P., Motor Fuels from
Farm Products, USDA Misc. Pub. No. 327, Washing-
ton, D. C. (December, 1938).
13. Hilbert, G. E., Alcohol from Agricultural Sources as a
Potential Motor Fuel, USDA Publication AIC-233
(Rev.), Washington, D. C. (February, 1950).
14. Willkie, H. F., and Kolachov, P. J., Food for Thought,
Indiana Farm Bureau, Indianapolis, Ind. (1942).
15. Miller, D. L., "Industrial alcohol from wheat, Sixth
National Wheat Utilization Conference, Oakland,
California, November 5-7, 1969.
16. Miller, D. L., "Fuel alcohol from wheat," Seventh
National Wheat Utilization Conference, Manhattan,
Kansas, November 3-5, 1971.
17. Chemical Week, p. 24, April 4, 1973.
18. Prescott, S. C., and Dunn, C. G., Industrial Micro-
biology, 3rd Ed., McGraw-Hill, N. Y. (1959).
19. Hajny, G. J., and Reese, E. T., Cellulases and their
Applications, Advances in Chemistry Series, No. 95,
American Chemical Society, Washington, D. C.
20. Ghose, T. K., and Kostick, J. A., Biotech. Bioengr.,
12, 921 (1970).
21. Brandt, D., Hontz, L., and Mandels, M., AIChE Sym-
posium Series No. 69, 127 (1973).


Glucose cost



$1.53 1.68
(1.48 1.53)
0.84 0.99
(0.79 0.84)
0.29 0.44
(0.24 0.29)

(Continued from page 31.)
There is one chapter devoted to polymerization,
but it would not satisfy most people who include
such material in an introductory course.
There is a uniqueness in the first four chapters,
however, that will appeal to materials science
specialists, especially those who are interested in
interdisciplinary approaches to materials science.
After an introductory description of the shape,
configurations and conformations of polymer
molecules, Professor Schultz embarks on a clear
and carefully written exposition on polymer
crystal structure. He introduces the reader to the
morphology of single crystals through the tech-
niques of microscopy. He discusses the principles
of electron microscopy and electron diffraction
and then interprets pictures of polymer crystals
in a very readable manner. He repeats the process
using data from optical microscopes, dark field
methods and polarized light techniques. This
seems to be a particularly appealing way to intro-
duce the subject matter. The physical structure
of polymer crystals is complex indeed, and the
interpretation of microscope pictures is usually
a very frustrating experience for those who are
inexperienced in the subtleties of microscopy.
Professor Schultz tries to interpret through
words and supplementary sketches what is not
evident to the untrained eye. The study of poly-
meric crystals through small angle X-ray
scattering and study of the details of molecular
arrangement through NMR and infra-red tech-
niques are also covered in the second chapter. He
includes a few exercises for the students and
presents an extensive bibliography that will be
very useful to a researcher in the field. The third
chapter starts with a qualitative description of
crystals formed from the melt, with a clear ex-
planation of why they are different from those
formed from a dilute solution. This is followed by
a description of spherulite morphology on morph-
ology. An up-to-date bibliography is again in-
cluded. The fourth chapter is devoted to a de-
finition of degree of crystallinity in terms of the
variety of experimental techniques used for its
It is not until Chapter 9 that Professor
Schultz completes his exposition on crystallinity
by including a very good chapter on crystallization
kinetics and mechanisms.
Chapters 1 to 4 and 9 constitute one of the

better introductory discussions of polymer crystal
structure. I wish these 265 or so pages had con-
stituted a smaller, less expensive book that could
have been purchased as a supplement to a more
general text in polymer engineering. The material
in the remaining six chapters is presented clear-
ly and the quality is commensurate with the other
introductory textbooks in the field, but the sub-
jects are only loosely connected, show less depth
and are considerably less original in the mode of
presentation. The trouble is that everyone has
his own ideas about how to present the remaining
material in a classroom situation and there is not
enough material in these chapters to supplement
in-depth lectures. Whereas the material on
crystallization is so well done that most instruc-
tors will defer to Professor Schultz's approach,
the remaining material is too sketchy for self
study and too weak to compete with each person's
own ideas. In Chapter 7, for example, the average
student will become lost in a maze of equations
describing rubber elasticity, without developing
much appreciation of the properties of rubber.
He would be better advised to read a standard
treatise on rubber elasticity for the kind of in-
formation that is presented here in abstracted
form. After the section on rubber elasticity, con-
tinuum mechanics is introduced in order to explain
the effects of fillers. This is just too much material
for the average student to handle alone. The
average instructor with a serious interest in this
material will not introduce it in such a superficial
manner, while the instructor with a more qualita-
tive interest will not wish to introduce so many
abstract quantities. The degree of superficiality
leads to misinterpretation in several places. For
example, the presentation of data on the effect
of fillers on glassy polymers (Figure 7.16) and
the development of the Kerner equation are inter-
laced with discussions of the effects of fillers on
elastomers without clarifying the important
differences between rubbery and glassy matrices.
Similar comments can be made about the short
sections on viscosity and fracture, the brief
chapter on time-dependent properties and the
surveys of Chapters 10 and 11.
All things considered, I found this to be a very good
text for an introductory course that emphasizes correla-
tions between structure and properties. Also, if one is
planning to do research in the area of polymer crystal
structure, this book gives an excellent introduction to
the field. I certainly would buy a copy for my own book-
shelf and I have no hesitation in recommending it to my
students and colleagues. ]



Z( 'i

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