Module code: ENG2129

Module Overview

The heart of any chemical or biochemical processes is often said to be the reactor. A comprehensive understanding of reactors’ performances is a pre-requisite for the process design. This Reaction Engineering module builds on the reaction kinetic knowledge from level 1 and applies it to the design of homogeneous chemical reactors and bio-reactors. The module creates connections to real-world chemical process design examples, and covers some important aspects of chemical engineering design called green chemistry and sustainability of chemical industry.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

PHAN Anh Thi Van (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 64

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 33

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Reaction Engineering:

Introduction to reactor design

Batch Reactors

  • Types, uses and design equations

  • Isothermal and non-isothermal design

Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors (CSTR)

  • Uses, perfect mixing, design equations

  • Single tank design

  • CSTR with changing volumetric flow rates

  • Multiple tank algebraic and graphical design

  • Size and performance comparison CSTR vs PFR

Plug Flow Reactors (PFR)

  • Uses and design equations

  • Isothermal design

  • PFR with changing volumetric flow rates

  • Multiple plug flow reactors in series and parallel

  • Plug flow reactors with recycle

  • Mixed systems PFR-CSTR

  • non-isothermal design

Design for Multiple Reactions

  • Competitive Reactions

  • Consecutive Reactions

  • Selectivity/Yield in multiple reactions

Bioreactors –application of chemical reactor design into bio-reactors:

  • Microbial kinetics-Balanced Growth and the Monod Equation

  • Bio-reactor Design (application of the chemical reactors into biological problems)

  • Inactivation Bio-processes (sterilisation & irradiation)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test 45 min Invigilated Class Test 20
Examination 2 hr Invigilated Exam 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate 

the full range of learning outcomes though the balanced mixture of lecture and tutorial/problem classes coupled with the carefully grades tutorial problems which reflect current industrial practice.

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to be equipped with industrial life beyond academia as well as to develop teamwork and communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Class Test – 20% (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4)

  • Examination – 80%, 2 hours (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6)

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Weekly verbal feedback will be given during tutorial classes.

  • Written feedback on the Class Test

Module aims

  • Allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in diverse areas focusing on Chemical Engineering
  • Enable students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the methodology of linking chemical kinetics with material and energy conservation in the design of idealized homogeneous chemical reactors and bio-reactors, operating either in batch or continuous mode, and under either isothermal or non-isothermal conditions.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the operation of homogeneous Batch, Continuous Stirred Tank and Plug Flow reactors and confidently propose the appropriate reactor for a specified duty KC
002 Propose a reactor design methodology and then correctly solve the volumetric design of homogeneous Batch, Continuous Stirred Tank and Plug Flow reactors processing simple reversible and irreversible reactions operating under both isothermal and non-isothermal KCPT
003 Design of complex arrangements of ideals reactors including multiple reactors in series, parallel and combination series-parallel. KCPT
004 Explain the complexity of reactor design, the need for safe design and the responsibilities of the designer of chemical reactors and bio-reactors KPT
005 Explain the operation of homogeneous Batch, Fed-Batch, CSTR AND Plug Flow biochemical reactors and confidently propose the appropriate reactor type for a specific bioprocess KC
006 Evaluate the reactor characteristics in chemical and bio-reactors KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Carefully cover in lectures the necessary fundamental material and analytical techniques, and demonstrate concepts with appropriate (and where possible practical) examples

  • Allow students adequate time to practice the techniques using a large number of carefully selected tutorial problems.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures                               

  • Tutorial/Quiz/Problem Classes        

  • Independent and guided learning               

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG2129

Other information

The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas

Employability: This module uses some industrial chemical process design examples during the lecture to illustrate concepts in design of chemical reactors and bioreactors, helping students to be equipped with industrial life beyond academia. Students are also given some open-ended reaction engineering quizzes/problems to solve in a team during tutorial/lecture hours, which could help them to develop teamwork and communication skills as well as critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Digital Capabilities: With hands on practice on POLYMATH software during tutorial/lecture hours, students enhance their understanding of fundamental elements in chemical reaction engineering. The POLYMATH software would provide a digital platform to explore the real-world chemical reaction engineering examples and ask “what-if” questions, developing understanding that can be applied to industrial chemistry with real reactors and reactions, and an even broader range of applications.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Students would need to work on some open-ended reaction engineering quizzes/problems related to reactor and chemical plant design that borders and overlaps with other engineering disciplines including mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering as well as business studies and entrepreneurship. This could help students to excel in critical problem solving, work in multidisciplinary teams and develop the skills which enable them to work in diverse high-level careers.

Sustainability: Achieving sustainable processes, that allow us at present to fully meet our needs without impairing the ability of future generations to do so, is an important goal for current and future engineers. In production of new materials, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals sustainable processes certainly require the most efficient use of raw materials and energy, preferably from renewable sources, and prevention of generation and release of toxic materials. Advancing the state of the art of chemical reaction engineering is the key element needed for development of such environmentally friendly and sustainable chemical processes. This module will provide multiple examples related to the improvement of chemical reaction processes via new reactor designs that help students to gain knowledge on the green and sustainable chemical engineering, which involves making all chemical processes more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Resourcefulness and Resilience:  Students are allowed to choose their groupmates to finish open-ended reaction engineering quizzes/problems during tutorial/lecture hours. This activity would help students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills as well as learn how to work with others to deliver the engineering solutions. Support by teaching staff is offered to facilitate groupwork discussions and team building.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemical Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemical Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.