Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENG2122

Module Overview

The module addresses the essential concepts and applications of thermodynamics that are required by Chemical Engineers. The course is divided into two distinct sections, the first (65%) focussing on Chemical Thermodynamics and the second on Applied Thermodynamics. The content enriches student understanding related to energy minimisation and utilisation to improve the sustainability of processes and operations. Moreover, fundamental principles of the thermodynamics of equilibria are used to appraise the optimum use of energy.

Chemical Thermodynamics: Starting from the fundamental laws of thermodynamics, the course builds up to the prediction of equilibrium states for complex reaction mixtures, and vapour-liquid systems that exhibit both ideal and non-ideal behaviours. Principles are covered to effectively interpret thermodynamic packages and approaches used within commercial process simulation packages such as HYSYS and ChemCAD, thus enhancing student digital capabilities in the employment of such software.

Applied Thermodynamics: This section of the module extends the material covered in the introductory lectures at FHEQ Level 4. Specifically, the use of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics to analyse and design simple power and refrigeration cycles is introduced. The content provides basic understanding of efficient cycle design to maximise energy utilisation, as well as a review of the sustainable use of energy.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

ALPAY Esat (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: H311

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 54

Lecture Hours: 32

Tutorial Hours: 15

Guided Learning: 6

Captured Content: 43

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Chemical Thermodynamics:

Work, Heat and the Conservation of Energy (revision):

  • Internal energy and the first law of thermodynamics

  • Heat capacity (constant volume; constant pressure)

  • Enthalpy

  • Bomb, differential and flame calorimeters


  • Enthalpy of chemical and physical change

  • Hess’s law revisited

  • Temperature effects on enthalpy


  • Standard entropies

  • Second and third laws of thermodynamics

  • Entropy of expansion, mixing, heating or cooling

Free Energy:

  • Gibbs and Helmholtz energies

  • Gibbs energy of formation and standard reaction

  • Effects of pressure and temperature and Gibbs energy Partial molar Gibbs energy

Phase Behaviour and Ideal Mixtures and Solutions:

  • Phase diagrams

  • Phase transition in single component systems

  • Gibbs energy change of mixing

  • Ideal and ideal-dilute solutions

  • Boiling-point elevation; freezing-point depression

Non-Ideal Mixtures and Solutions:

  • Activity and activity coefficients

  • Excess Gibbs free energy; predictions for multicomponent mixture, including thermodynamic models used in commercial process simulation software

Chemical Reaction Equilibrium:

  • Gibbs free energy and the reaction equilibrium

  • Pressure and temperature effects on reaction equilibrium

Real Gases:

  • Compression factor

  • Fugacity

  • Equations of state

Applied Thermodynamics

The Laws of Thermodynamics:

  • Introduction to the Carnot Propositions and entropy

  • Thermodynamic diagrams T-h-s

Power and Refrigeration Cycles:

  • Rankine cycles and power generation (including process and district heating)

  • Refrigeration and heat pump cycles

  • Gas turbines

  • Revision and summary of pumps, turbines and compressors.

  • Review of sustainable use of energy

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 35
Examination 2hr Examination 65

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 graded tutorial problems to reflect relevant industrial or laboratory applications of theory. Formative assessments are used to guide student learning and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills for examination preparation. Examination and coursework are used for summative assessment (see below). Active engagement with the formative assessments is essential for effective learning, including the preparation of revision notes (1 side maximum) for use in the examination.

 The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework – 35% (LO5). The coursework will assess the Applied Thermodynamics content of the module.

  • Examination – 65%, 2 hours (in-person, invigilated) (LO1 – LO4). The examination will be of the style of previous (pre-pandemic) 2-hour in-person examination papers, but with a greater emphasis for the critical appraisal of theory (e.g. assumptions, limitations and implications) and its application, rather than standard derivations.

 Formative assessment:

  • Open-book, take-home formative test (Chemical Thermodynamics) (LO1-LO4)

  • Online self-tests (LO1-LO3)


  • Weekly verbal feedback during tutorial classes (LO1 – LO5)

  • Verbal feedback during optional drop-in tutorial classes (LO1 – LO5)

  • Whole group and optional individual feedback on the formative test


Module aims

  • To provide students with a solid foundation in Chemical Thermodynamics that will enable interpretation and prediction of a range of chemical and physical transformations such as phase changes and chemical reactions, and to underpin and support the associated work in the Reaction Engineering and Separation Processes courses.
  • Provide and consolidate understanding and ability to apply the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics to a wide variety of engineering problems, especially related to power and refrigeration cycles, and process energy efficiency within such cycles.
  • Develop a firm grounding in the thermodynamic properties of entropy and Gibbs energy and their use in the analysis of simple systems, processes and cycles, including efficiency measures.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Calculate the energy changes involved in chemical composition and physical state changes. KCT
002 Calculate chemical and phase equilibria for ideal and non-ideal systems from readily available physical property data and state equations. KCT
003 Recognise the principles whereby process flow-sheeting programmes use Chemical Thermodynamics to model equilibrium conditions in various unit operations. KCT
004 Confidently apply First and Second Law analysis to simple, single component, multiphase processes such as power generation and refrigeration cycles. KCP
005 Interpret the Carnot and isentropic efficiencies and relate these to potential process improvements and sustainable energy utilisation. KCP

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:

  • Encourage students to critically reflect and evaluate the principles of thermodynamics and how they relate to practical, real-world problems.

  • Use active discussion in lectures / tutorials, a wide range of examples and problems, and repetitive demonstration of first principles in application, to elucidate relevance and practicality and develop resourcefulness and resilience for the effective and confident use of thermodynamics theory.

  • Use cases / problems and standard thermodynamic data (including online resources) to demonstrate the process/system design and analysis value of thermodynamics.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures: 32 hours

Tutorials:15 hours

Captured Content: 32 (lecture capture) + 11 (additional) = 43 hours

Guided learning activities (e.g. formative assessment tasks and exercises): 6 hours        

Independent learning: 54 hours


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: ENG2122

Other information

The content develops student understanding related to energy minimisation and utilisation to improve the sustainability of processes and operations. Moreover, fundamental principles of the thermodynamics of equilibria are used to appraise the optimum use of energy. The module thus supports core theory in appraising efficient energy utilisation relevant to sustainable process design.

Through the wide application of theory to practical problems, repetitive demonstration of problem solution from first-principle concepts of thermodynamics, and the progressive design of tutorial problems and use of complementary formative tasks, the student is expected to develop confidence, resourcefulness and resilience in dealing with a subject area that is often viewed as difficult.

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 and Petroleum Engineering MEng 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

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 2024/5 academic year.