Module code: ENG3200

Module Overview

This module provides students with the knowledge and skills to complete chemical reaction engineering analysis on both catalytic and fluid-solid reactors when applied in petrochemical processing. The students will acquire knowledge about different heterogeneous reactor configurations and be able to apply chemical engineering principles to model kinetic behaviour applicable to reaction engineering. By completing this module students will develop a solid understanding of reactor design principles that are relevant to a wide variety of industries.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

TSAOULIDIS Dimitrios (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 65

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 25

Captured Content: 16

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Transport Processes in Heterogeneous Catalysis         
Interfacial and intra-particle gradient effects

Fixed Bed Catalytic Reactor Design

Pseudo-homogeneous and heterogeneous models

Fluidised Bed and Transport Reactors    

Two and three-phase models; transport reactors

Multiphase Reactors           

General design and simplifications

Non-Catalytic Fluid-Solid Reactions

Particle dissolution and shrinking core models.

Industrial Reactor Case Studies                                        

e.g. bio-reactors; polymer reaction engineering; structured reactors

Refinery processes                                     

Reaction mechanisms and operating conditions for

            1)         Treatment processes, e.g. hydrotreating (including amine treatment and sulphur  recovery), naphtha reforming

            2)         Conversion processes, e.g. catalytic cracking, thermal cracking and coking

            3)         Gasoline production, e.g. alkylation, isomerisation, blending

Petrochemical processes               

Reaction mechanisms and operating conditions for

            1)         Steam cracking for light olefins

            2)         Olefins and aromatics polymerisation  

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to meet the learning outcomes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework (1 element): Collaborative coursework on reactor design principles – 20% (LO1-LO5)

  • Examination – 80%, (LO1-LO6), as per ENG3184 but to include a section on petrochemical reaction engineering

Formative assessment and feedback.

There is no formal formative assessment, however, students will receive formative feedback throughout the module, including:

  • Each week a tutorial session will follow the format of problems based on the recent lecture material

  • In the tutorial sessions, formative feedback on problems will be provided, including problems covered in lectures.

  • Oral feedback from academics, tutors, and their peers during practicals and tutorials

  • Feedback session following each assessment

  • Feedback to specific queries via email, with responses being made available to all via SurreyLearn or during tutorials

Module aims

  • This module aims to further students’ understanding of chemical reaction engineering, relating specifically to the two main areas of heterogeneous non-catalytic reactors, heterogeneous catalytic reactors and their application to petrochemical processing.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the mechanisms which occur in heterogeneous catalytic and non-catalytic reactors. KC
002 Recognise the rate limiting factor for both catalytic and non-catalytic heterogeneous reactors. KCP
003 Derive from first principles kinetic expressions and concentration profile expressions for catalytic and non-catalytic heterogeneous reactors. KC
004 Discuss the analytical and experimental techniques for the characterisation of various reactors and reactor elements in chemical and petrochemical engineering. KCP
005 Evaluate the reactor characteristics in heterogeneous catalytic and non-catalytic reactors. KCP
006 Analyse and critically discuss the operation of some of the thermal and catalytic reaction processes applied in the refining and petrochemical industries. 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 help students:

  • Describe and give examples for the use of heterogeneous reactors in the chemical and petrochemical industries

  • Develop skills to derive kinetic expressions from engineering first principles.

  • Identify appropriate design equations to apply for reactor evaluation

Students will have lectures and tutorials to provide them with the basic appreciation of the key chemical engineering concepts applicable to heterogeneous reaction engineering. Worked examples in lectures and tutorials will give students the opportunity to place their learning in context.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures face to face and through online learning resources

  • Tutorials 

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: ENG3200

Other information

Sustainability: Throughout the module students develop an understanding of broad aspects relevant to sustainability for multiphase catalytic and biochemical processes. Students learn to develop integrated processes by linking reaction kinetics, mass and heat transfer performance and reactor modelling, to improve the efficiency of systems, optimise processes, and reduce waste.

Digital capabilities: Students are introduced to analysis and statistical software as part of the tutorial sessions, where they are building their skills in using digital tools to assess and analyse data. Students are also encouraged to utilise collaborative tools (Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp, etc) to communicate and meet with each other, as part of the group coursework submission, practices which are increasingly important to the modern industry.

Employability: The module enables students to develop a solid understanding of reaction engineering and reactor design principles that are relevant to a wide variety of industries. The tutorial sessions and the assessments undertaken are designed specifically to enable students to create general problem-solving skills and critical thinking on the development of mathematical models to design complex reactors across the process and chemical industry. 

Global and cultural capabilities: The module is taught in an interactive way, where students are encouraged to engage with their peers and learn from diverse perspectives and practices. The coursework element in this module further encourages teamwork, as students must solve a set of real-world industrial problems as part of a team.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Once the students have developed a core knowledge of reaction engineering and reactor design, guided individual learning (in the form of journal publications) will give students the opportunity to reflect upon their understanding and gain confidence for their skills by recognising how the concepts developed in this module can find applications in industrial context and R&D.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering BEng (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering MEng 1 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 2025/6 academic year.