Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the application of kinetics and reaction engineering in chemical engineering processes. The course will not only serve as an introduction to the fundamental principles of kinetics and reaction engineering, but also to the practical application of the technology in industry. Calculations involving a number of chemical reactions and reactor designs will be undertaken using computer software packages such as Polymath. Concepts such as standard states, chemical reaction rates, reaction mechanism mass balances and design equations for ideal reactors including plug flow, packed-bed, batch and continuously stirred tank reactors will be covered. Design equations will initially be formulated for reactors described by a single chemical reaction, then generalised to multiple reactions. Both isothermal and non-isothermal reactor design will be dealt with. The course will also include advanced topics on practical reactor design involving biochemical reactions and catalytic reactions.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): CHEE4320. Students who have successfully completed CHEE4320 are not eligible to enrol in CHEE3325.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles underlying kinetics and reaction engineering

2. Show an awareness of issues related to the practical application of reaction engineering

3. Exhibit expertise relevant to the practice of kinetics and reaction engineering


Topics to be covered in this course include:

  • Mole balance and ideal reactors, the reaction coordinate, equilibrium constant, independent reactions, reaction order.
  • Rate expressions; determination of reaction rate by differential and integral methods; determination of rate constants.
  • Performance equations for batch, plug flow and continuous flow reactors, concepts of space time; interpretation of results from reactors.
  • Optimisation for single reactions; implementations of using multiple reactors in various configurations; interpretation of results, reactor design for multiple reactions.
  • Reaction mechanisms, pathways, bioreactions and bioreactors, active intermediates and non-elementary reactions, pseudo-steady-state hypothesis (PSSH).
  • Isothermal and non-isothermal reactor design, CRE algorithm, Energy balance, non-isothermal multiple reactions.
  • Catalysis and catalytic reactors, adsorption isotherms steps in catalytic reactions, synthesising a rate law, mechanism and rate limiting step, diffusion effects.


This course replaces CHEE4320. If you have successfully completed CHEE4320 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

MATH1110/MATH1120 Mathematics for Engineering, Science and Technology 1 and 2 or equivalent, and

MATH2310 Calculus of Science and Engineering

ENGG1500 Introduction to Professional Engineering

CHEE2325 Thermodynamics of Chemical Processes

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment #1

Written Assignment: Assignment #2

In Term Test: In Class Test

Formal Examination: Final Examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.