The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


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 species will be undertaken using computer software packages such as Polymath. Concepts such as standard states, chemical activity, equilibrium conversion and elemental constrains will also be covered, leading to the introduction of mass balances to derive design equations for plug flow, batch and continuously stirred tank reactors. Design equations will initially be formulated for reactors described by a single chemical reaction, then generalised to multiple reactions. The course will conclude with advance topics on practical reactor design in biotechnology and catalysis.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2018.

Learning outcomes

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

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

2. To understand issues related to the practical application of reaction engineering

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


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

Assumed knowledge

First and Second Year Maths and Chemistry, CHEE3320 Thermodynamics

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignments

Formal Examination: Formal Examination