Revista mexicana de ingeniería química
versión impresa ISSN 1665-2738
WHITAKER, Stephen. Chemical engineering education: Making connections at interfaces. Rev. Mex. Ing. Quím [online]. 2009, vol.8, n.1, pp. 1-33. ISSN 1665-2738.
An interface may be a region in which concepts are connected, or it may be a region in which physical processes are connected. In both cases, conditions change abruptly. In this study, the interface between physics and chemical engineering is examined from the point of view of the laws of mechanics, and the details of this particular interface are clarified from the perspective of Euler (1703-1783) and Cauchy (1789-1857). Understanding how different perspectives of the laws of mechanics are connected allows us to proceed with confidence from physics to the traditional studies of fluid mechanics that one encounters in chemical engineering. Furthermore, it allows us to proceed with confidence to the study of multi-component transport phenomena. Here we encounter the concept of the species velocity that plays a crucial role in chemical engineering. To understand the importance of the species velocity, one asks the question: What happens if all species velocities are equal? The answer to this question is: Nothing! There is no purification, no mixing, no interfacial mass transfer, no adsorption/desorption, no homogeneous reaction, and no heterogeneous reaction. To illustrate how the concepts of mechanics provide a connection between various elements of chemical engineering, we examine the species mass jump condition as a focal point for mass transfer, heat transfer, thermodynamics, adsorption/desorption, and heterogeneous chemical reaction.
Palabras llave : Newton; Euler; Cauchy; multicomponent systems; phase interfaces.