Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Official blog of the Lehigh University Chemical Engineers

Material&Energy Balance

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As a sophomore as Lehigh, ChE031 is one of the classes I’m taking this fall semester. ChE031 is a interesting class that deals with Material&Energy Balances. This class is rather conceptual and it doesn’t involve much challenging mathematical calculations (integrals to be specific), yet. Understanding the concepts is the key to survive this class, as well as for other classes. You also need to be really familiar with the terms they use in the problem they gave you; that’s actually one of the issues I’m having when I see a problem. For example, I wouldn’t have known what the problem is talking about if I don’t know what “fractional conversion” or “single pass conversion” are. And I wouldn’t be able to get all the information I need if don’t understand the terminologies used in the question, obviously.

So far, we are studying designed processes. That includes chemicals going through various processes to come out with the desired amount or concentration of specific chemicals, while excess being recycled back to the feed stream(if there’s any). It is important to find the right mix of chemicals and figure out how much of the each component comes out. To do that, we’ll begin by drawing a process chart, following up with a basis that we choose, and doing various component balances and overall balances… …and then solve.

But fortunately, our professor is a humorous and sophisticated person who keeps the class entertained. It is never boring to be in his class and it’ll definitely be worth it to get there early to grab a good seat. I enjoy this class a lot and I think it’s one of the most useful classes for chemical engineering.




Author: Jerry Jin

Hello, My name is Jerry Jin. I'm a senior at Lehigh University pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I'm from Allentown, PA, but I was born in Shanghai, China. I moved here when I was fourteen years old. I'm currently the secretary for Southeast Asia at Lehigh Club, and treasurer for SASE. I'm also on the Lehigh Ultimate Frisbee Team and I enjoy being spontaneous.

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